By Andrew Atkinson
The British Horseracing Authority will use powers under its own rules to refuse to allow horses trained by Gordon Elliott to race in Britain, pending consideration of the outcome of the Irish investigation following a photo of him sat on a dead horse.
The move comes as the four days 2021 Cheltenham Festival looms during March 16-19.
Irish trainer Elliott has admitted the photo of him was genuine and has since apologised.
Chiefs at the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) are investigating the issue, but it looks unlikely this will conclude before the Cheltenham Festival.
The BHA, which regulates racing in Britain, will use powers under its own rules to refuse to allow horses trained by Elliott to race in Britain, pending consideration of the outcome of the Irish investigation.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “The action taken by the BHA recognises that Mr Elliott is licensed in Ireland, whose regulatory body, the IHRB, is carrying out its own investigation.
“However, Mr Elliott has entered horses to race in Britain, from which point the British Rules of Racing apply to him.
“The decision to refuse to allow horses trained by Mr Elliott to run in Britain is therefore an interim decision which the BHA regards as proportionate in these circumstances.”
In an earlier statement, the BHA said it was appalled by the image which undermined its values of respecting and caring for horses.