Friday 20 July 2018

Gordon Elliott lashes out at 'uninformed and malicious' talk over the well-being of his horses at Cullentra

Trainer Gordon Elliott Photo: Sportsfile
Trainer Gordon Elliott Photo: Sportsfile

Niall Cronin

Trainer Gordon Elliott has spoken out about “uninformed and malicious speculation” surrounding the well-being of the horses in his care.

Elliott confirmed last week that he was giving his horses a quiet time as some of them were not pleasing him in a scope and some of the runners at the Punchestown Festival and early this month ran below expectations.

However, after declaring three runners for Clonmel today, Elliott said yesterday: “The yard was never shut down and we just felt that the most beneficial course of action for our owners and the horses, many of whom have had a long season, was to give them an easy time of things.

“Contrary to uninformed and malicious speculation there was nothing more to it than that. The yard was never shut down, we were never prevented from running horses and we’re looking forward to getting back racing and having a good summer both over jumps and on the flat.”

Elliott was responding to rumours that his yard had picked up the very serious and contagious disease, Strangles (equine distemper).

Following checks by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, chief veterinary officer Lynn Hillyer added: “The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board and Irish Equine Centre have been working closely with Gordon over the last couple of weeks to identify the nature of the respiratory issue which has affected some of his horses.

“Whilst this was underway, Gordon voluntarily stopped horses leaving his yard to race and has worked with his veterinary surgeon to bring the situation under control as rapidly as possible and protect the wider population.

“Results to date have shown that the agent responsible for the issue is not Streptococcus equi subspecies equi. The IHRB is therefore in agreement with Gordon that movement of horses from his yard is now appropriate.”

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