Cheltenham Festival-winning amateur jockey Rob James has apologised for his "inappropriate and disrespectful" involvement in an incident involving a dead horse.
A clip of him climbing aboard a carcass was shared on social media, while the racing remained stunned by an image of Gordon Elliott sitting on a stricken animal.
Both matters are being investigated by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board – and Elliott has been prevented from running horses in Britain while it is ongoing.
In the video, James is seen to climb aboard a dead horse in front of several other people.
Laughter can be heard from the group, who appeared to be about to take the body away.
Explaining his shocking actions, James told the Irish Field the video was filmed five years ago.
“I have become aware of a video circulating of me on social media," he said.
"I would just like of apologise for my actions which were wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to a lovely five-year-old mare, who unfortunately suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at exercise earlier that morning, April 30th, 2016.
"I sincerely apologise to the owners of the mare, the staff who cared for her, the horse racing industry and all followers of horse racing for my actions.
"To try defending my stupidity at the time would add further insult and hurt to the many loyal people that have supported me during my career.
"I have caused embarrassment to my employers, my family and most importantly the sport I love.
"I am heartbroken by the damage I have caused and will do my best to try and make amends to those hurt by my conduct.”
James, who has had 235 winners in point-to-points, rode the Gordon Elliott-trained Milan Native to win the Kim Muir at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
The chaser is owned by Giggingstown House Stud, who said on Monday they would support Elliott over his "grievous but momentary lapse of judgement."
They have since withdrawn Tiger Roll from the Randox Grand National due to issues with the weight he was due to carry.
The horse James was due to ride in the 5.20 race at Gowran Park on Tuesday, Gentle Jolie, is now listed as a non-runner.
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board confirmed they are looking into the circumstances surrounding the video.
"The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board are aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation," a spokesperson said.
A spokesman for the BHA said they are aware of the clip, but declined to comment further at this stage.
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