Amateur rider Rob James banned for 12 months following video on social media

Amateur jockey Rob James has been handed a 12-month ban, the last eight of which are suspended, following an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board referral hearing into the video posted on social media of him sitting on a dead horse.

The hearing took place on Wednesday evening, after the IHRB concluded its investigation into the incident.

Just days after an image of Grand National-winning trainer Gordon Elliott sitting on a dead horse was posted on Twitter, a video of James – who rode the Elliott-trained Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year –
emerged on the social media platform.

James had apologised for his “wholly inappropriate and disrespectful” actions, and said he was “heartbroken by the damage” caused by the video, which was taken in 2016.

A tweet on the IHRB’s official account following the hearing read: “Having considered the evidence, the Referrals Committee found Mr James in breach of Rule 272(i) in that he acted in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horseracing.

“They imposed a 12-month suspension of his Qualified Riders licence and Handlers Permit with this last eight months of this suspended.”

James also informed the committee that he would not attend a race meeting or a point-to-point for the four-month period of his suspension.

Following Elliott’s referral hearing on Friday, he received a 12-month ban, with the last six months suspended.

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