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Jockey Rob James banned for 4 months following dead horse video

Amateur jockey Rob James has been suspended for four months by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory B...
Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

22.33 10 Mar 2021


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Jockey Rob James banned for 4...

Jockey Rob James banned for 4 months following dead horse video

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

22.33 10 Mar 2021


Share this article


Amateur jockey Rob James has been suspended for four months by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB). 

A video from 2016, which surfaced online last week, depicted James pretending to ride a recently-deceased horse.

The video came to light days after a photograph of trainer Gordon Elliott taking a phone call while sitting on a dead horse caused widespread consternation.

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Elliott was subsequently banned by the IHRB for 12-months, with the second six months of that ban suspended.

James - a winner of the Kim Muir Chase aboard the Elliott-trained Milan Native twelve months ago - appeared before an IHRB referrals committee on Wednesday.

They found him in breach of Rule 272(i): acting in a manner which was prejudicial to the integrity, proper conduct and good reputation of horseracing.

James was handed a twelve-month ban from the sport, with the last eight months suspended.

He issued a public apology for the video last week, saying, "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 will not be allowed to attend any race meeting or point-to-point until July.

IHRB statement: 

The Referrals Committee, Ms. Justice Leonie Reynolds, Mr. Nick Wachman and Mr. Sean Barry convened at the Offices of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) on Wednesday 10' March 2021 to consider the referral of Mr. Robert James (Rider/Handler) following an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board investigation into a video circulating on social media which first came to the attention of the IHRB on Tuesday 2nd March 2021.

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 the last eight months of this suspended.

The Committee also notes that Mr. James has stated to the Committee that he will not attend a Race meeting or a Point to Point for the four month period of his suspension.

The detailed decision read out by Ms. Justice Leonie Reynolds will be published by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board on Thursday.

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