An Irish amateur jockey has apologized after a video emerged of him horsing around on a dead horse, according to reports.
Rob James, who rode trainer Gordon Elliott’s Milan Native to victory at the Cheltenham Festival last year, is seen straddling the corpse in the clip from April 2016.
“I would just like to apologize for my actions which were wholly inappropriate and disrespectful to a lovely 5-year-old mare, who unfortunately suffered a sudden cardiac arrest while at exercise earlier that morning,” the apparently mortified equestrian told The Irish Feld.
“I sincerely apologize to the owners of the mare, the staff who cared for her, the horseracing industry and all followers of horse racing for my actions,” James continued.
“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,” the jockey concluded.
His apology follows one from Elliott, 43, who was seen in a photograph also sitting atop a dead horse this past weekend, the BBC reported.
The trainer was later temporarily banned by the British Horseracing Authority, pending the outcome of an investigation by the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board.
He said the image was captured “some time ago” and was a “moment of madness that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for,” according to the news outlet.
James, who rode at Punchestown on Monday, had been scheduled to ride Gentle Jolie at Gowran Park on Tuesday, but the horse was scratched from the contest after the disturbing video emerged, the Guardian reported.