JOCKEY Rob James has apologised for his "stupidity" in mounting a dead racehorse after it had died during an exercise gallop in 2016.
A short video of the incident surfaced on social media on Tuesday morning. It follows the emergence last weekend of a photograph of trainer Gordon Elliott astride a fallen racehorse, which has generated widespread anger.
James, a leading amateur rider who rode a winner at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, told The Irish Field: “I have become aware of a video circulating of me on social media. 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.”