Is the sport of kings heading for a fall?

Disturbing photos of top trainer Gordon Elliott posing on a dead horse have shone an unsympathetic spotlight on a sport that has a number of skeletons in its closet

Gordon Elliott at the Cheltenham Racing Festival in England last year: the horse trainer’s reputation has taken a battering Picture: Getty

Gordon Elliott didn’t have a runner in the 4.35 at Fairyhouse last Saturday, but the moments after the unremarkable race will forever define his career.

The champion trainer answered his phone just after it ended and was told there was an image being shared on social media that showed him sitting astride the body of a horse, with his mobile to his ear and his other hand posing with a peace sign.

Elliott’s initial reaction ...