The video, which was widely circulated on social media on Monday, shows people laughing and joking when an individual poses on the back of the stricken horse. The group appears to be standing on the gallops, where racehorses train.
“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,” he said, stating the video was taken nearly five years ago.
“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 British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has since temporarily banned Elliot whilst the Irish authorities conduct an investigation.
The image shows Elliott astride the horse, which is lying on its side. He is making a peace sign with one hand and holding his phone to his face with the other, and a caption across the photo reads: “New work rider this morning.”
Elliott apologized for the image and said he had received a phone call as he was standing over the horse, waiting to help with the removal of the body.
‘Endemic in racing’
“The treatment of horses in the racing industry requires a root and branch review by an independent body that should be given statutory powers to force welfare changes on the racing industry as a whole,” Animal Aid’s Horse Racing Consultant Dene Stansall told CNN Sport.
“Welfare issues are endemic in racing. In the short term, lifetime bans should be given to professionals found to be seen abusing racehorses, whether dead or alive.”
The BHA told CNN Sport it was aware of the latest footage on social media and previously said it had been “appalled” by the images of Elliot.
“People who work in our industry believe their values — of caring for and respecting our horses — have been deeply undermined by this behaviour. On their behalf, and on behalf of all horse-lovers, we say unequivocally that British horseracing finds this totally unacceptable.