Video Showing Jockey Jumping on Dead Horse Sparks Outrage

A video of an amateur jockey named Rob James hopping on a dead horse has sparked outrage online.

The video circulating on social media shows James and a few others in a field with a dead horse just lying there. As the group laughs, James leaps on the horse's back, posing as if he's about to ride it.

WARNING: The following video may be disturbing to some viewers.

The Gordon Elliott images going around social media aren’t the only horrific/disturbing ones to come to light from behind the scenes of racing, here we see Jockey Rob James jumping on a dead horse while laughing with friends

Yet they continue to tell us they love their horses

— Devon Against Horse Racing (@DAHorseRacing) March 2, 2021

According to The Irish Field, the video was taken in April 2016 and has only resurfaced recently. In a statement to the racing and equestrian publication, James expressed remorse for his actions.

"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," he said.

He continued, saying he was embarrassed by his actions."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," he said. "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."

The disturbing clip of the jockey sparked backlash on social media, especially coming on the heels of trainer Gordon Elliott, whose trained horses that James has ridden, having a similar photo surface, according to The Guardian. Many people called for the racing community to bring both James and Elliot to justice and hold them accountable. One person criticized James' apology and called for him and Elliot to be banned from racing for life.

Seriously what is wrong with these people. The sport I love being dragged through the mire. Rob James and Gordon Elliott are a total disgusting disgrace.

— Andy Payne Orwell's Animal Farm BUY ON STEAM NOW! (@PercyBlakeney63) March 2, 2021

Another blow to racing’s image as jockey Rob James confirms video of him mounting a dead horse is real and apologises. @ihrb_ie is investigating this 2016 incident as well as Gordon Elliott photo from 2019

— Stephen Murphy (@SMurphyTV) March 2, 2021

Now I’m sure he’ll also tell us he adores horses. Makes me want to vomit 😡 New video allegedly ‘shows jockey Rob James jumping on top of a dead horse'

— Pip Tomson (@PipTomson) March 2, 2021

The photographs of Irish racing trainer Gordon Elliot & amateur jockey Rob James will appall, shock & bewilder the hundreds of 000’s of people in horseracing united by a shared love of horses & horse welfare.

Racing needs to come down on these two. HARD.

— George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) March 2, 2021

too little, too late. 'Heartbroken' that you were found out, more like. The 'damage' is done. Go down to the job centre Rob James - join the queue with Gordon Elliott. You both should be banned for life - not just from racing but from coming anywhere near any animal.

— Freya North (@freya_north) March 2, 2021

Ed Chamberlin, a presenter for ITV Racing, didn't mention the incidents specifically but noted that it's been a "dark few days" for horse racing and said that he felt sorry for people who "have total commitment and devotion to their horses."

It’s been a dark few days for the sport. It’s makes me feel desperately sad for the many thousands who have total commitment & devotion to their horses. The light: #fortheloveofhorses & #RacehorseWelfare which we’ll continue to showcase on @itvracing

— Ed Chamberlin (@chamberlinsport) March 2, 2021

The Irish Horse Regulatory Board appeared to reference the clip in a tweet from Tuesday morning and said that it was under investigation. It also tweeted that the Regulatory Board is scheduled to meet on Friday to discuss an investigation into Elliot.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board are aware of further social media content circulating and the matter is under investigation.

— IHRB (@ihrb_ie) March 2, 2021

The Referrals Committee of the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board is scheduled to convene on Friday 5th March to hear evidence and consider an investigation relating to Mr. Gordon Elliott (Trainer).

— IHRB (@ihrb_ie) March 2, 2021

According to the Racing Post, Elliot had been banned by the British Horseracing Authority. Elliot told the Post that he regretted his actions. "It is indefensible. Whether alive or dead, the horse was entitled to dignity. A moment of madness that I am going to have to spend the rest of my life paying for and that my staff are suffering form," he said.

Newsweek reached out to the IHRB for comment.

Horse Racing
General view of horses kicking up sand in Race 7, the IPrint Carlyon Stakes during Melbourne racing at Moonee Valley racecourse on August 22, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. The Irish Horse Regulatory Board appeared to reference the clip of Rob James in a tweet from Tuesday morning and said that it was under investigation. Vince Caligiuri/Getty