The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board, responsible for issuing licences to trainers based in Ireland, is conducting its own investigation, but the BHA had said it was also “considering its own regulatory options” and has now acted, barring Elliott from saddling runners at meetings under its jurisdiction until the Irish investigation is concluded.
The statement said: “The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will not allow the Irish trainer Gordon Elliott to race horses in Britain whilst the Irish authorities investigate an image that appeared on social media over the weekend.
“The BHA, which regulates racing in Britain, will use powers under its own rules to refuse to allow horses trained by Mr Elliott to race in Britain pending consideration of the outcome of the Irish investigation.
“The action taken by the BHA recognises that Mr Elliott is licensed in Ireland, whose regulatory body, the IHRB, is carrying out its own investigation.
“However, Mr Elliott has entered horses to race in Britain, from which point the British Rules of Racing apply to him.
“The decision to refuse to allow horses trained by Mr Elliott to run in Britain is therefore an interim decision which the BHA regards as proportionate in these circumstances.”
Elliott is due to have a number of high-profile runners at the Cheltenham Festival, which begins in just over two weeks time, including unbeaten novice chaser Envoi Allen, Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr and dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll.
The BHA have confirmed that owners will be allowed to transfer their horses to other trainers in order for them to compete in Britain.
Leading owner Gigginstown House Stud, who have Tiger Roll and numerous other high-profile horses with Elliott, have already said that they will continue to support the trainer. However, Chevely Park Stud, whose squad includes Envoi Allen, said they would not be making any decision until the investigation had run its course.