Irish horse trainer clashes with Ricky Gervais over 'offensive' Grand National tweet

Irish horse trainer clashes with Ricky Gervais over 'offensive' Grand National tweet

AN IRISH horse trainer has clashed with Ricky Gervais over comments made by comedian on Twitter in the wake of this year’s Grand National.

A keen animal lover, Gervais tweeted a picture of a horse with a tear in its eye alongside the caption: “Why Would You Gamble with a horse’s life for fun? #youbettheydie”.

The comments did not go unnoticed by top Irish horse trainer Ger Lyons, who branded Gervais’ comments as “very ill-informed and offensive”.

Lyons also extended an invitation for the comedian to visit his Glenburne Stables in Dunsany.

“Ricky, I probably love animals more than humans and I invite you to visit my yard and see how these glorious animals are treated,” he wrote in reply.

“You’re probably too busy but your tweet is very ill-informed and offensive.”

The Co. Kildare native has been training horses for more than 20 years and was left incensed by Gervais’ comments on social media.

“I felt I had to stand up and be counted,” he told the Press Association.

“I follow Ricky Gervais because he loves and respects animals so much like I do but when you have 13.2m followers like he does, you have to be responsible with what you tweet."

“Every year after the Grand National you see tweets similar to this and it gets tedious to be honest."

“I have 100 horses and the horse racing industry, in general, is bound by stringent regulations which change constantly. That’s on top of our natural love for horses anyway.”

The British Horseracing Authority and Aintree are reviewing the deaths of three horses at this year's Grand National.

Up For Review suffered a fatal injury in the National after being brought down at the first fence.

Forest Des Aigles and Crucial Role died on the previous day of the Aintree meeting.