‘Shameful and stupid’
David Bellis won a £2,000 holiday thanks to this photograph – but the horse’s owner isn’t happy
David Bellis of Prestatyn, North Wales, took a photo of himself and his three-year-old son Jacob – along with a photobombing horse – while walking long a public path near their home last month.
He later submitted it to a ‘selfie competition’ being run by Thomson Holidays, and won a £2,000 holiday.
However, he’s now been told that the horse’s owner, Nicola Mitchell, is contacting Thomson Holidays to complain that she hadn’t granted permission for her animal to be photographed.
He’s also received messages from Mitchell’s friends describing his actions as ‘shameful & stupid’ and demanding he hand over a share of the winnings.
Mr Bellis said: “Jacob is really upset and has been crying and asking me if we are not going to be allowed to go on the holiday anymore.
“I don’t understand why Nicola is so annoyed about it. I was on a public path that everyone uses to go to the local school and everyone sees the horse there.
“I just think it’s sad that rather than being happy for me that I won a holiday someone’s automatic thought it that they have been cheated out of something.”
Ms Mitchell told reporters she bought the horse, named Betty, for her daughter Katelyne three years ago. She said: “I was really annoyed to hear he had won a £2,000 holiday and had used a picture of our horse without our permission. He should have asked for our consent.”
“It’s not like it’s just £100. £2,000 is a lot of money and would go quite a long way for a family.”
Mr Bellis said: “At first they thought I was winning £2,000 cash and were saying I should give them half, but it’s a holiday so they are not getting a penny. I’m not giving them the holiday either.
“They would have to come on the holiday with me – and that isn’t happening unless we’re both in a saddle together on the horse.”
However, Ms Mitchell is adamant that her permission should have been sought: “I will be phoning Thomson Holidays to tell them what has gone on but I don’t know what they will do. But I will tell them I’m not happy.”
“There should be some token of gesture as it is our horse that has really won them the holiday. I didn’t even know that this competition was on. If I had known about it we would have entered it ourselves and could have won as Betty is always sticking out her tongue.”
A spokesman for Thomson Holidays said: “Our Blue Monday competition was meant to make people smile on what’s been deemed the most depressing day of the year and we’re sorry to hear if it’s caused any upset with the horse’s reported owners.
“We are yet to receive a formal complaint, but we’ll be sure to look in to it as and when we do.”
Courtesy of The Telegraph by Adam Boult