Owner complains after photo-bombing horse wins Thomson Holidays prize for family

Image credit: Mercury Press

The owner of a horse that photo-bombed a selfie taken by a father and son has demanded a share of a £2,000 Thomson Holidays prize they won after entering the image into a competition.

David Bellis said his three-year-old son, Jacob, took the photo when walking near their home in Prestatyn, North Wales, and they entered the picture into Thomson’s Made Me Smile contest.

After scooping the holiday, the horse’s owner, Nicola Mitchell, contacted Thomson to complain, claiming Bellis should have asked for consent.

Bellis told the Guardian: “I don’t understand why Nicola is so annoyed. I was on a public path that everyone uses to go to the local school and everyone sees the horse there.”

He added: “At first they thought I was winning £2,000 cash and said 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.”

Mitchell, also from Prestatyn, bought the horse, Betty, for her daughter, Katelyne, three years ago. The family has taught Betty to stick out her tongue.

Mitchell 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.

“There should be some token gesture as it is our horse that has really won them the holiday,” she said.

Mitchell added: “I didn’t even know that this competition was on. If I had known about it we would have entered and could have won as Betty is always sticking out her tongue.”

A Thomson spokeswoman said: “Our Blue Monday competition was meant to make people smile on what’s been deemed the most depressing day of the year.

“We can confirm that despite questions over foal play, Mr Bellis and his family will still be receiving their holiday. And we’re sure they will hoof a good time.”

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