Dad may not get £2000 photo prize after not getting permission from horse

This dad won a £2000 holiday from Thompsons after submitting a photo of him and his son being photobombed by a horsey. Now the owner of the horse is trying to get half the prize from him, branding the dad "shameful and stupid" for not getting consent for the photograph.

David Bellis and his son Jacob took a photo of themselves walking together in Prestatyn, Wales, when a horse photobombed them. David then entered the photo into the "Made Me Smile" competition, winning themselves a £2,000 holiday.

When the horse owner found out her horse had earned the family a holiday, she took to Facebook to complain, before contacting Thompsons to demand a share of the prize, and the press because... apparently that's what you do when someone takes a photo of your horse without permission.



"What a twat" Photo: via Facebook / The Mercury.


Who really won the competition? The dad or the horse?

Nicola, the horse's owner, argues that Betty the horse, has been taught to stick out her tongue – and she could have won the competition with daughter Katelyne if she had been made aware of it. Since it was the horse that did the funny thing in the photograph, as the horse's owner she thinks she should get half the prize.

Nicola told the Mercury:

"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."

"I didn’t give him permission to use our horse in a competition. 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."

If she does get half the prize, it is unclear whether she will take the horse on holiday with her, or spend a portion of the winnings on hay.

Angry texts

Friends of Nicola contacted David several times on Nicola's behalf, complaining about the situation.


Thanking the horse

Images via the Mercury.


Demanding half the prize

When Nicola first heard of David's win, she demanded half the prize for the horse's part in the win. David told Mercury:

"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 think they are just jealous that I have won something nice – it just shows how bitter people can be."

"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."

Thompsons say they have not yet received a formal complaint, but will investigate it when they do.

The horse, who is unaware of the competition, has not yet made any comment.


Photo of horse performing his horse face (cash value - £2,000) with owner's daughter.


Could the horse have a claim for the holiday?

We know what you're thinking. What of the horse? Could he claim the holiday? Unfortunately, the answer is probably nay.

Earlier this year a judge ruled that a macaque monkey (pictured above) cannot own his own selfie. Though this was tested in America, it is unlikely that a judge would find in favour of the horse owning the copyright - especially since it was technically a photobomb and not a selfie, as the horse did not take the photo himself due to having hooves instead of hands.


Like this? Check out the law student who found no wafer in her Kit Kats and threatened legal action...

Comments