Horse Owner Complains Man Took Prize-Winning Equine Selfie Without 'Consent'

This whole issue is a little filly.

The owner of a photogenic horse in Wales is claiming she deserves some recognition from a man who won a contest after taking a selfie with the animal.

We wish we were half as photogenic as Betty.
We wish we were half as photogenic as Betty.

David Bellis and his son, Jacob, were awarded first prize in U.K.-based travel company Thomson Holidays’ “Made Me Smile” selfie competition for a photo taken with a mare named Betty near their home in north Wales, according to The Guardian. The prize was a vacation worth £2,000 (about $2,884).

But when Betty’s owner, Nicola Mitchell, learned that Bellis won, she complained that the man should have asked for her permission for the snapshot.

“I was really annoyed to hear he had won a £2,000 holiday and had used a picture of our horse without our permission,” she told The Guardian. “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.”

Plus, she said, if she had known about the competition, she could have taken her own photo of Betty and won.

Bellis told the Telegraph that Mitchell’s friends have been contacting him, calling his actions “shameful and stupid.”

But he said since the prize was a vacation — not cash — there’s not much he can do to share the prize unless Mitchell wants to go on vacation with him and his son.

Intellectual property lawyer Wayne Beynon told The Guardian that Mitchell doesn’t really have any legal claim over the photo, since Bellis took it on a public path.

Thomson Holidays confirmed on Facebook Tuesday that the father and son would be receiving the prize as planned.

At least the owner isn't trying to prove that Betty herself owns the photo. Just ask wildlife photographer David Slater, who has been battling PETA over the rights to a selfie taken by a monkey for months.

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