Showing producer Lynn Russell has lost her long-term sponsor Baileys Horse Feeds after posting a short video of a young cob wearing an elasticated training aid on her facebook page earlier this week.
The seven-second clip showed the young horse taking a few hesitant walk steps before standing still with an overbent head carriage.
The clip quickly prompted numerous negative comments raising concerns about Lynn’s training methods before she removed it from her facebook page.
Stills taken from the video clip continued to circulate on social media over the following days, with concerned individuals contacting both Lynn, who told H&H she had received death threats, and her sponsors.
Baileys issued the following statement on Friday, confirming they would no longer be supporting the producer and rider, with whom they have worked for some 40 years.
“Further to the release of a video on social media by Baileys-sponsored showing producer, Lynn Russell, we would like to assure our customers, and the wider horse world, that we in no way condone abusive training or handling of any horse or pony,” said the statement.
“Baileys Horse Feeds’ sponsorship of Lynn has been withdrawn, with immediate effect.”
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Lynn told H&H she was very upset by the way the short video clip had been misinterpreted, stating the young horse was not wearing tight side reins in the video as numerous social media commenters had claimed.
Lynn said: “I am distressed and disappointed by the misinterpretation of a seven-second video clip. The horse was equipped with an elastic bungee with considerable give, not side reins, and at no time has he – or any of the many other horses I have produced over 40 years – been subject to mistreatment.
“I am devastated by Baileys Horse Feeds’ statement. Despite vitriolic attacks on social media, I’ve been heartened by many personal messages of support from those in and outside the showing world who actually know me, know the way I work and appreciate that I care about my horses.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday