Rio Barrett sent a message to jean frederic dufour that said:
I write as a professional horsewoman with 40 years experience 20 of which have been dedicated to the welfare of the horse and its recognition as a sentient being. The recent incident involving Oliver Townend whipping his exhausted horse to finish a cross country round at Rolex sponsored Badminton Horse Trials is shocking enough, but that the rules concerning such abuse are not enforced with stringent penalties is a disgrace.
All relevant authorities, organisers and sponsors need to be far more proactive in defending the rights of the horses who make such sport possible, but who do not have a voice. It is pure greed that motivates such abuse of horses and if severe punishment is what it takes to stop it happening then so be it. This is the 21st Century, horses are recognised by law as sentient which can be defined as "Sentient animals are beings that have a physical and psychological sensibility, which allows them - in the same way as humans - to experience pain and pleasure. "
Rolex needs to make a very public stand on this to send the message that such cruelty will not be tolerated in sport.
Yours sincerely, Rio Barrett