Animal groups condemn 'utterly barbaric' whipping of horse during Blade Runner race
Animal welfare groups have condemned the utterly barbaric whipping of a horse, which competed in a race against Paralympic icon Oscar Pistorius.
The South African double amputee, who made history by competing in the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, beat an Arab horse in a race in Doha, Qatar on Wednesday, as part of a campaign highlighting contributions made by people with disabilities.
World Horse Welfare, a body which advises on rules for international equestrian competitions, branded the treatment of the horse, which started the race 15 meters behind Pistorius, as a disgrace.
"World Horse Welfare are appalled at the way the jockey used the whip which was not only completely unnecessary but utterly barbaric," CNN quoted the organization, as saying/
"Excessive whip use like this is a disgrace to racing as a sport. We applaud the achievements of Oscar Pistorius and his race could have been a great spectacle, but instead it was marred by the flagrant abuse of this horse," it added.
Prior to the race against Pistorius, World Horse Welfare had said it had no problem with the horse competing providing it was treated fairly.
"We commented on the race beforehand to say we didn't see any immediate welfare concerns providing the horse was treated well. Clearly it wasn't," said the body's deputy chief executive Tony Tyler.
In a statement to CNN, six-time Paralympic gold medalist Pistorius, who also reached the semifinals of the Olympic 400 meters competition, said he was unaware of any ill treatment to the horse.
The organizers of the race were not immediately available for comment.