Horse breeding promotional material ‘unprofessional’, says rape crisis group

Promotional material for horse breeding services which features a woman straddling a man has been criticised as “unprofessional” by the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI).

The double-sided glossy flyer features a suggestive photograph of a woman straddling a man, with the caption: ‘It’s in the genes. The Uncle, the Niece, the Cousin.’

The back of the glossy promotional flyer features pictures of three horses — Big Bad Bob, who commands a fee of €6,000 for stud services; Elusive Pimpernel, a mare who commands an upfront of €1,000, and Snow Fairy.

The caption on the other side refers to the relationship between the three horses.

In a letter sent to the Irish Examiner by a member of the public who wishes to remain anonymous, the writer said they took exception to the advertisement.

The letter, from “a concerned member of society”, argues that the advert, “given the recent sex abuse cases in the press and the horrific history of sex abuse in Ireland, appears to suggest that incest may be acceptable to some sectors of our society,” adding that “this, as far as I am concerned is untrue”.

On the back of the promotional material it states that anyone wishing to use the services of Big Bad Bob should contact the Irish National Stud in Co Kildare. Yesterday, the Irish National Stud said it would not be commenting on the issue.

But Cliona Saidlear, of the RCNI, said that even if the caption referred to the relationship between the horses, the juxtaposition of the words with the photograph of the couple was “unprofessional”.

“Even if that is the case, the RCNI would say it is unprofessional in this day and age to be using images like that and sexualising women in that way for an issue that is completely unrelated,” Ms Saidlear said.

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