Remember the post I wrote about Michael Morrisey? He lost his temper in competition and hit his horse 13 times because of issues the horse had with a water jump.
An anonymous poster commented that CWD sponsors MM, and so I wrote to them asking if they would continue the sponsorship in light of what happened.
It's been several months, but I just received the following reply:
Even though our first reaction was the same as yours, we did discuss the
issue with Michael after the facts (which our CEO actually witnessed in
He is young and deeply regrets his behavior; which he also said in a public
apology in these terms: "I overreacted when the horse stopped and that is
unforgivable. Horse welfare has to take precedence over competitive
interests and I know that I was in breach of that basic principle."
He was suspended and fined by the sport's highest authorities; which seems
like an adequate sanction to us. We trust that his regrets are sincere and
we truly believe that he loves his sport and respects horses; that's why we
decided to give him a second chance.
Should there be another episode, we would of course reconsider our
endorsement as we've already done it in the past for other riders.
In light of these facts, you are free to give your business to us or to
another company of your choice.
I'm glad to know that CWD takes their sponsorship seriously and actively discusses situations such as this with the rider, takes the rider's response under consideration, and then makes a decision based on what they feel is fair.
In this day and age writing to sponsors takes only a few minutes and can make an impact. Money talks. Most of us spend a relatively huge amount of money every year on our horses and all the gear we tend to use as riders. When we threaten to take our dollars elsewhere, companies will listen. And riders will pay if they consistently get bad publicity for bad behavior.