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Horse Training Team Fired After Abusive Video Surfaces

A team of horse trainers working under the auspices of an upcoming television series directed by famed Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur have all been fired, RÚV reports, after a video showing one of the trainers beating one of the horses spread widely on social media.

Training shut down immediately

The Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST) were tipped off about animal abuse where the horses were being trained and immediately put a stop to all horse training being conducted there, in South Iceland. Guðni Halldórsson, director of the Icelandic Equestrian Associations, was also informed of the horses’ treatment and reported it immediately, while also contacting Baltasar Kormákur, as he is part of the television series team that the horses are being trained for.

New trainers to be hired within Iceland

“We decided to immediately fire, not just the rider [who was abusing the horse] but the entire team, seven people,” Baltasar told reporters. “These are people who received really good recommendations, having worked on a lot of productions, such as Gladiator and Game of Thrones.”

He added that this team had been informed ahead of time that they had to train these horses in accordance with Icelandic animal welfare laws. “Not that we expected anything else, but we nonetheless made this clear to them. This [treatment] is obviously not at all within those guidelines, but far outside of them.”

Baltasar said that a veterinarian has examined the horses and found no physical injuries, fortunately, and expects that they will resume training using Icelandic trainers soon.

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