TIFA 2021 Editorial / Political

Anti-Lockdown Protester Fends Off A Police Horse

  • Prize
    Silver in Editorial/Political
  • Photographer
    Steven Saphore
  • Agency / Studio
    Agence France-presse
  • Technical Info
    Nikon Z6 Ii & Af-s Nikkor 16-35mm F/4g Ed Vr
  • Photo Date
    24th July, 2021

During a controversial anti-lockdown protest in Sydney where unmasked protesters gathered to oppose NSW’s coronavirus health orders, I photographed protester Kristian Pulkownik, 33, allegedly striking mounted police horse, Tobruk, in the head. The interaction caused mass outrage and concern for the animal’s welfare as the image circulated widely online, with one article calling it “the photo that shocked the nation.” The image spurred debate about media manipulation and animal cruelty: Did Pulkownik actually punch the horse? Should police use horses?