Sportpferde Galleria Counters Patrik Kittel's Allegations in Triple Social Media Post

Sun, 10/29/2023 - 22:41
Patrik Kittel on Galleria’s Bohemian at the 2023 CDI Hagen in September :: Photo (c) Astrid Appels

The German company Sportpferde Galleria has issued three public statements on its social media channels in their attempt to counter the allegations  Patrik Kittel made on his Instagram account.

The future of Bohemian, Cathrine Dufour's former Olympic and European Championship ride and currently in the ownership of the German company Sportpferde Galleria, has become highly mediatized and had initiated a highly emotional SoMe response. the last few days the potential sale of this horse has been the topic of a inflamed social media debate, particularly between the owners and his rider.

Kittel Disapproves

When Galleria launched the plan to hold an auction to find a new owner/rider with Olympic ambitions, Kittel stated in a post on Instagram that, "I been really working to try to save him from this with sponsors or to find him a good home (..) they asked me if a wanted to do the auction but even the thought having lots of people riding Bo. How is super sensitiv made me feel sick." 

The Swede, who was given the ride on Bohemian by Sportpferde Galleria with the plan to boost the horse's scores back up and find a new owner for him, further responded in the comments section he found the plan "awful", but in the text section added, "I had the honour to ride bohemian only shortly but in this time you captured my heart and showed me in Herning what a champion you are when you trust someone. I pray you get a good home where you can feel safe and loved .. will give you a big apple before you go my friend."

Bohemian Picked Up

Kittel's first edited post when he heard
Bohemian would be auctioned
Galleria cancelled its idea of an auction the next day after major negative backlash was generated, allegedly, through Kittel's post.

The company made a statement that it would sell its horses via a private sale, but also publicly disclosed the official asking price  to avoid a fake sales price spread around the world, inflated by massive commission fees asked by trainers and/or horse dealers.

Furthermore Bohemian was picked up from Kittel's yard today by Galleria and brought home to their own yard in Mönchengladbach (GER) where their home rider Maté Garai will continue to care and ride the horse until he is sold. 

Kittel responded by posting on Instagram that "today Bo left my stable.I tried to make an agreement but the owner was not interested. (...) I also truly want to thank everyone that supported me and Bo when it came to selling him on an Auktion. You all stopped that and for this I am forever great-full."

Official Statement

Galleria countered Kittel's reaction in a three-message post on Instagram. 


"For those you who are not aware of Sportpferde Galleria, animal welfare is our top priority. As living proof, Bukowski, our 2016 Olympic horse is 24 years old and enjoying a peaceful retirement with us. However, as a profit oriented business like most other companies in the sector, sometimes it’s inevitable to sell some horses. It does not matter how wealthy we are, we still must sell some of our horses like any other stable. Unfortunately, some older horses must be sold quickly before they lose value."

Sportpferde Galleria responds
"We are very sure that Mr.Kittel would never give his expensive sales horses away to a rider and commit on waiting ‘forever’ until the horse is sold, without having the right to bring the horse back. This is what Mr. Kittel demanded from us. Basically he wanted us to give him Bohemian for free and in case the horse were to die or become lame Mr. Kittel would not be accountable."

""Who in their right mind would agree to these terms. And now he is blaming our company as wrongfully taking Bohemian from him. We strongly condemn Mr. Kittel words of untruthfulness."

"Rather than giving Bohemian to Mr. Kittel, we should rather support a young upcoming rider, who needs a sponsor, as we are with our rider Mate Garai who did his first Europeans on our very own Galleria’s Vincent Maranello."

"Hence, we think it is not only unfair but completely selfish and arrogant of Mr.Kittel’s accusations that we wrongfully took away Bohemian from him.
In fact, Mr.Kittel never even made an offer to purchase Bohemian as he falsely claims on his instagram post on 27th of October. We are very sure if he was so in love with Bohemian, as he mentioned on his instagram, Mr.Kittel could afford Bohemian or even ask us for a discount. Mr. Kittel, however, never did so."

"At SPG, all our horses go out on grass or sand paddocks or on the aquatreadmill; they are walked several times a day and are treated respectfully. Maybe not as lavish as Mr.Kittel’s stable, but we are confident our horses are happy with us. Anyone is welcomed to visit our stable to watch our horses and see for yourself."


"Secondly, we believe people were upset that we were trying to auction such a top horse. Our question is are auctions bad for the horse? Yes, if numerous random riders come and try such a sensitive horse, of course, it’s bad for the horse. But we have seen from experience that in big sales stable, numerous people come on a daily basis to test ride horses. In fact, some of their horses are ridden several hours a day when different clients come on one day. And if they are not sold, these horses must continue this life for months or even years. Sounds more like animal abuse to us."

Part 2
"Yes. It is inevitable that different riders will test the horse. We, however, believe it is far less stressful for Bohemian to have a scheduled test riding organized with only preselected riders on a controlled time frame compared to the life he would have had at Mr. Kittel’s stable with random clients possibly riding him several times a day."

"Now it comes to the question: it is better to sell through an auction or by private dealing?"

"From the buyer’s perspective, we think it is better to buy from an auction because there are no dealers and trainers who try to take ridiculous amounts of money in the middle. This often dishonest commission (that Mr. Kittel is sad to lose) is a reason why many dressage riders and owners are often sick and tired of our sport. At least through an auction format, these dirty commissions would not exist. And if the next owner of Bohemian would buy him at a more honest price, perhaps the money they saved could be used for the welfare of the horse."


Part 3
"In conclusion, it is sad that we are trying to sell Bohemian. But unfortunately, it is business and we cannot keep all our horses.

Bo is now home with us in Mönchengladbach where he will be loved, cared for, and pampered until we have found a new forever home for this Paris Olympic hopeful. We would be very thankful if the dressage community can look at the current situation more objectively.

Signed: Woonghi Rafael Kim (Managing director at Sportpferde Galleria)"

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