FEI Provisionally Suspends Cesar Parra (USA) for Alleged Animal Abuse

Fri, 02/02/2024 - 20:03

The FEI has announced that Olympian Cesar Parra (USA) has been provisionally suspended. 

The decision followed after a video surfaced on Instagram on 1 February 2024 showing the Grand Prix rider and trainer repeatedly whipping two horses.

In the morning of 2 February more photos and videos of alleged abuse and animal cruelty - depicting acts of whipping, training with pulley systems, horse heads tied up, whip welt, scars, and blood marks, were circulating on the internet.

The FEI  issued the following statement:

The FEI confirms that Dressage Athlete Cesar Parra (USA) (FEI ID 10000031) has been immediately provisionally suspended while the FEI investigates the disturbing and abhorrent images and videos in relation to his training techniques that have recently emerged.

Equestrian sport is built on a foundation of respect for our equine partners, with a duty of care to ensure their mental and physical wellbeing comes first, ahead of all competition and/or training ambitions.

Through the FEI’s Rules and Regulations, the welfare of the horse, and any action or omission which causes or is likely to cause pain or unnecessary discomfort to a horse constitutes a violation of our rules and will be sanctioned. The FEI remains resolute in its commitment to upholding the highest standards of equine welfare and sanctioning behaviour which deviates from these principles, and will be actively investigating this case as a matter of urgency.

As this is an open investigation, no further comment will be provided in relation to the alleged offences while the investigation is ongoing. The FEI is also collaborating and liaising with the US Equestrian and the FEI’s provisional suspension and any subsequent sanctions will be recognised at the national level.

The FEI is committed to ensuring that horses involved in sport experience positive welfare throughout their lives, and that the FEI’s regulations, policies and practices, as well as the wider community’s actions reflect these principles, and we will continue to address actions and behaviours that are in contradiction with our values.