The German Oldenburg breeding society (GOV) and Hanoverian Breeding Society have issued a joint statement on the involvement of two Germans in the Cesar Parra abuse case.
Earlier in the week the ZfDp breed society and Westfalian breed society excluded the two German individuals from their association. Hanover and Oldenburg take the following position
Joint Statement Vechta/Verden
Since last weekend, various video sequences from a training stable in the USA have reached many people inside and outside the horse scene, in which animal welfare-relevant content and despicable training methods can be seen. One of these videos shows the participation of the German trainer Stefan Sandbrink. The Hanoverian Association and the Oldenburg Horse Breeding Association clearly distance themselves from the content, do not accept training methods of this kind and clearly stand behind German riding theory, the ethical principles for dealing with horses as well as their own and general compliance guidelines.
For these reasons, the Oldenburg Horse Breeding Association and the Hanover Association have jointly initiated internal proceedings due to behavior that violates animal welfare. On the evening of February 7th, 2024, members of the board and management of both horse breeding associations attended a personal appointment with Dr. Kerstin Klieber and Stefan Sandbrink met because both are associated with the video content in digital media, among other things. You were asked to present the entire situation, as no explanations existed so far. Regardless of the principles, values and principles formulated above as well as the ongoing criticism of the contents of the video excerpt, a change in knowledge has emerged on several points. The basis for this is the oral statement. In the opinion of the two horse breeding associations, these must be taken into account and incorporated into the decision-making process, including in a legal sense. Stefan Sandbrink and Dr. Kerstin Klieber was asked to comment on the matter in writing to the two associations up to and including February 14, 2024. Based on this, after a thorough examination, the two horse breeding associations will then announce their own assessment and decision-making regarding a possible sanction a few days apart.
Both horse breeding associations are aware that a quick reaction is required. This has been repeated repeatedly in personal conversations, letters and the digital media. However, giving those accused of a matter the opportunity to be heard first and only then taking action is part of the legal understanding of the participating association representatives. Even if breaches of duty in accordance with the statutes can then also be punished by exclusions and further sanctions in accordance with the statutes. On this basis, both boards of directors will come to a joint decision on possible sanctions, including possible exclusion proceedings.
In view of the above video incident, from the perspective of both horse breeding associations, the horse scene must conclude that behavior relevant to animal welfare has not been sufficiently suppressed and outlawed. The current statements from many passionate people around horses, in their vehemence, urgency and breadth, give the mandate to take a much stronger stand against such practices than before. In the last few months in particular, the acceptance of the horse industry in society has once again suffered significantly. The Hanoverian Association and the Oldenburg Horse Breeding Association accept this mandate, both in their direct sphere of influence at their own events and in the broader scope.
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