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  1. #1
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    Default Austrian Abuse Case

    http://www.eurodressage.com/equestri...on-nine-months

    I simply don't understand how this could result in anything other than a lifetime ban... when trace amounts of undeclared regulated substances can put riders at risk of a year's competition ban, why do electric prods result in only 9 months' suspension?

    I know it is a different level of governance etc, but if the dressage community has any hope of countering the mistaken beliefs that big movement must stem from abusive training, then really, more action needs to be taken here. JMO of course, and perhaps there's more to the story than I've read.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


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  2. #2
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    I am in no way, shape or form condoning,promoting or in other ways supporting the rider if the accusations are true....

    But I'm always leery of accusations in which there are no witnesses or really any real proof, especially in today's world of camera phones.

    "May stated in addition that "the court considers it proven'"

    As for the second charge:
    "The pair was cleared of the charges that they injured their horses with screws, nails, stones and other unwanted artefacts. Evidence lacked on this matter."

    No evidence but a he said-she said youtube battle. I'd be willing to bet that there was some ulterior motive here...



  3. #3
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    amm2cd-The article states that an electric shock device was found in the tack room, and there was no explanation offered for its presence. That would be enough to convict anyone beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  4. #4
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    Lack of evidence does not mean innocent. There just wasn't the evidence needed to support charges. Finding the electric device does lend more credence to the other accusations.
    "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp


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  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    amm2cd-The article states that an electric shock device was found in the tack room, and there was no explanation offered for its presence. That would be enough to convict anyone beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
    Without evidence of use, the presence of the prod is highly circumstantial and I highly doubt a guarantee of overcoming the reasonable doubt standard.

    But IANAL......


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  6. #6
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    This decision was made by the District Court of Innsbruck (ref. St George). Would the FEI have the authority to sanction her ? If they do, I guess they can have a go too ? Maybe their punishment would be more in line with those handed out for doping infractions. One imagines that they would have the power to censure a rider convicted of horse abuse.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._



  7. #7
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    Default

    Sounds like dressage is the new big lick.
    "All top hat and no canter". *Graureiter*


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gestalt View Post
    Sounds like dressage is the new big lick.
    Wow. That is so horrible. Not that you said it, but that it rings true.
    I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


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  9. #9
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    Default

    Sounds like dressage is the new big lick.

    I don't see how this says anything about the sport generally.

    Sadly,there have been bad apples in every sport and in all walks of life throughout history.

    If you think there were never any horse abusers in the good old days, you'd be wrong.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot View Post
    I don't see how this says anything about the sport generally.
    Really? When most of the posts on the thread so far have been DEFENDING her? I think that tells you a lot right there. If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.

    She should have been set down FOREVER.
    "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


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  11. #11
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    Thumbs down

    Really? When most of the posts on the thread so far have been DEFENDING her?

    HUH? No.

    Some were discussing the evidence because the article is vague on that. I'm assuming they had more direct evidence than finding a stun gun in the tack room and an anonymous report.

    I am sure you won't find any legitimate trainers who think the use of a stun gun has any place in dressage training.

    It is just wrong to suggest this is a trend in dressage.
    Last edited by Crockpot; Feb. 14, 2013 at 07:08 AM. Reason: clarification



  12. #12
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    My point was that this is an extreme exception to the rule, and that is precisely why it must be treated as such with regard to potential sanctions. I cannot comment on the validity of the ruling or the weightiness of the evidence, but if this individual is indeed guilty as described then she must be punished in a way that publicly emphasises the unacceptability of such actions.

    Like it or not, dressage is under more scrutiny than ever before (cf. IDTC comments that warm-ups might need to be closed to the public due to circulated rollkur snapshots etc). When so many outsiders view the sport with skepticism, clear-cut cases of abuse would seem to provide a real opportunity to prove our commitment to horse welfare.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballero View Post
    Without evidence of use, the presence of the prod is highly circumstantial and I highly doubt a guarantee of overcoming the reasonable doubt standard.

    But IANAL......

    Actually, circumstantial evidence can be the most reliable evidence. Fingerprints and DNA, and other forensic evidence, are circumstantial evidence.

    Wikipedia has a good basic explanation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumstantial_evidence

    There is never a guarantee of overcoming a reasonable doubt standard. But physical evidence ("a smoking gun") can be fairly conclusive absent any reasonable explanation.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller



  14. #14
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    Actually, circumstantial evidence can be the most reliable evidence. Fingerprints and DNA, and other forensic evidence, are circumstantial evidence.

    Wikipedia has a good basic explanation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumstantial_evidence
    Eclectic Horseman. It's obvious you have no knowledge of the law despite your legal advice here based on wikipedia.

    You are wrong in your earlier post about circumstantial evidence.


    The article states that an electric shock device was found in the tack room, and there was no explanation offered for its presence. That would be enough to convict anyone beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
    Let's say a stun gun was found in your barn's tack room. This ALONE won't be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that YOU abused your horse with a stun gun.

    Again, I assume there was more evidence than this in this case. I assume that the grooms who posted the anonymous youtube video came forth in the hearing and gave direct evidence which would be better than circumstantial evidence taken alone.
    Last edited by Crockpot; Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM. Reason: added quote



  15. #15
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    I completely don't understand what putting screws and nails in the withers is supposed to accomplish?

    Is that somehow a training shortcut toward some end or just for giggles?



  16. #16
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    one more point:

    It's the governing body of the sport who sat her down.

    all the evidence talk is more important for the courts that dish out jail time.

    I am guessing that the evidence was pertinent enough for the comity to find her damaging the reputation of the sport.

    I have been in many barns in my life, the only time any electric device was in the vicinity of a horse barn was when the farm also had other lifestock. One had pigs, the other bulls....in a horse only facility a cattle prod would give me cause for pause.

    it had been rumored 20, 25 years ago that on of the leading dressage riders used electric spurs on the horses in training...to but a little extra umpf in the step I suppose....
    Hard to tell where those rumors start, or why...but said rider was never put in front of a commission to justify the tools...

    and I am also a bit mystified as to what could be gained by putting sharp objects under the saddle...under the noseband, I can see...saddle?
    Quote Originally Posted by Mozart View Post
    Personally, I think the moderate use of shock collars in training humans should be allowed.



  17. #17
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    It's the governing body of the sport who sat her down.

    all the evidence talk is more important for the courts that dish out jail time
    Yes it's a lower standard of proof than in a criminal case .

    I was responding to a post which wrongly claimed that the existance of stun gun in the tack room alone would suffice as evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone at the barn. You would need more evidence than that to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt agst any individual .



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by caballero View Post
    Without evidence of use, the presence of the prod is highly circumstantial and I highly doubt a guarantee of overcoming the reasonable doubt standard.

    But IANAL......
    She was fined and suspended by a state equestrian association. Perhaps incorrect to compare Austrian law to the North American common law but were that happening in a common law country they would apply a a civil law standard of "balance of probabilities" vs the criminal standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt". Hence, while circumstantial, the presence of an electric prod in the absence of a reasonable explanation for its presence would be enough, imo, for a finding on the civil standard.

    This is assuming, of course, that Austrian civil law has a standard similar to that of the North American (and British) common law. The wording might be somewhat different but I would be surprised if the standard of proof was substantially different.

    As for the abrasive things used on the wither...yeah, cannot figure what was hoped to be achieved by that other than just plain old cruelty....
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  19. #19
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    Hence, while circumstantial, the presence of an electric prod in the absence of a reasonable explanation for its presence would be enough, imo, for a finding on the civil standard.
    I would agree that balance of probabilities is the more likely standard but didn't go there because unfamiliar with that jurisdiction.

    Even so I think you would still have a problem nailing the culprit unless there is only one person at the barn which is why, again, I assume they must have had more evidence than just that.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crockpot View Post
    Eclectic Horseman. It's obvious you have no knowledge of the law despite your legal advice here based on wikipedia.
    I have been a practising attorney for about 35 years.

    And obviously there has to be corroberating evidence. I think that wikipedia does a very good job of explaining to laymen why circumstantial evidence, although often maligned, is as good or better evidence than eye witness testimony.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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