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The Dark Side of Performance Breeding (horse neglect - Danish owned Stud)

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  • The Dark Side of Performance Breeding (horse neglect - Danish owned Stud)

    Horse neglect in Poland

    As reported by Epona.tv, allegedly a Danish owned stud (Viegård Stutteri) owned by horse breeder/dealer John Byrialsen has a breeding farm in Poland with 300+ horses and many suffering from neglect, malnutrition and injuries.

    SEE VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dHUWqlpG6E

    Article links:



    EDITED: According to Karen Lipp's facebook page, Mr. Byrialsen is NOT a co-owner of Calecto . . In fact, Tina has been to court to try to remove his name from Calecto's passport. And she is horrified at the video and understandably so.

    What an awful man!

    Direct quote from article:

    "Mr. Byrialsen is no nobody. He co-owns Olympic rider Tina Konyot's Calecto V and has produced many other international horses. He has coached the Chinese dressage team to ground breaking results, and at least before the financial crisis, his sport horse auctions turned impressive profits with frenzied buyers telephoning in from all over the globe to get their hands on one of his prospects. Mr. Byrialsen has been deservedly admired as a businessman for taking horse breeding to the next level of efficiency and profitability. He has done it all by playing the numbers and behaving in accordance with the basic principles of industrial production. "

    Here is a link to his personal website: http://www.johnbyrialsen.com

    Here is a link to his stud in Denmark:
    Last edited by kdavies; Aug. 12, 2013, 03:33 PM.

  • #2
    Omg! That was sickening to watch. Those poor babies! Gah, people sometimes!


    • #3
      Wow. Just... oh my god, how awful.

      My question is: Does Tina K know that her co-owner is involved in this??


      • Original Poster

        I can't imagine that she knows . . . this all came to light in the last few days. Maybe someone can let her know?

        Although, in reading the articles, I guess there was some issue/concern of neglect in 2011 and the Polish animal control gave him a warning.


        • #5
          I thought that first horse that was lying down in the barn was dead until I heard it nicker. Omg. It just broke my heart to see those youngsters so extremely neglected and starved!


          • #6
            This video defines the word “horrific.” I could not watch it to the end. It is my worst nightmare for any horse.

            My hope is that before people breed they watch this video and take a good look at the end result when things turn south. Horses are an expensive luxury. When things get tough financially, they are the first to suffer, and they suffer in silence. Even with the best intentions, and a butt load of resources, horses end up neglected and abused. Please, don’t bring another horse into the world unless you truly have the resources (money, property, knowledge, etc.) to care for it well, for life.
            Logres Farm on Facebook


            • #7
              When I heard that young horse whimper I was physically ill. How can anyone allow horses to die these horrible slow deaths? AND anyone who has horses that they don't see all the time should DEMAND photos and videos on a regular basis. we live in the age of technology - there is no excuse for any owner not to know this is happening. Trust NO ONE.
              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


              • #8
                So the owner is Dutch and the farm is in Poland. Is there any hint that this was not really his doing- but was a crime of a third party- a person paid to manage the Polish farm (who instead took the money and snorted it etc) ?


                • #9
                  Horrific is right. This video is heart-wrenching and infuriating. It is unbelievable that anyone would allow things to get that bad.

                  Plainandtall has a point. I wonder if the Dutch breeder was aware of the conditions, if farm is located in a different country? It would be interesting to know the last time he was there. The neglect has obviously been going on for a very long time. So sad.
                  Mary/New Horizons Haflinger Sport Horses
                  Standing Stellar TVR, 2013 N.A. Stallion Testing/lifetime licensed WE, RPSI, AWS, AHR


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cartier View Post
                    This video defines the word “horrific.” I could not watch it to the end. It is my worst nightmare for any horse.

                    My hope is that before people breed they watch this video and take a good look at the end result when things turn south. Horses are an expensive luxury. When things get tough financially, they are the first to suffer, and they suffer in silence. Even with the best intentions, and a butt load of resources, horses end up neglected and abused. Please, don’t bring another horse into the world unless you truly have the resources (money, property, knowledge, etc.) to care for it well, for life.
                    The most unpredictable things in life can happen and even the best laid plans can implode. Really when it comes to a situation like this, you have to commit yourself to doing the right thing, which is put them down. Letting them suffer like this is just a cowardly, calloused act on the caretaker's part.

                    OR, instead of euthanasia, I'm sure there are people out there more than willing to give these guys a home. Honestly, they looked sweet and people oriented, not to mention their origins and potential. Don't want to hand out breeding material? Geld the colts and move them on.

                    Also, the deceased animal lying in lush grass behind a wall of round bales just puts the finishing touch on the entire situation...They clearly had something to feed the starving creatures. People can be so cruel.
                    "Life ain't always beautiful, but it's a beautiful ride."


                    • Original Poster

                      There are several more follow up articles on the epona.tv website. My impression leaves me to believe that Mr. Byrialsen was aware of the conditions. (please note: Danish breeder, not Dutch).

                      Quote from the article:
                      "The person behind the recordings from the allegedly Danish owned factory horse farm in Posadowa, Poland, was an employee at the farm.

                      "I made the recordings myself in April and May this year" explains the 25-year-old groom to Epona.tv. We will not name her here as she is now unsure of the consequences of her whistle blowing. Today, she says she has received a message that the owner of the farm wants to meet with her, but when we talk to her, she is not sure whether she should oblige him. "I don't know what to do" she says. "I am afraid."

                      "I made the tapes in secret in the hope that I could help the horses. I started work at the farm in 2012. The film was made in April and May this year. After long arguments with my manager about the state of the horses, she up and left the job. I felt powerless."

                      "Twenty horses died in my hands and before that, many more had died. I think maybe a hundred in total," she says. "The horses have chips and they were put into the SARI disposal. There must be an invoice proving the exact number of dead horses during those four years."

                      The report states that the owner, Mr. Byrialsen, was at the location of the Polish horse farm the past 2 days when approximately 50 horses were seized by the Polish Animal Control. He claimed that most of the horses were in ok condition and care and said the horse seizure was theft.

                      I don't think all the horses were in such horrible conditions . .some looked ok, the ones lower on the pecking order did not get enough to eat and those were the ones that suffered.

                      What is so shocking to me, is that these are probably well bred, branded Danish Warmbloods, most likely from the stallions he owns: Come Back II, Lobster, etc. And this man has bred high performance horses that are doing well in sport in dressage and show jumping. Usually with a V after their names. It's very tragic.


                      • Original Poster

                        I just think it is important to get this out in the public view. Many people have bought nice horses from this breeder in the past and it is unfortunate that conditions have deteriorated. But people need to know the behind the scenes. Not just see the nice, well cared for horses in the sales barns I guess.


                        • #13
                          Thank you Kim for posting this. I don't know how, but there needs to more control and policing of people who keep animals.
                          As breeders we must not take on more than we can assuredly care for. And if that means "stop breeding" then yes, stop.
                          Sunny Days Hanoverians


                          • #14
                            Shocking video, those poor horses. They seemed so sweet and trusting, amazing considering what they've been through. I just wish something could have been done long before then. How does things get to that point with no one saying or doing anything?


                            • #15
                              I made myself look. Hard to understand how anything could be allowed to get so out of control. These poor horses. I agree with sunnydays.
                              Mary Lou


                              Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                              • #16
                                I couldn't watch past the first young horse lying starved on the barn floor. I feel so sick and helpless, once more, feeling so much love for the horses and so much loathing for some of the humans attracted to keeping and producing this marvelous species.


                                • #17
                                  In my world people like this would be hunted down and exterminated. Such people don't deserve to live and that is being generous.

                                  And why should something like this go on for four years??!! How do you work for someone for so long and just ignore such things!? If I happened upon something like this all hell would break loose and God help the "person" responsible. FOUR YEARS horses are kept like this and people know about it??!!! I just don't get it....

                                  "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                                  • #18
                                    That was awful. I made it halfway through.

                                    Donella, apparently animal control had been notified and the man had been warned in the past. The poor lady who took the videos seems quite frightened. She took a big risk and made his crime public. I can't judge her as harshly as you do..


                                    • #19
                                      I wish the title of this thread was different. This is the "dark side of animal ownership". The title makes it sound like this applies just to "performance breeding". This is a puppy mill when it comes down to it. This is hoarding, this is abuse, active and passive, and this goes on with all animals in a huge range of numbers
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by JB View Post
                                        I wish the title of this thread was different. This is the "dark side of animal ownership". The title makes it sound like this applies just to "performance breeding". This is a puppy mill when it comes down to it. This is hoarding, this is abuse, active and passive, and this goes on with all animals in a huge range of numbers
                                        That is exactly what I was going to say. I didn't watch the video but got the gist and to label that the dark side makes it sound like it is something that is wide spread in the industry and we just don't talk about it like soring or culling to slaughter.
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

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