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Olympian, dressage rider - serious abuse allegations

Translated from French:

Grooms denounce international rider for abuse

A few days ago, the Court of Arbitration for Sport imposed a suspension of eighteen months on an international professional rider, who had to say goodbye to the Olympic Games in Paris (+ information here) . Until then a member of the French team, this dressage rider has seen her suspension go from 3 months to 18 months. A sanction that was initially misunderstood, even perceived as “unfair” and disproportionate for some.

Adjusted judicial decision

Following her 3-month suspension from any competition last April, the rider decides to appeal. That’s when former employees (grooms and veterinarians) who worked for her decided to raise their voices.

A total of about 30 people reported on the mistreatment they witnessed. The Arbitration Court for Sports, following receipt of these letters, decided to increase the sentence and extend the suspension to a maximum of 18 months.

Accusations of abuse.
Among these 30 former employees, one of her grooms agreed to publicly denounce the equine and human abuse she witnessed (facts dating from spring to autumn 2023) . The abuse of horses would be as follows:

  • Electric charges on horse tendons.
  • Infiltrations every month for horses from 3 years of age.
  • Use of a flange chain coupled to a spur strap to obtain exaggerated erectile movements by burn.
  • Personal confection of bits of great hardness to further control the mouths of horses (which end up in blood) .
  • Injections by itself of doping products during competitions once the anti-doping test has been passed (personal lockers) .
  • Punch, kick, stick on the horses in their boxes.
  • Blows on a horse of such intensity that led to his death.
  • Use of electric collars on supporting horses

From a human point of view, according to our information:

  • theft of the identity documents of its employees preventing them from leaving the workplace.
  • Falsification of employment contracts, delay or absence of payment.
  • Harassment and verbal and psychological abuse.
  • Mental manipulation and isolation of employees.
  • Non-compliance with the Labour Code in terms of leave and working hours.
  • attempt at regular corruption to buy the silence of those who leave.

What are the federations doing?
Faced with these serious accusations, we question the role of federations, national and international in this case. A file tracing all these abuses would have been sent to the FFE and FEI by one of the bellies. One of the federations would then have denied the veracity of the facts. The second, would never have answered anything.

If these 30 bellies had not had the courage to denounce this rider to the judge of the Court of Arbitration for Sports, the latter could have represented France in the next Olympics.

The most disorienting thing is to understand that in the middle, this rider is known for this action. Isn’t it time for corruption, lies, and dubious supporters to stop in equestrian sports? What future for this rider after the end of her suspension? What will happen to his horses? Who will protect them?

It is high time, a few weeks before the Olympics, that we finally tackle high-level abuse issues.

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Just grabbed this one quote at the end:

Uh, yeah, it’s well overdue!

The FEI and many national federations need to go out and buy themselves a big ol’ ban hammer and swing that thing hard.

These “sentences” are often way to short.

When such a rider is so abusive and criminal, I find it hard to give a toss about their future. The horses on the other hand, I do give a toss about, and want them all to have soft landings and remain far away from such people.

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Another news article, this one in English.

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Maybe I’m just being Polly Anna, but this is an internet blog in which a nameless French “professional” is accused of abuse by one person who is a self-proclaimed “trainer and teacher in equine and human well being”. So far, I remain unconvinced. “30 grooms” plus multiple vets is a lot of people to see but then fail to report a great deal of abuse. I’ve trawled through published FEI disciplinary information and can’t find any likely cases. In fact, I can’t find any French riders in any discipline. Who knew two people were sanctioned for medicating ponies during an official height measurement? And what a dirty “sport” endurance is.

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Ah hah, @Ghazzu has found a more reliable source. But the sanctions are not yet published in FEI news, as far as I can see. Transparency is crucial if we are to deal with problems - and keep the social licence for equestrian sport.

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Another piece, this one with more background.
Sounds as though she was also in the soup with WADA, and that’s what her appeal was based on–failure to report her location for testing purposes.

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As a top professional athlete, she knows better. I’m no longer Polly Anna.

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What is with this passport thing? I know someone who was in Germany working for a family …she did her 6 month contract but wanted out once it was up (for dressage family) and they were threatening her with her passport. Does the employer keep the passport when the help arrive? yikes.

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No that is illegal. She could have reported them and the consequences are pretty serious.

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Isn’t that one of the allegations against Cesar Parra - that he held hostage the passports/visas of his working students so they couldn’t leave him for another situation or even return to their own countries?

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Name of rider?

That would be a good thing to include in a post.

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This was posted upthread:

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Yep. Don’t give anyone your passport!

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Happens all the time, especially in Saudi Arabian and Persian Gulf Petro-states.

It’s the only way they can keep huge numbers of migrant workers from leaving when they find out the realities of the contracts they signed.

It used to happen here in the US with foreign au pairs.

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She’s claiming bad internet connections for 3 months prevented her from replying.

Says on her FB page she’s sponsored by Kingsland Dressage, Dy’on, CWD & Kentucky Horsewear. Wonder how long that will last.

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Those poor horses.

What does this mean?

  • Blows on a horse of such intensity that led to his death.

Does blows mean punches?

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I think “blows” in this context means hitting the horse with such force that it caused the death of the horse.

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Horrible I can’t even imagine it and I don’t want to.

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Happens everywhere.

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