For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2021
David Perle 202-483-7382
Lexington, Ky. – In a move that puts all competitive riders on notice, the United States Equestrian Federation has issued Grand Prix jumper Kevin Lemke a four-month suspension and a $4,000 fine for excessive force after he viciously whipped a horse at California’s Desert International Horse Park.
PETA called for a probe after video footage from a January 30 horse show in southern California caught Lemke forcefully striking a horse named Good Luck with a whip six times—so harshly that the sound of the strikes can be heard on the video replay—after the horse refused a jump. Lemke was subsequently disqualified for excessive use of the whip. After beating the horse, he attempted the jump again, causing Good Luck to collide with the fence and knock over the poles.
“This sanction sends a clear message: Abuse horses and you’ll be penalized,” says PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “We urge everyone who witnesses cruelty to contact PETA, as a whistleblower did in this case, whether animals are subjected to it in a show ring, in a barn, or anywhere else.”
PETA has also asked the International Federation for Equestrian Sports and the Riverside County, California, sheriff’s department to investigate the incident.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.