PETA Demands Equestrian Authorities Probe After Competitor Beats Horse for Refusing Fence

Group Also Seeks Cruelty-to-Animals Investigation

For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2021

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Lexington, Ky. – This morning, PETA called on Tom O’Mara, president of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), and Ingmar De Vos of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) to investigate the vicious whipping of a horse at a show at California’s Desert International Horse Park.

Video footage from January 30 shows competitive German Grand Prix jumper Kevin 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.

PETA is asking the USEF and the FEI to revoke Lemke’s eligibilities and memberships and ban him from competing in future USEF- and FEI-sanctioned events.

“If Kevin Lemke will punish a horse with repeated whipping in the middle of a show ring, what will he do when no one’s watching?” asks PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo. “PETA is calling on the USEF and the FEI to investigate Lemke’s training practices and make it clear that abusive, reckless riders are not welcome at their events.”

PETA has also sent a letter to the Riverside County, California, sheriff’s department, calling for an investigation into Lemke for apparent violations of California Penal Code § 597(b), which prohibits cruelty to animals.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind