FEI Tribunal Takes a Decision in Sundancer 6 Case
The FEI Tribunal has made a decision in the case of alleged abuse committed by Madeleine Brugman (NED) and Andrew Hoy (AUS) on the horse Sundancer 6. The alleged abuse consisted in the use of spiked bell boots - overreach boots used on the horse's forelegs in which metal spikes are inserted so that, when the horse touches of knocks down an obstacle, the spikes hurt the horse, in particular around the coronary band of the forelegs - while warming-up for the jumping phase of the CCI 3* Barroca d'Alva on 9 March 2008.
The Tribunal took into consideration the numerous briefs, witness statements and other documents presented by the parties and found the evidence circumstantial, i.e. indirect, in nature; it contained various unresolved contradictions and inconsistencies. The Tribunal therefore concludes that the FEI did not meet its burden of proof and did not provide evidence of a nature sufficient to substantiate a case of abuse against either Madeleine Brugman or Andrew Hoy.
"The Tribunal's decision reflects the independence of the FEI's judicial branch - we must respect it and heed its lessons," commented FEI Secretary General Alex McLin. "We will certainly pay close attention to what it means for our enforcement systems and make any necessary adjustments. Abuse of horses in any form is unacceptable and we will continue to bring charges against those responsible for such conduct."
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