The renowned dressage rider Anky van Grunsven feels defamed by equestrian journalist Astrid Appels of Eurodressage.com. According to Anky images of her horses can not be connected to the controversial rollkur training method. This is a system developed by Anky and her trainer and life partner Sjef Janssen in which the horse is bending its neck in an extreme way.
Following years of research and a conclusion by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), the Dutch Equestrian Federation (KNHS) has decided in February that, “as of today hyperflexion/rollkur is seen as an aggressive way of a deep moving horse. This is forbidden as well as any head-neck position which is obtained in an aggressive way. The LDR-method, on the other hand, obtains a deep bending of the neck without force and this is allowed.”
Much has been written about this controversial system in combination with animal welfare. And so has journalist Astrid Appels who has paid attention to this topic on her website www.eurodressage.com. Through highly aggressive and intimidating emails Anky van Grunsven and Sjef Janssen have tried to prevent this, but Appels appeals to the freedom of speech and freedom of the press.
In his correspondence Sjef Janssen has sworn at Appels like a sailor. A few quotes:
- “You are a tiny miserable figure”
- “You’ll be next”
- “You’re totally deranged”
- “You’re just pathetic”
- “You continue to be a super bitch”
- “you belong in line with the German journalist mafia”
Appels is shocked by these intimidating and slanderous remarks by the official team trainer of The Netherlands and considers taking necessary legal steps against this.
This court case will start in ’s Hertogenbosch on 8 September 2010.
Appels is represented by Mr. J.A. Weda and Mr. S. Wensing
EURODRESSAGE on Television concerning Anky case: RTL Boulevard: Over 't Paard Getild