German PETA's Charges Answered, State Prosecution Investigates

Thu, 12/06/2012 - 17:27
Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas at the 2012 CDI Hagen
Photo © Barbara Schnell
German Dressage News

The German branch of PETA, which filed charges against Paul Schockemohle and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff for animal abuse, has received a positive answer from the Frankfurt prosecutor, who will commence investigations into these allegations.

PETA pressed charges against the owners and rider of Totilas for animal abuse. According to them this abuse is two-fold: firstly the stallion is being trained in the rollkur method and secondly as a licensed breeding stallion Totilas is isolated from other horses and is never allowed to move at liberty in a paddock or field.

The Frankfurt prosecution has now started preliminary investigations into the case, which has been officially documented as Aktenzeichen 8940 Js 246257/12. The Hessian animal welfare officer presented the PETA case to the prosecution.

"We could have decided upon not having an investigation, but based on the assessment of the animal welfare officer we decided not to drop the case," senior public prosecutor Doris Möller-Scheu told Die Welt. An appointed surveyor will be visiting Totilas' home Schafhof in Kronberg and inspect the horse management there.

Klaus Martin Rath, Matthias father and co-trainer, told Die Welt that "no other horse in Germany has been under such scrutiny as Totilas the past two years. Everyone knows he is doing well. That is why I'm totally calm about this matter."

"This PETA case is an old story. It happened months ago after some commotion arose about the way Totilas was ridden at a show in Germany," trainer Sjef Janssen told "PETA is not even taken seriously by the biggest detractors of the training programs in the horse world. These people have nothing to do with professional horse sport, of which they have no knowledge."

The news that PETA had officially pressed charges came out on 22 October 2012. Totilas and Matthias Rath's last show was the 2012 German Championships in Balve the first weekend of June 2012.

Janssen commented on the fact that Rath and Totilas have been removed from the German A-team due to inactivity on the show circuit. "This would have happened in The Netherlands as well. If you haven't been to a show in such a long time and you can tell when or where it will happen again. Then you are out at a certain moment," Janssen explained. "Also it will take a few months before Totilas can do shows again. His rider has been ill and the horse has had an injury. It takes time.

Source: Die Welt -

Related Links
Rath and Totilas Removed from German A-Team
The World Keeps Turning: Totilas to Stand at Stud in 2013

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