Heavy Reactions to Rollkur Photos of Power and Paint

Tue, 10/02/2007 - 00:00
Dutch Dressage News

The publication of the rollkur photos of the Dutch team pony Power and Paint being lunged at the 2007 European Pony Championships by trainer Coby van Baalen and 15-year old rider Angela Krooswijk, has caused heavy reactions

from the Dutch Equestrian Federation and Dutch Animal Welfare Society.

The Swedish magazine Tidningen Ridsport published a series of photos of Power and Paint set in the rollkur position with draw reins on the girth. Van Baalen released a statement that it was a momentary situation quickly corrected, but the French photographer of the photos, Gilles Levesque, stated that the pony was in the rollkur position the entire lunge session (approximately 15 minutes).

The Dutch Equestrian Federation (KNHS) has started an investigation into this situation. KNHS prosecutor Mr. Aukje Kroondijk has been assigned to conduct an investigation. "To the KNHS, animal welfare should the starting point for every business in horse sport."

The Dutch Animal Welfare Society has also issued a statement that they find these photos shocking an an infringement on animal welfare. "Animal welfare is very concerned about the way horses are being treated in equestrianism. Last week, the horse world was shocked by photos of a pony which seemed to be abused by bitting him with the chin against the chest," Dutch Animal Welfare released in a statement. "The deliberate training of horses and ponies in this way happens regularly. It's an extreme form which is called "Low, Deep and Round" in the horse world, a practise which raises major questions with us. Animal Welfare believes that this abuse is only the tip of the iceberg as 400,000 horses are currently in the horse business in The Netherlands."

Dutch minister Verburg will be release a mission statement on animal welfare in the Dutch government mid October. Animal Welfare hopes that minister Verburg will pay attention to these practises and decide for the welfare of the animal.

Related Link
Statement Concerning Rollkur Photos of Power and Paint