Following the death of Dirk Schrade’s King Artus in the Wiesbaden CIC*** (Germany) on May 18, the German branch of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has called for “an end to eventing in Germany.”
The 17-year-old King Artus, who competed for Germany at the 2012 London Olympic Games, collapsed after the cross-country portion of the event due to a suspect aortic rupture. “PETA Germany is now sharply critical of the competition, because especially in eventing serious accidents occur frequently,” stated a May 21 press release on the organization’s website. “The cross-country course must be run in a certain time; [if] equestrians exceed the time, they get penalty points. The animal rights organization calls for an end to [eventing] in Germany and appeals to all animal lovers to refrain from attending such events.”
“Horses are sensitive animals. Rushing for time on dangerous obstacles is animal cruelty. Again and again it comes to serious accidents between horse and rider,” said PETA campaign manager Jennifer Kirchner
PETA Germany most recently filed an animal cruelty lawsuit against the owners of dressage horse Totilas, but the Frankfurt state attorney dropped the suit.
The U.S. branch of PETA openly opposes racing, horse-drawn carriages and rodeos on its website, but it does not specifically mention eventing or other equestrian sports. PETA ran a billboard campaign against the Kentucky Derby earlier this year.