After the Swiss animal protection organization "Foundation for the Animal in Law" reported show jumping rider Martin Fuchs for an incident at CSI Linz, Austria, the responsible public prosecutor's office has now made a decision. The case was dropped as the whippings that Fuchs had given to his horse Viper Z (Vigo d'Arsouilles) had not yet reached the level of animal cruelty.
The press service of the Linz public prosecutor's office sent the following message to St. Georg: "Following your request, I can confirm that the preliminary investigation at the public prosecutor's office in Linz has been stopped, especially since the behavior of the show jumper (short use of the whip to persuade the horse to jump an obstacle) in this particular case had not yet reached the intensity necessary to commit the crime of cruelty to animals according to § 222 StGB."
A sketch of the supposedly incriminating ride
In April, the Swiss show jumping rider Martin Fuchs started with his young horse Viper Z at a CSI3* in Linz-Ebelsberg. In the first class over 1.35m, the 8-year-old gelding protested in the bend on the way to the next fence and tried to break out over his right shoulder. Fuchs then hit the gelding once on the right flank behind the saddle with his whip, after which the duo resumed their ride. A few moments later, Viper Z protested again, with the result that Fuchs hit the gelding twice in the direction of the head and neck with his whip in his right hand. Then Viper Z reacted again to his aids, and they were able to continue the course. Fuchs himself stated that he only intervened to correct a dangerous situation (rearing and breaking out over the right shoulder).
TIR not happy with decision
The Stiftung für das Tier im Recht (TIR) has published a statement on its website about the termination of the proceedings against Martin Fuchs, in which it criticizes both the decision of the public prosecutor's office as such and the argumentation.
Part of Martin Fuchs' controversial ride on Viper Z can be found here.
Source: St. Georg