Swiss jumping rider Paul Estermann, who competed in the Olympics, World- and European Championships, was recently convicted for animal abuse. The qualified court, the Willisau-district court now has the conviction in writing.
Estermann had been accused of beating his horse with a whip, so hard and frequently, the horse had swelling and bleeding wounds.
The court believes that the accusations have been proven by eye witnesses, vet reports and pictures. Estermann's verdict is a large fine and a 'probation' of two years. Furthermore, he has to pay all the courthouse costs, including his own costs.
The verdict, however, is not set in stone just yet. Estermann now has 20 days to go in appeal. But, it has to be in those 20 days. Not appealing or appealing to late equals a verdict that is now final.
For this appeal, it is the court of the canton of Luzern that is responsible. Also, the court dictates that, until all verdicts are final, the accused is innocent until proven otherwise. This also applies to the appeal.
The original charges have been pressed in the beginning of 2017 and were announced in the Swiss press (Blick.ch) at the en of 2018. The charges and pictures were made by a former groom of Estermann, Zdenek Dusek. he pictures should be the belly of the mare Castlefield Eclipse, after Estermann whipped the mare until she bled in april of 2016.
That the pictures and the charges have some time between them has a particular reason. Dusek himself had been accused by Estermann of theft, after which Dusek fled the country. After re-entering Swiss territory and having to justify himself to the police, Dusek showed the police the pictures.