“Parallel Bars” Reveal Banned Training System at RTL Extra Lodge Beer
According to RTL’s research, riding star Ledger Beerbham used banned training methods. In so-called “parallel bars”, horses are struck by a pole against the front legs to encourage them to jump upwards.
This article first appeared on RTL.de.
New equestrian scandal. After nearly two years of research, the RTL extra team and investigative journalist Günter Wallraff have succeeded in exposing the use of unauthorized training methods in equestrian sports and violations of animal welfare law. The focus of the revelations was on German riding star Ludger Beerbham.
Exclusive video recordings show successes against horses
Four-time Olympic gold, two world championship titles and several awards – Ledger Beerbham is one of the most successful show jumpers in the world. Through his company “Ludger Beerbaum Stables” in Riesenbeck, he created an equestrian empire. However, animal welfare violations on the site are obvious.
RTL Extra features exclusive video recordings from Beerbaum’s inner and closest confidants. In it you can see: Ludger sees Birbham jumping over an obstacle with his horse while an employee strikes the front legs of the animal with a barbed wire. This system, called “bars”, is a violation of animal welfare law and is prohibited in this form by the laws of the German Equestrian Association (FN).
Through the beat, the horse must learn to lift the front legs and avoid touching the barbed wire in a painful way. However, according to the FN, the so-called “touch” is the weakest form of the bar, in which the horse should only be asked to jump high by holding or touching another pole. Such a strike is not allowed under any circumstances.
Secret Reporter: “The animal could not bear the pain”
Maximilian Big, Animal Welfare Assessor and Specialist Veterinarian, concludes that in this case the horses are clearly restrained and not touched. Also worth noting is FN’s rules, which distinguish between prohibited “bars” only in the sense of active slamming and “touching”.
What is the value of the horses on the farm of Ludger Beerbham? Is animal suffering accepted for success and money? Additional reporter Sina Meyer goes in search of clues and slips into the role of trainer in marketing the horse mogul for the secret of her research. As an employee, the reporter wants to see for himself these restricted training methods. In addition to the polygonal tree poles, according to the local, she found other poles that were blocked with suspicious points that could not be assigned to the restricted training system.
“The pain inflicted on the animal by parallel wires is unbearable. Show jumpers sometimes make millions with these horses. Even 30 years after the Bar scandal in the 90s, it was not possible to chase the animals away from the sport.” And I hope the animals will be better protected in the future. “
The RTL additional panel asked for comments on all the allegations regarding the show jumper Ludger Beerbham, but received no response.