RTL Extra reveals the prohibited training method “parallel bars” at Ludger Beerbaum
Riding star Ludger Beerbaum is said to have used prohibited training methods according to intensive research by RTL. In the so-called “parallel bars” the horses are hit against the front legs with a bar to encourage them to jump higher.
This article first appeared on RTL.de.
New equestrian scandal. Through almost two years of research, the RTL Extra team and investigative journalist Günter Wallraff succeeded in disclosing the use of unauthorized training methods in equestrian sports and violations of the animal protection law. The focus of the revelations is the German riding star Ludger Beerbaum.
Exclusive video recordings show hits against horses
Four times Olympic gold, two world championship titles and numerous other awards – Ludger Beerbaum is one of the most successful show jumpers in the world. With his company “Ludger Beerbaum Stables” in Riesenbeck, he has built up an equestrian empire. However, there are apparently violations of animal welfare on the site.
RTL Extra has exclusive video recordings from an insider and close confidante of Beerbaum that suggest this. On it: Ludger Beerbaum jumping over an obstacle with his horse while an employee hits the animal’s front legs with a bar. This method, known as “bars”, is a violation of the Animal Welfare Act and is also prohibited in this form according to the statutes of the German Equestrian Association (FN).
Through the blow, the horse should learn in a painful way to raise the front legs higher and avoid touching the obstacle bars. According to the FN, however, the so-called “touching”, a weakened form of the bar, in which the horse should only be asked to jump higher by holding or also touching another pole, is permitted. In any case, it is not allowed to strike like this.
Undercover reporter: “Pain for the animal is unbearable”
Maximilian Pick, expert for animal welfare and specialist veterinarian, comes to the conclusion that the horses in this case are clearly being barred and not touched. Also noticeable is the rules of the FN, which only differentiate between the forbidden “bars” in the sense of an active slamming and the “touching” as a touch.
What is the value of the horses at Ludger Beerbaum’s farm? Is animal suffering accepted approvingly for the sake of success and money? The extra reporter Sina Meyer goes on the hunt for clues and slips into the role of an intern in marketing for the horse mogul for her research undercover. As an employee, the reporter wants to witness these prohibited training methods herself. In addition to polygonal wooden poles, which, according to the insider, are used for the prohibited training method, she discovers other forbidden poles with suspicious points that she cannot assign.
“The pain inflicted on the animal by parallel bars is unbearable. Those involved in show jumping sometimes earn millions with these horses. Even 30 years after the Barr scandal in the 90s, it was apparently not possible to beat the animals out of it To ban sport, “says the RTL-Extra reporter:” I hope that our research increases the pressure on those responsible and that the animals are better protected in the future. “
The RTL Extra team asked for comments on all allegations concerning show jumper Ludger Beerbaum, but received no answers.