PETA Charges of Cruelty to Totilas Thrown Out

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Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

FRANKFURT, Germany, April 17–Charges of cruelty filed by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animal, against the owners, trainer and rider of Totilas have been dismissed by the Frankfurt prosecutor.

Two charges were filed last October against Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff and Paul Schockemöhle, owners of the black stallion, and coach Klaus Martin-Rath and his son, Matthias Alexander Rath, who rides the horse.

A six-member panel of experts and an animal welfare officer visited the stables where Totilas is trained in December.

Klaus-Martin labeled the criticism by PETA “as more a religious war.”

“This debate is being waged not on the fact,” he said. “But we now have the law on our side stating that this is absolutely not a case of cruelty to animals that may be important for the entire equestrian sport.”

He felt that from the beginning the charges were “all just hot air,” but it was a good feeling to have it in writing from the judiciary.