Cesar Parra Cleared by Jury of Horse Cruelty Charges

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Cesar Parra and Van the Man at Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. © Ken Braddick/dressge-news.com
Cesar Parra and Van the Man celebrating a competition victory in Florida. © Ken Braddick/dressge-news.com

FLEMINGTON, New Jersey, April 30, 2015–Cesar Parra, who rode for his native Colombia at the 2004 Olympics and on the United States Pan American Games gold medal team in 2011, has been acquitted by a Hunterdon County Superior Court jury of charges of cruely to a horse.

The civil court jury voted unanimously 8-0 to dismiss the case against Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey and Jupiter, Florida of charges brought by Trudy Miranda claiming negligence by the trainer was to blame for injuries to the Hanoverian stallion, William PFF.

The formal finding of “no cause” came two days before Cesar’s 52nd birthday and was the first by a jury after four years of legal wrangling in the western New Jersey county over injuries sustained by the young stallion on June 6, 2009. The horse flipped over backward while being lunged by Cesar Parra. The suit claimed that side reins were used improperly and that led to the horse’s injuries.

The series of lawsuits and countersuits along with video of the alleged incident shown on the Internet triggered telephone complaints to the U.S. Equestrian Federation in March last year, some calling for the body not to issue an invitation to Cesar to compete at the World Cup Final for which he had qualified with Van the Man.

The federation expressed support for Cesar as he had not been convicted of any criminal or civil charges.

Cesar became an American citizen in late 2008 and rode on the U.S. gold medal team at the Pan American Games at Guadalajara, Mexico in 2011 as well as U.S. Nations Cup teams in 2013. The native-born Colombian competed for his country at the 1999 and 2003 Pan Ams, the 2004 Olympics, the 2002 and 2006 World Equestrian Games and the 2005 World Cup Final.