German Federation Clears Cosmo for European Championship Team After Report of Lawsuit, Veterinary Records

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Sönke Rothenberger rIding Cosmo to victory at Aachen earlier in July. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WARENDORF, Germany, July 31, 2019–The German equestrian federation reported Wednesday that Cosmo and the rider Sönke Rothenberger have been cleared for selection to the team for the European Championships next month after reports of a lawsuit over treatment of the Olympic and World Equestrian Games gold medal horse.

Dr. Dennis Peiler, managing director of the German Olympic Committee for Cavalry (DOKR), in an interview with the federation’s information office, commented on the report by dressage-news.com. The U.S.-based Internet news site reported the Rothenberger family filed a lawsuit seeking €8/US$9 million for alleged damage to Cosmo by vet malpractice.

“We only take horses to the championship of which we are convinced at the time of nomination that they are in a position to successfully compete in the championship,” Dr. Peiler said. “The horses must have proven their resilience. The same applies to Cosmo, who was successful in Hagen and Aachen. In Balve (German championships) he had to be withdrawn due to a colic.”

Asked whether the rider had not fully informed the federation about Cosmo’s health, he replied:

“It is true that there were questions regarding the transparency. Therefore, the executive committee of DOKR dealt with this matter. The DOKR has thoroughly examined extensive documents submitted to it, interviewed riders and horse owners and obtained the expertise of the team veterinarian. As described in the article, the FN is not involved in the lawsuit between the Rothenberger family and the veterinary clinic. The procedure therefore plays no role in the nomination.

“The Executive Committee has no objections to a possible nomination of the couple on this basis.

“However, it made conditions for the rider, which he accepted in writing. These requirements are to ensure the best possible transparency in the management of the horse in the direction of the Olympic Games 2020 in Tokyo.”

The team for the European Championship in Rotterdam Aug. 19-25 will be announced by the end of this week.