US Equestrian Board Meets Monday with Cesar Parra Case at Top of Agenda as Frustration Grows at Silence of Governing Body

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Cesar Parra at a restaurant in Palm Beach Saturday night.

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The United States Equestrian Federation board of directors meets Monday with the case of Cesar Parra at the top of the agenda as frustration grows at the silence of the national governing body in the face of mounting accusations of decades of sexual abuse, human trafficking and cruelty to horses.

With multiple investigations underway by the USEF, the latest accusation comes from a Latin American woman who alleges being sexually assaulted by the former Olympian for Colombia about 25 years ago. The allegation is reported to have been forwarded by the USEF to the U.S. Center for Safe Sport as Parra now rides for America. As of late Sunday SafeSport had not posted any decision.

Christine Traurig, appointed a month ago as the most senior USA dressage coach, has become known for calling out Parra, as she did as the young horse coach at the U.S. championships last year.

Christine Traurig. Photo: USEF

“It is  appalling,” she told dressage-news.com at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida. “I think all of us in the equestrian community are feeling the same way. Our federation has put everything into motion to investigate thoroughly. The FEI is involved, and I think, for me speaking as a rider, a horsewoman, and a trainer, I hope that the outcome will be satisfactory for all people involved in our communities.”

The U.S. federation has limited its reactions to an initial description of Parra’s behavior as “abhorrent,” and has worked with the FEI–International Equestrian Federation–that “provisionally suspended” Parra.

The German federation has suspended two Germans who were a source of horses for Parra and were scheduled to be in Florida during the Global circuit this winter.

“What can be seen in the videos and images is disgusting,” said German federation General Secretary Sönke Lauterbach. “We will pull out all the stops to take action against this. Our legal options as a sports association are not sufficient for such behavior. This is about criminal relevance, which is why we are turning to the state authorities, who have far greater investigative and sanctioning options.”