Seriously misplaced protest!

Before I say anything I invite you to look at this video. This is Marc Houtzager riding Calimaro in the European Championships in Rotterdam. When you hear the crowd shouting that is when the protesters came on to the jump course and ran through the jumps. Video courtesy of Horsetelex.

The protesters had the words”Stop horse slavery” painted on their bodies. They also carried signs that said ” Horse beating is not a sport”. They ran around the jumps and one young woman ran right in front of the combination of jumps that the horse and rider were heading toward.

Photo by Petra Kershbaum

The most miraculous thing was that the horse and rider just rode on as if none of this was happening. What does this mean?

  1. This horse is NOT a slave. He knows his job and he enjoys it. Both horse and rider are completely focused. This horse has never been ‘beaten’ to go round a course of jumps. Horses that jump at this level like their work . If they didn’t they would not be doing it. Their riders, owners and grooms go to tremendous lengths to look after them as top athletes. These horses are stars and they know it.
  2. Horses are intelligent, sentient beings. If sport horses do not like a job, be it jumping, dressage, reining or pulling a carriage they will let you know. I once had a horse that did not like dressage. She went on to a career as a jumper with another rider and excelled at it. She chose her job.

Who are these protesters? Apparently they are a group who believe in veganism and think that horses should live a “natural” life out grazing in a field. They should never have to work for humans. Here is what I think about that.

  1. I have nothing against vegans or veganism. I often eat a vegan diet. There are many things to recommend it.
  2. There are people who thrive on work and being involved with a career that they enjoy and is meaningful to them. There are horses who are the same. My horse Biasini will, no doubt, eventually retire but for now he loves his work and I believe he would be depressed without having his job.
  3. I have nothing against protest and I believe it has a place in democracy and protesters have a right to express thier opinions. But not at the expense of the safety of others.
  4. These protesters are professing to care about horse welfare but they actually put both horse and rider at great risk. What if their actions had caused Calimore to be injured? I guess they didn’t think about that.

I felt it was important to write about this incident even though I realilze it is giving more exposure to these thoughtless protesters. I would like to suggest to them that if they want to help underprivileged equines they should support The Brooke. This organization helps working animals, in the developing world, who are suffereing because of ignorance or desperation. The protestors should put their energy there and do some actual good for horses.

30 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne, I learned a lot through this post. I never knew that horse actually enjoy doing jumping, racing etc. I was always under the wrong impression that they do all this under pressure. Glad to hear that they actually like it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Horses that do not like what they are asked to do will misbehave and if they are beaten into submission they shut down and do not perform well. So horses who are successful do like their jobs. Thanks for commenting

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for this article

        Liked by 1 person

  2. kunstkitchen says:

    Thanks Anne, for sharing this story. These protesters are sadly misguided.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re right about horses choosing their sport. I once knew a beautiful black horse named Stormy. She could do English or Western, but her favorite was obvious: Western Pleasure!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was an insane, ignorant protest by people who likely never been round horses in real life. Good thing no-one was injured.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alli Farkas says:

    I saw the video on that ultimate provider of all the news that’s fit to watch, Facebook (sarcasm here). Anyhow, I was so proud of the talents of both horse and rider who proceeded as if nothing odd was going on during their fabulous ride over these super challenging jumps. A true partnership. It’s an unfortunate truth that the “cause” can be more important to some partisans than the living beings affected by it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. anne leueen says:

      Alli you have said it so well. 100% agree with you.

      Like

    2. It was impressing how they just continued !

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Informative, thanks for writing your thoughts here, as I also feel the same towards these animal lovers. (I am also vegetarian) guess everywhere they behave the same. That information about horse that chose it’s sports is amazing. I don’t know the reason I always love horses now even more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you for this comment Subbashini. I think that these people have a right to express themselves but not when it could injure the horses they say they are defending. The woman who can be seen in the photo is looking at the horse coming right at her as she holds up her sign. If she tripped and fell the horse would have gone right over her and possibly fallen and both horse and rider could have been seriously hurt or lost their lives. Horses have talents for various sports and they know which ones they are good at. They cannot be forced to do it at the higher levels if they do not like it.

      Like

  7. I’m so glad no one was hurt Anne. Voicing a protest by people with different views can always be done in a safer way with the welfare of horses and riders in mind 🙂💖🐎 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree Xenia. There are better and safer ways to protest than this.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. On one hand, I support a person’s freedom of speech, even when I do not agree with their message, On the other hand, we all have an obligation to exercise speech in a responsible and safe manner. These folks have a right to protest, bot NOT in this manner which put horse and ride at risk of injury.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      I agree with you Protest is a democratic right but there are better ways to do it than this.

      Like

  9. Olivia May says:

    It reminds me that in France there were some vegans vandalized butcher shops

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      That is disgraceful.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Robyn says:

    Yes, I am glad no one was hurt. Sheesh!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You presented a very cogent article, which also underlines the shallowness and lack of balance of so many protesters

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Thank you Robert. I think there were serious safety issues in this misguided protest.

      Like

  12. I agree! Protesters should inform themselves better before starting to protest not counting what they can provoke with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Agreed! Thank you for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Jeff Rab says:

    I hope the officials filed charges on her. That could greatly endanger the horse and rider, and even the women protesting though she’s probably not bright enough to foresee that….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      It isn’t shown in the video but apparently there were two protesters. The woman was beyond stupid to have run in front of the triple combination jumps. If she has tripped up and fallen ahe would have been trampled and the horse and rider would have gone down as well. I hope charges will be laid against them . Thanks for commenting Jeff.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Britta says:

    Remember the protesters don’t actually care about this horse or it’s rider or any animal, just the cause. If you look at the percentage of animals “rescued”by PETA (the most radical of animal rights groups), it’s only a very few percent that are re-homed, some silly percentage (70% ?) is euthanized. Sorry I don’t know the correct numbers at the top of my head, but I don’t think I am far off.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. anne leueen says:

      Good point. I agree that it is the cause and not the animal. Thank you for this comment and bringing up that important point.

      Like

  15. Judy says:

    “Ignorance is appalling no matter where it’s found.” Sadly, there are plenty of people who believe that the human race is an ugly blemish on this world. They have chosen to close their eyes to all the amazing, wonderful people that live all around them. So glad horse and rider stayed focus.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. dprastka says:

    Well written and I agree 💯% with you!! They should be out there helping with The Brooke org, like you suggest….. If I had to say something it would be, what is wrong with people? Sheesh, I’m thankful no horse or rider were injured with these protests. I thank you for writing this post! ♥️

    Liked by 2 people

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