A US court has cleared Olympic dressage rider Dr Cesar Parra of charges relating to lunging injuries sustained by a hanoverian stallion in 2009.
A Hunterdon County Superior Court jury cleared Parra of charges of negligence. He had been accused in 2009 with being at-fault for injuries to the horse but has now been cleared of the alleged negligence with the formal finding of “no cause.”
During the four years of lawsuits revolving around this accident, Parra continued to be active in the dressage industry. When Parra’s eligibility to compete in the World Cup Dressage Finals last year was questioned, the United States Equestrian Federation conveyed its support of Parra, who had not been convicted of any charges.
Parra’s name has been known in the equestrian world for years, as he competed for his native Colombia in the 2004 Olympics, helped the United States team earn the gold medal in the 2011 Pan American Games after becoming a US citizen in 2008, and competed in two World Equestrian Games.
Parra operates his Piaffe Performance training, showing, and sales business in both Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, and Jupiter, Florida.
With the case behind him, Parra plans to focus on his passion for dressage. “I am so grateful that an impartial jury unanimously was able to see the truth in this matter. I am looking forward to now focusing on what I love— my family, the horses, the riding, and training,” Parra said after the case.
In March 2012, the Hunterdon County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals issued four summonses to Parra after a complaint was made over the 2009 incident.
Parra was accused by the SPCA of “torture or torment to a living animal” after a horse he was training was injured in June 2009.
The horse at the centre of the allegation was named William PFF, owned by Trudy Miranda, who filed suit in June 2011. She alleged Parra was negligent in the way he handled the horse and how he cared for him after an injury.
“I am very grateful for all of the support I have received through the past years from friends, my clients, and even strangers from all over who contacted me in response to these allegations,” Parra said.
“None of us who work with animals are happy when any horse gets injured. For years I was told by my attorney not to comment about this case but the jury can now speak for me: They heard the evidence, they had no bias, and they found no cause.”