Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Andreas Helgstrand's Downward Spiral

And it is way past time.

If you haven't heard, Epona TV has run a series of articles over the past couple of weeks documenting Andreas Helgstrand and his horse Akeem. There are photos of blue tongues and scars from spurs, video footage of Helgstrand spurring the hell out of a sick Akeem who should not have been being ridden, much less in competition.

As a result of the articles and many people writing and commenting and sharing and speaking out, Helgstrand not only received a visit from the Danish animal protection society, he has lost sponsors like crazy. 

Akeem is on ordered rest due to severe pain in his mouth from the cruelty perpetrated by his Olympic-level rider, who made a statement saying the problem was the "poorly fitted bridle."


This is a link to Epona's most recent article, with more photos of another of Helgstrand's horses in a snaffle bridle fit so tightly it makes me sick to look at it.

Read, share, and if you want more, click over to their other articles on Helgstrand. I hope his career is over. It should be.


Claire said...

i've seen that. I'd much rather talk about Charlotte Dujardin and Blueberry (Valegro) doing it properly and breaking records...and we can but hope that the rest of them will now follow suit and we can then all enjoy watching...

billie said...

Claire, write about Charlotte and Blueberry! There is certainly room for that. Here, I try to do some of both - but my commitment is writing about the horses who can't speak for themselves and need advocacy.

Personally, I'm not really interested in the breaking of records when it comes to horse sports - I think that as a focus is partly what gets horses into tough places, being viewed as vehicles to stroke egos and win things.

I certainly am glad to hear that someone is doing it properly and getting some recognition for it though!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Just awful. I'm glad he's losing sponsors. I hope he's ostracized from the horse community. Maybe someday the sponsors will wake up and stop supporting these cruel practices and then dressage ( and other disciplines) will keep the horses in mind as we would all like to see.

billie hinton said...

A, me too - I still can't believe the photographs and film footage.