Olympic dressage horse owner John Byrialsen has been accused of neglect after raids on 2 of his properties in Poland and Denmark.
A video on YouTube (below), sent anonymously to leading dressage websites, shows a series of neglected horses — some of which are too weak to stand — on the farm that Byrialsen reportedly rents in Posadowo, Poland.
Warning: this video contains graphic footage
Byrialsen is a part-owner of Calecto V — a stallion that was competed by Tina Konyot at both the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympics for the United States. Calecto V is still competed by Tina internationally.
Tina told H&H she is “appalled and saddened” by the situation.
“I’m shocked to see the extent of this suffering,” she said. “It is heartbreaking.”
Byrialsen also owns Calecto V’s sire Comeback II.
Polish newspaper Gazeta Poznan reported on Sunday (11 August) that police and local animal rescue groups removed 50 of the most neglected of the 300 horses from the farm in Poland.
Danish police and veterinary authorities also searched Byrialsen’s Danish farm, Viegård on Wednesday (13 August).
A Danish TV station has reported that the police found 1 horse in need of veterinary care, 15 starving horses and 9 horses with poor feet that needed to see a farrier.
Jan Pedersen from the Danish Warmblood association told BT.dk: “It is appalling, shocking and I cannot underline distinctly enough how far out this is. It is so horrible that you feel physically ill watching it. I have never ever seen anything like it.”
H&H has, as yet, been unable to contact Mr Byrialsen for comment.