Olympic showjumper jailed for sexual abuse of young female student

  • Top US showjumper and coach Rich Fellers has been jailed for sexually abusing an underage girl who was his student.

    The 63-year-old, who represented the States at the 2012 Olympics, was sentenced on 12 October, to 50 months in a federal prison, and five years’ supervised release.

    In a statement, the District of Oregon US Attorney’s office said: “According to court documents, from late 2019 until the summer of 2020, Fellers maintained an intimate sexual relationship with a minor female equestrian student who he had been coaching since the student was 14 years old.

    “The relationship, which began when the student was 16 years old, culminated with a multi-day road trip in June 2020 to an equestrian event in Michigan. Investigators later learned Fellers planned the trip so he could engage in sexual conduct with the student.”

    The age of consent in Oregon is 18. On 24 May 2023, Fellers was charged by criminal information with one count of travelling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. On 13 July 2023, he pleaded guilty.

    “Fellers has a pending state criminal case in Washington County Circuit Court where he is facing four counts of second-degree sex abuse for illegal sexual conduct with the same minor student,” the US Attorney statement read.

    Olympic showjumper Rich Fellers (pictured) has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a minor

    “As part of a global resolution with the US Attorney’s Office and the Washington County District Attorney’s Office, Fellers’ federal prison sentence will run concurrently with any state prison term imposed when he is sentenced on 27 October 2023, in Washington County.

    “Fellers was ordered to voluntarily surrender into the custody of the US marshals service following sentencing.”

    The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Justice Department to “combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse”.

    Rich Fellers is best known for his success with Flexible; they competed in seven World Cup finals, finishing in second in 2008 and winning in 2012. They competed at the London 2012 Olympics, where the US team finished sixth and Fellers was eighth individually.

    You might also be interested in:

    Horse & Hound magazine, out every Thursday, is packed with all the latest news and reports, as well as interviews, specials, nostalgia, vet and training advice. Find how you can enjoy the magazine delivered to your door every week, plus options to upgrade your subscription to access our online service that brings you breaking news and reports as well as other benefits.

    You may like...