The Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI) Tribunal has issued its Final Decision in the horse abuse case against Brazilian Dressage athlete Leandro Aparecido Da Silva, who was filmed riding and mistreating his daughter’s very small pony last year.
Under the terms of the Final Decision, the FEI Tribunal has imposed a three-year period of ineligibility on the athlete. A fine of CHF 5,000 and costs of CHF 2,000 were also imposed.
Video footage of the abuse was widely shared on social media and the athlete publicly acknowledged that it was him riding the pony in the video.
In September 2020, the Brazilian Equestrian Sport Tribunal (“Superior Tribunal de Justiça Desportiva do Hipismo Brasileiro”) issued a decision that they had no jurisdiction in this case as it was an out-of-competition incident. As a result, the FEI opened separate disciplinary proceedings against Da Silva in accordance with Article 30 of the Internal Regulations of the FEI Tribunal for alleged breaches of Article 142 of the FEI General Regulations, which prohibits horse abuse.
Following publication of the FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision, the parties have 21 days from the date of notification (19 April 2021) to appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
The full text of the FEI Tribunal’s Final Decision on this case can be viewed here.