A horse in an equestrian center in Les Yvelines (illustration).
Michel Euler / AP / SIPA
On October 10, 2016, in the middle of a training session, Kevin Thornton's horse collapsed, suffering from a heart attack.
Ten-year-old Flogas Sunset Cruise was reported to have been subjected to intense galloping and heavy whipping.
The Irish rider is being prosecuted for "serious abuse or act of cruelty against a domestic animal, tamed or captive".
The fate of Flogas Sunset Cruise had moved far beyond the Cagnes-sur-Mer racecourse.
The death of this gray stallion, on October 10, 2016 in the middle of a training session during a show jumping competition (the GPA Jump Festival), had raised a wave of indignation directed towards his rider.
Irishman Kevin Thornton was quickly accused of exhausting and mistreating him until this fatal outcome.
Four years later, it is before the Criminal Court of Grasse that the professional is called to appear this Wednesday morning in a “new” trial.
Suspended four months
Suspended four months
"There have already been cases of suspension and fines imposed by the federations for proven mistreatment, as was the case for this rider [The International Equestrian Federation court notably ruled him out for four months competitions].
But, to my knowledge, no case had yet been brought to justice, ”explains to
Me Arielle Moreau, the lawyer for One Voice, one of the three animal rights associations that have formed part civil.
The Irishman, now 32 years old, is being prosecuted for "serious abuse or act of cruelty towards a domestic animal, tamed or captive".
He faces up to two years in prison and a € 30,000 fine.
He "pushed him to the limit"
“The autopsy of the animal had concluded in cardiac arrest.
Swelling on the muscles had also been noted, points out Me Arielle Moreau.
We will have to characterize the act of cruelty.
But, clearly, we are dealing with someone who inflicted gratuitous abuse on his horse and who pushed him to the limit.
Ten-year-old Flogas Sunset Cruise was reported to have collapsed after being subjected to intense galloping and heavy whipping.
“I'm not that kind of person.
I would never whip a horse to death, ”Kevin Thornton had defended in the columns of
The Irish field
Still in the horse racing circuit, he has not since given any news to the French justice despite a warrant.
The Grasse court confirmed on Tuesday that no lawyer had come forward on his behalf.
The trial could therefore be held in his absence or even be postponed.
The associations want the hearing to take place.
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