The German branch of PETA,People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has filed charges against Totilas’ owners, Paul Schockemöhle and Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff.
In a press release, PETA stated that the horse is being trained and ridden in rollkur by Matthias Rath, which they consider to be torture. The organization also objected to the fact that the stallion, who won individual, freestyle and team gold at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.) with the Netherlands’ Edward Gal before being sold to Schockemöhle and Linsenhoff in 2010, is kept in a stall for approximately 22 hours a day.
Matthias Alexander Rath has made no secret of the fact that Totilas does not receive any social contact with other horses and not being given the opportunity to spend time in a paddock.
The free-movement requirements are specified in the guidelines of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Consumer Protection, said PETA’s lawyer, Davina Bruhn. “Rath stated (on a German television interview) that Totilas wasn’t allowed to move freely and that they only went for a walk with him on the halter,” she added.
The German prosecuting office will decide whether further investigations are warranted to determine if the owners and rider have violated Germany’s animal welfare laws.