Douglas Lindelöw has appealed a decision from the Swedish National Federation’s Disciplinary Committee, that has put him under suspension for two moths until 24th of January. The appeal is made in an open letter, following a decision that can only be described as controversial.
It was at a national show in Sweden in September, that Lindelöw is claimed to have treated a horse in a way conflicting with the rules.
The ground jury’s accounts of what happened at the show is based on different witnesses that reacted on Lindelöw’s riding in the ring, as well as in the warm-up before the class and as he left the ring. The president of the ground jury was not present during Lindelöw’s warm-up or round, but the show director watched the round – and claimed to the president of the ground jury that it was aggressive. The show director also went to the judge that was present, but in the decision from the Disciplinary Committee this judge is described to have seen no reason to react during Lindelöw’s round.
Nevertheless, based on the incoming information it got – the ground jury decided to disqualify Lindelöw from the class. After the show, the ground jury reported Lindelöw to the Disciplinary Committee as they found that he both in and outside the ring had moved beyond the national regulations.
Lindelöw meets the decision with an open letter, where he reacts strongly.
The Swedish rider starts by stating that he respects and values the work of the Disciplinary Committee.
Lindelöw is nevertheless critical towards the way the case has been handled, stating that the legal proceedings before the Committee has been based solely on written accounts as well as hear-say from individuals that he has not even gotten to know the identity of. The descriptions made in these written accounts are in Lindelöw’s opinion – especially when compared to the statements made by individuals supporting Lindelöw’s version of the story – far more serious than the reality.
In the open letter, the Swedish rider goes on to state that there are many good reasons for why normal courts operate with a principal of conducting proceedings orally. Lindelöw writes that in a case like this, with such grave consequences – where suspension is involved – it can not be unreasonable to ask that the parties and witnesses be heard orally and not written. Written accounts do not provide the opportunity to ask questions to the individual that gives the information, and there is a risk that both the information and how it is interpreted by the reader can be exaggerated – the open letter goes on.
To actually provide a fair account of what happened, Lindelöw has found it necessary to appeal the decision.
To read the decision on the suspension, click here (only in Swedish).
To read the open letter from Douglas Lindelöw, click here (only in Swedish).
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