World of Showjumping
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Douglas Lindelöw denies accusations of horse abuse

Friday, 15 March 2024

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson/WoSJ. Douglas Lindelöw, here at the FEI European Championship in 2021. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

Sweden’s Douglas Lindelöw has today publicly denied the accusations of horse abuse that were brought against him by five of his former employees in an article published in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet earlier this week. The former employees also criticized the working conditions they had experienced while employed by Lindelöw. 

Lindelöw is an accomplished Swedish showjumper who has competed on top level for more than a decade. In 2010, he won individual gold at the European Championships for Juniors, Young Riders and Children in Jardy with Talina and the now 34-year-old was also part of the Swedish team at the 2015, 2017 and 2021 FEI European Championships, as well as placing 8th at the FEI World Cup™ Final in Las Vegas in 2015 with Casello and 11th in Paris in 2018 with Zacramento. 

It was on Monday this week that the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published an article where five former employees of an unidentified Swedish "elite rider at the highest level" brought forward the allegations of horse abuse. Following the allegations, the Swedish Equestrian Federation removed the rider from any activities related to the national squad he was a part of – also without identifying the person. "We take the information that has been shared in the article extremely seriously," Johan Fyrberg, Secretary General of the Swedish Equestrian Federation, commented on Tuesday. "Equestrian sport must be characterized by respect and joy, for both horses and other people. Therefore, we have decided on a break. Now we need to get to the bottom of this and carefully review how this needs to be taken forward and investigated." 

On Wednesday, the Swedish Equestrian Federation chose to follow up by reporting Lindelöw to the police and denied him to compete internationally.

Until today Lindelöw has remained silent, but has now published the following statement in social media: "I wish to address the serious allegations that have been made against me and the operations I oversee, as reported in the media. I fully recognize the gravity of the situation but firmly refute the accusations of horse mismanagement. While I am certainly not infallible, I maintain that our care and training of horses are conducted with utmost respect and in compliance with established norms and regulations. This has been confirmed by inspections by authorities over the years. Just this week, I initiated an independent veterinary examination of all the horses. The result: No remarks. In light of the recent allegations, we are of course prepared to fully cooperate with any potential investigations or inquiries - which we welcome. We are open to implementing further measures to ensure and enhance the welfare of our animals if necessary. With that said, I urge the Swedish Equestrian Federation to initiate a broader review of the industry in Sweden, as concerns are occasionally raised about horses being pushed too hard and improper methods being used. It is in everyone’s interest to thoroughly investigate these concerns." 

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