Atlanta, GA - Three U.S. dressage riders have formed a group to rescue severely neglected horses from Danish breeder, John Byrialsen’s, European breeding operation located in Denmark and Poland. The three riders include Karen Lipp based in Georgia, Shawna Harding based in South Carolina, and 2012 U.S. Olympian, Tina Konyot. The intent is to purchase as many of the horses as possible and relocate them to rescue locations for rehabilitation. The neglect was publicized on August 9, 2013 when Epona.tv released a video filmed by a former employee at Byrialsen’s breeding farm in Poland. The video shows many horses in various stages of starvation, with open wounds and infections. Many of these untreated injuries resulted in death.
Warning: graphic content http://epona.tv/blog/2013/august/the-dark-side-of-performance-breeding
On August 16, 2013, John Byrialsen admitted in an interview http://epona.tv/blog/2013/august/posadowo-byrialsen-speaks-out that his operation has fallen on hard times and he claimed he had not visited the farm in three months to witness the neglect. However, the video was taken over three months ago. In the interview, Byrialsen also said he questions whether he has the answers to fix the problem going forward.
Subsequent reports and pictures have been released showing horses have been in severe distress going back as far as 2011.
Authorities in Poland and Denmark have removed approximately 75 horses that were in the most critical condition, and the investigation continues in both countries.
But, that leaves over 500 horses in his care. This is why Lipp, Harding, and Konyot have joined together along with several investors to purchase horses from Byrialsen’s operation in Poland.
“The blame for the neglect is for the authorities to decide over the coming weeks. But, John has admitted he has fallen on hard times and is having trouble keeping up with the expense of his operation. We are gravely concerned with horses suffering now. That is why we have come together and are planing to offer to buy as many horses as we can. We have located various farms in Europe that will take the horses and get them back to full strength. They need to get proper attention now before it is too late for any more horses,” Karen Lipp said in a statement yesterday.
A formal offer is to be delivered to John Byrialsen and the authorities in both Denmark and Poland later this week.
Lipp stated, “We hope John accepts this offer in the best interest of the suffering horses.”