Why you should avoid horse fairs

Every year, so-called horse fairs are held in Germany, usually in the spring – including the Partner Pferd in Leipzig and the Equitana in Essen in the Ruhr region.

There, many exhibitors will present their range of products, ranging from animal husbandry, transportation, riding accessories and clothing to horse breeding. [1] In addition to consuming equestrian sports equipment and accessories, the focus of these trade fairs is on animal exploitation. This includes animal abuse in equestrian sports in a variety of disciplines – such as dressage, show jumping, event organizing, and many others. At horse fairs such as Equitana and Partner Pferd, animals are used in horse shows for entertainment purposes, among other things, and offered for sale at auctions as commodities. [2]

Animal Suffering at Horse Shows: Auctions, Horse Shows and Demonstrations

Equitana advertises itself as the world’s largest horse fair with a variety of exhibitors and shows for visitors: among other things, “more than 1,000 horses, organized according to breeds and riding styles” are presented. [2] A horse show will also be held as part of the event.

The range of positively advertised products conceals the fact that animals are generally misused for recreational purposes and as sports equipment at such trade fairs and in equestrian sports, such as the “Breeding Stallions Evening Shows”. […] With first-rate representatives of the equine scene.” [2]

The animals are also on display at the Partner Pferd trade fair in Leipzig. The 2022 World Cup will also be held there, which will include show-jumping and dressage, vaulting, and “four-wheel driving”. In all disciplines, horses are pushed to peak performance by aggressive training methods that never reflect the natural handling or way of life of horses.

Horses are predators: events like Equitana in Essen or Partner Pferd in Leipzig with loud music and thousands of visitors mean a great deal of stress for them and lead to fear and tension. This can be seen through behavioral disturbances in horses, which are often drugged and forced to complete demonstrations repeatedly.

The 5 biggest horse shows in Germany

  1. Equitana, the largest equestrian fair in the world.
  2. Horse & Hunting is Europe’s largest fair where exhibitors specialize in horse riding, hunting and fishing.
  3. HansePferd is one of the largest trade fairs with a focus on equestrian sports.
  4. As the “European fair for horses”, the Eurocheval presents products and shows for the breeding and breeding of horses.
  5. Spoga Horse is a horse show for the specialty trade.

In addition to these five largest and probably the most famous fairs, many other events are held in Germany; Among other things:

  • “Americana – Home of Western Riding”
  • “Pferd Bodensee – Great Horse Show in Southern Germany”
  • HORSICA – International Exhibition of Horse and Equestrian Sports
  • “HIPPOLOGICA – Horse Show for Green Week” [3]

Horses are not ‘sports equipment’, ‘exhibits’ and ‘entertainment objects’.

Horses are delicate animals. The stress associated with such events affects them both physically and mentally. So we at PETA Germany advocate for a reorientation of the view of horses as sentient beings in breeding, conservation and at trade fairs and no longer displaying and misusing live animals for the amusement of visitors.

horse fair

We appeal to those responsible for all German horse fairs not to hold their events in their current form and to organize the fairs differently: the focus should be on the natural needs of animals in the areas of breeding, care, feeding and empathy, empathy and respect should be conveyed.

“Truly dealing with animal welfare and harmonious coexistence is only possible entirely apart from riding and other ‘training’.”

Jana Hueger, specialist in PETA Germany

Equestrianism is cruelty to animals – horse fairs enhance animal suffering

In the so-called equestrian sport, animals are often pushed to peak performance with “tools of torture” such as crops or spurs. Once the animals, which are trimmed down to high-performance athletes in the so-called equestrian sport, are no longer able to perform as required, some riders simply ‘tidy them up’. This often means that they are resold or even killed when in doubt.

Horse shows boost this exploitative and profitable industry with their shows and competitions – they give a wrong picture of how live creatures are treated. Horses degrade into sporting equipment, are abused as recreational items and spend most of their lives in cramped crates without regular contact with other horses. Horses are very social animals that must play and roam with their mates in a spacious and sheltered pasture, as this best meets their natural needs.

Help end the suffering of horses in equestrian sports!

Please do not attend equestrian events such as tournaments or horse races. Also tell those around you about the suffering of horses and ask your family and acquaintances not to attend riding competitions either.

Disciplines such as dressage, show jumping, and event are still part of the Olympic Games. Please sign our petition to the Olympic Committee so that other horses do not suffer for the Olympic Games.

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