The German Equestrian Federation (FN) was looking for escape to the front. According to the report of the news magazine "Der Spiegel" about alcohol outbreaks and sexual attacks through and through young show jumpers, the association recognized problems in the Junior area. He did not want to know anything about a general phenomenon in the younger generation of riders. "We have a group of young players who certainly have a problem here," said Secretary General Soenke Lauterbach on Saturday at a press conference in Warendorf. "We do not want to and will not make a big problem."
After the publication of the report, the FN responded only in a statement on Friday evening and then with a press conference on Saturday as part of the Bundeschampionat. The association tried to be transparent and seemed a little helpless. Because the portrait of a mermaid painted by Der Spiegel in his current edition is frightening. Strong alcoholic young riders plunder during tournaments and sexually harass young girls. "What is new in this process for us is that alcohol use in the past two years has been accompanied by material damage and assault," confirms Maria Schierhölter-Otte, head of the youth department. "That's a new dimension."
Listed cases in the scene have long been known
The cases mentioned in the "Mirror" have been in the racing scene for some time. "The fact that we are dealing with the subject of sexual violence personally concerns me as a father and all my colleagues in the kidneys," said Lauterbach. It is all the more important to discover cases. But that is difficult, as FN attorney Constanze Engel admitted: "A conversation at the bar is not enough for us," she said. "We can not take legal action without explanations, it needs offenders and victims."
In the case of alcohol abuse and sexual assault described by Der Spiegel, the association could intervene. A young rider was condemned by the FN Sports Court to an 18-year competition ban, as confirmed by the Ruitersportfederatie. The affected driver denied the accusations and filed an appeal with the Association's Grand Arbitration Court. The decision is still pending. The lock is therefore not final yet. The pronounced squadre suspension though. The FN went on because of the allegations also the prosecutor in Münster.
The fact that the young rider was nominated during the ongoing investigation of national coach Otto Becker for tournaments, justified Secretary-General Lauterbach with the presumption of innocence, which also applies in sports law. Since the judgment in first instance, the person concerned is no longer used. He has known for a long time that the association has problems with his young riders. "We can say with all our heart and conviction that we have declared war against assault – as well as excessive consumption of alcohol," said Lauterbach.
Vereniging has been involved in prevention for years
He refers to the many initiatives that FN has taken and is still planning. Since 2011 the Reiterliche Vereinigung also works together with the Zartbitter association, which campaigns for young people who are victims of sexual violence. "For a number of years we have been practicing prevention measures, all in all against sexual violence, now alcohol prevention has been added in a new dimension", Lauterbach describes the new challenges. "We start training, awareness raising, training our young federal squadratic athletes and their parents."
Especially the parents see the head of department Schierhölter-Otte of the youth in the task. Without them, the association would not continue. But many of the guardians said: "You do not need to raise our children from the Warendorf Association, we know what is right and what is not," she said. If these parents then take the alcohol in their trucks to the German youth championships, "what should we do?", She almost asked to resign. "This is a new generation of parents who see it very differently from most of us." (AP)