Trudy Miranda’s lawsuit alleges her young stallion’s injuries were a result of Parra’s negligence and his attempt to lunge the horse a second time after the initial incident, which was “in direct contravention of instructions from the treating veterinarian.”
The criminal charges were from the June 2009 incident involving the young Hanoverian stallion William PFF.
New Jersey’s Cesar Parra is suing the now defunct Hunterdon County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and a worker, claiming he suffered after being charged with animal cruelty in 2012. The criminal charges were later dropped.
The county SPCA is no longer in existence, according to New Jersey SPCA spokesman Matt Stanton. The court awarded the NJ SPCA temporary receivership in early 2014 of what is now called the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter. The state’s SPCA is currently overseeing the day to day operations of the shelter.
Stanton said he knows nothing about the suit, but “is hopeful the NJ SPCA will be granted permanent receivership status of the Hunterdon Humane Animal Shelter.”
An attorney we spoke with, who is not involved with the case, said the receiver will most likely be left to respond to the complaint.
Parra alleges he was libeled, subjected to ridicule, public embarrassment, and harassment when agent Ashley Meyer filed horse abuse charges against him. The infamous dressage trainer also maintains the defendants caused him intentional infliction of emotional distress, committed fraud, and interfered with his equine sales and horse training business.
In March 2012, the Hunterdon County SPCA issued summons in relation to a training session that occurred at Parra’s farm, with a young Hanoverian stallion named William PFF. Parra was accused by the SPCA of “torture or torment to a living animal” after the horse was grossly injured in June 2009.
Hunterdon County Prosecutor Anthony Kearns, III announced in late May 2012 that Parra would not face criminal prosecution for horse abuse. “It has been determined that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges in the case.”
Parra told Rate My Horse PRO after the prosecutor’s announcement, “I am very happy that this is done. I understand when the agencies have to question things and do their job.” He added, “accidents do happen, some more tragic than others. I am lucky to have had only one accident in my 15 or 20 years doing this.”
The civil suit brought by the horse’s owner in 2011 is headed to trial after Parra’s appeal to have the case dismissed was denied. The Superior Court of New Jersey Appellate Division would not hear his case.
Court documents detail after the incident when William is in shock, “burning up from fever.” The vet had not arrived.
“I finally yelled, “there must be a hose in this barn.” They came out with hoses soon after. At one point, Cesar Parra asked for the hose. I thought, “oh, that is nice, he is helping.” But instead, Cesar Parra turns the hose on the wall to wash William’s blood off of his wall.
Cesar Parra took the hose off my horse, when my horse was in shock… My horse was dying and he was worried about the aesthetics of his arena…”
The stallion, previously deemed as an upper level competition horse and stallion prospect is now only pasture sound due to his defects from the incident, according to documents.
Parra filed a countersuit against Miranda in 2012 alleging mental anguish and that she has hurt his professional reputation. Documents state “Parra has been impaired in his ability to earn a living, and he has sustained, and will continue to sustain, loss of income” and that “as a direct and proximate result of Miranda’s conduct, Parra has experienced and will continue to experience extreme mental anguish and distress.”
Despite his allegations of mental anguish, Parra was quoted by Dressage-News last week as describing the continuing legal case as a “silly game, a matter of pride and money” to turn a “horrible accident” into a move to “destroy the sport.”
Parra continued, according to the dressage publication,“It’s just not right,” he said. “I know I have done no wrong. It just doesn’t make sense. This is not about taking care of the horse. It’s sad the country has come to this point. It’s depressing. I don’t understand it.”
Parra is a Colombian native. He was the sole equestrian representative to compete for the country at the 2004 Olympics and placed 46th individually out of 51 dressage competitors. He became an American citizen in 2008 and now rides for the United States.
Parra most recently received an invitation to represent the U.S.A. at the World Cup Final in Lyon, France later this month.