In March 2012, the Hunterdon County SPCA issued summonses 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 P. Kearns, III says, “A thorough investigation into this matter was completed by my office, including multiple witness interviews. It has been determined that there is insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges in the case.” The two civil complaints filed by the SPCA have been referred back to the Readington Township Municipal Court.
William PFF’s owner, Trudy Miranda says, “It is a sad day for the horses.”
She says, “I do not believe the Hunterdon County District Attorney’s Office did its due diligence in investigating other witnesses of alleged incidents. I think it is extremely unfortunate for the equine industry that people like him are not held responsible for their actions.”
Miranda, who is a dressage trainer, says it is time for those in the industry to take a stand, “those who have been victimized or who have seen something – it is time to be brave and step forward. We have to be the voice for the horses.”
The stallion sustained injuries when Parra was lunging the horse, according to court documents. Parra calls the incident an accident, “I am very happy that this is done. I understand when the agencies have to question things and do their job.”
Parra also says the sport of dressage isn’t to blame, “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 case pertaining to the incident isn’t done and he has another civil lawsuit brewing as well – which alleges theft and fraud.
Parra says he will continue to take things one day at a time. This weekend he will do it from the showgrounds – trying to qualify for Gladstone’s Dressage Festival of Champions. He is currently a few places shy of the 15th place needed to be invited, according to the May 21st ranking. He has only until May 27th to qualify. The United States Olympic Dressage Team will be selected at the Dressage Festival of Champions.
Miranda says, “It would be an extreme shame for this man to represent the United States in Olympic Competition. We [our country] do not want to be seen as using guerrilla tactics that risk the physical and mental health of our equine athletes.”
Parra says if he doesn’t make the Olympic team then it’s on to the next show.