Lucerne: Cantonal court finds show jumping rider Paul Estermann guilty of cruelty to animals


Cantonal court finds show jumping rider Paul Estermann guilty of cruelty to animals

Show jumper Paul Estermann has been sentenced to a conditional fine by the Lucerne cantonal court for cruelty to animals on the horse “Castlefield Eclipse”. In two other cases he was acquitted.

The Swiss show jumper Paul Estermann (left), here with his lawyer on the way to the cantonal court.

Image: Urs Flüeler / Keystone (Lucerne, December 15, 2020)

The Lucerne Cantonal Court has for the most part confirmed the judgment of the Willisau District Court against the show jumper Paul Estermann. It pronounces the accused guilty of multiple deliberate cruelty to animals, as the cantonal court announced on Wednesday morning.

The 57-year-old is sentenced to a fine of 105 daily rates of 160 francs each – conditionally enforceable with a trial period of two years. The indictment accuses the former Swiss show jumping squad member of repeatedly mistreating horses with a whip in his riding center in Hildisrieden. He was specifically accused of having hit the horse “Castlefield Eclipse” excessively against the flanks and lower abdomen on April 28, 2016. The animal is said to have suffered swelling and bleeding as a result.

Sentenced for three incidents, two not charged with him

Paul Estermann has now been convicted for this offense and for an incident that had occurred around a week earlier, as well as for an attack on gelding “Lord Pepsi” in autumn 2015. However, the cantonal court acquitted him with regard to two further incidents against “Lord Pepsi”, which are said to have occurred between 2014 and 2017.

The District Court of Willisau found the accused guilty of multiple animal cruelty in a judgment of November 20, 2019 and punished him with a conditional fine of 100 daily rates of 160 francs each and a fine of 4000 francs. The accused appealed against this judgment.

The appeal hearing at the cantonal court took place on December 15th. The judges’ panel increased the penalty from 100 to 105 daily rates. On the other hand, there is no fine of 4,000 francs. In addition, the accused has to bear 80 percent of the costs of the appeal process.

The judgment of the cantonal court was made available to the parties in writing and in a dispositive. It is therefore not final. The cantonal court will justify the judgment in writing at a later date.

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