The following is a statement from Cesar Parra.

Statement from Cesar Parra 3/22/12

The recent postings of the “criminal charges” against Cesar Parra on the Rate My Horse Pro web site have caused significant concern about the vulnerability of trainers of all disciplines to the unwarranted attacks by self appointed “experts” or fringe players in the horse industry with questionable motives and possibly even personal agendas. First and foremost, Dr. Parra is confident in the sensitivity and intelligence of most of the horse community which has come to his support after the publication of the allegations against him and appreciates that 1) most readers with horse experience understand that horses are capable of unpredictable, and sometimes self destructive behavior, 2) that sometimes horses are injured in the course of being ridden and trained because of their unpredictable behavior without any inappropriate riding or training method involved; and 3) readers and other horse trainers will not judge each other or Dr. Parra without first evaluating all the facts, from all perspectives, both the owner’s and the trainer’s, including the statements of all eye witnesses present. Mr. Buck was not present the day of the accident and Ms. Miranda can only provide her side of the events to her “expert” Mr. Buck who has interpreted for the rest of the curious in the horse world.

Dr. Parra has retained counsel to address the filings in the Readington Township Municipal Court and fully expects the charges will be dismissed as the sad true facts about the accident in question come to light. The Hunterdon County SPCA employee, Ms. Ashley Meyer, who signed the two sworn criminal complaints, admitted to a representative of the USEF and to Dr. Parra’s counsel that she did not, in fact, witness any of the events forming the basis of the complaints, but rather relied upon the statements of the owner of the subject horse, Ms. Trudy Miranda, and Mr. Allen Buck. Ms. Meyer’s supervisor, Ms. Theresa “T” Carlson, confirmed that neither she nor Ms. Meyer had any firsthand knowledge of the underlying events related to Dr. Parra’s “training” of William, the injured horse. Both Ms. Meyer and Ms. Carlson also admitted that they had not spoken with Dr. Parra or anyone from Piaffe Performance prior to the filing of the complaints.

In a post on his blog and on the Barn Mice website, Mr. E. Allen Buck explained how he, as an expert in horse training matters, brought the issues related to the injury suffered by William in June 2009 to the attention of the New Jersey Attorney General. What he did not tell the readers is that he has found by the Hearing Committee of the United State Equestrian Federation, after filing a complaint with that Governing Body of Equestrian Sport, not to be qualified to testify as an expert on horse training matters. (See attached Findings and Decision of the USEF, Inc. Hearing Committee in Re: E. Allen Buck v. United States Equestrian Federation, Inc. (finding in pertinent parts that, “Mr. Buck did not present any expert testimony....To the contrary, Mr. Buck indicated that he sought to engage various experts in his theory,” (that the use of certain bits and training methods were permitted by the USEF rules were cruel and abusive to horses), “but all had declined...the Hearing Committee was left with his own opinions about the matter, and he clearly lacked any formal veterinary or medical expertise that would make his testimony relevant or reliable. While extensive experience alone can qualify as expert testimony in certain circumstances, this is clearly not one of them.”

His complaint was dismissed by the USEF Hearing Committee at which he was given a full, unrestricted opportunity to present his case in a due process hearing conducted by the USEF consistent with its procedural rules. His similar efforts with the USDF and the FEI met with comparable results, no action being taken.

It is now in question what Mr. Buck and Ms. Miranda motivations are in mounting a campaign to discredit Dr. Parra, interfere with his business relationships and his potential opportunity to participate on the US National Team at the 2012 Olympics. It appears that the horse William stands to gain nothing from Ms. Miranda and Mr. Buck’s actions which appear to be intended to impugn Dr. Parra’s reputation and cause him so much distraction from his efforts to gain a place on the Dressage Team that he will pay to settle the lawsuit Ms. Miranda has brought against him in Hunterdon Superior Court. Dr. Parra has no intention to capitulate to such highly suspect behavior and fully intends to take whatever steps necessary to address the damage that has been caused by Ms. Miranda’s and Mr. Buck’s reprehensible behavior. The court filings will soon include his claims against them and his procedurally proper requests to obtain equitable relief to restrain them from further defamatory and intentionally tortious conduct.

Finally, Dr. Parra does not deny that Ms. Miranda’s horse was injured in an incident involving his evaluation of the horse. Ms. Miranda sought Dr. Parra’s opinion about her young Dressage prospect at his facility in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey in 2009. In the presence of Ms. Miranda and several observers Dr. Parra successfully longed the horse. Without warning and unpredictably, apparently in response to an outside stimulus, the horse suddenly exhibited dangerous behavior, reared, lost his balance and fell over backwards striking his head on the ground. Dr. Parra is deeply saddened that the horse was injured, but categorically denies any allegation of cruelty, abuse, gross negligence, recklessness or any other inappropriate conduct in the handling of the horse.

Ms. Miranda had lauded Dr. Parra and his staff for their extraordinary efforts in rehabilitating William so that he could return to Ms. Miranda’s New York farm nearly two months after the June 2009 injury. After nearly 2 years, during which time Dr. Parra had obtained multiple successes riding for his new country the USA, just as unpredictably as the horse had reared and fallen, Ms. Miranda filed a Complaint against Dr. Parra in the Hunterdon Superior Court alleging that Dr. Parra was responsible for William’s injuries. Dr. Parra believed that his insurance company had taken care of the complaint when the posting of a graphic YouTube video showing the injured William on the ground followed in December 2011(subsequently removed) together with photos and other postings casting Dr. Parra in a false light. As the matter is still being litigated in a Civil Action in Hunterdon County Superior Court, Dr. Parra has limited his public comments about the unfortunate incident in 2009 and has, until now, chosen to conduct his defense of the unwarranted and baseless allegations against him in the pending Superior Court Proceedings. He will vigorously continue with his defense and will take whatever steps necessary to aggressively pursue counterclaims and cross claims against Ms. Miranda and Mr. Buck, respectively, to hold them legally accountable for their reprehensible conduct in intentionally attempting to damage Dr. Parra’s professional reputation. 

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Comment by Marlene Thoms on April 10, 2012 at 6:28pm

I agree Allan, but it's worse that it was done so quickly. Doing it at all is risking injury, but doing it especially the way it was done, I think is just a recipe for disaster. Done slowly, it's cruel, done quickly it's so incredibly stupid I can't figure out what was going through the trainer's mind. There are degrees of cruelty, and doing it with knowledge is more culpable in my mind that some beginner idiot who knows no better and thinks this is what the pros do. Which is also why the pros should feel some responsability for leading others into it, which just means more animals abused or injured. Also the coverups compound this, because then thousands of dressage wannabes never get to see the possible bad consequences of bad practices. Unfortunately William has suffered,and that can't be changed, but if his story prevents others from trying the same stunt, maybe fewer horses will suffer.

Comment by E. Allan Buck on April 10, 2012 at 5:34pm

The stills speak volumes as to Parra's total negligent actions.

No trainer should ever tie a horse down into that frame at any time for any reason.

Comment by Marlene Thoms on April 10, 2012 at 5:33pm

And I think the other debate, which does seem more like an intentional thing to do, was when William was lunged, after the injury, but as I recall before the vet had cleared the horse for it. It seems to show a disregard for the welfare of the horse, and lack of admitting the severity of the horse's poor condition, but probably didn't aggravate the injury. What could be the reason to do that except to point out, see, he's not really that bad, he's only standing a little off keel.

Comment by Marlene Thoms on April 10, 2012 at 5:22pm

I don't think the debate is really about intentionally causing injury, but whether, as a expert CP should have known that a youngish horse, having only used elastic and relatively loose side reins should have been advanced so quickly to shorter, non-elastic side reins, especially on a day when he was just moved to the new facility (so more distractable, less predictable). An experienced trainer surely would have known the risk of having the side reins suddenly very shortened (within just one 20 minute training session). I personally would like to see the video (not just a snippet) during training, it would certainly tell more than verbal accounts, which seem to vary depending on whether the person has allegiance  with the trainer or the owner. When I read statements from both, I know who I'd believe. Being the mom of three boys, I have liar radar, and it's pretty accurate.

Comment by vickie lawson on April 8, 2012 at 5:15am

I read the report from the farm where William was from.  Very hard to argue with that!

Comment by E. Allan Buck on April 7, 2012 at 10:35pm

This is the video after he was down

If you go to you can see still images.

Comment by vickie lawson on April 7, 2012 at 10:02pm

The video link on this chat is now classed as private. We really cannot speculate without seeing at least the video. I think it odd that a professional like Dr. Parra would intentionally cause the horse to fall and suffer injury in front of its owner....

Comment by E. Allan Buck on March 25, 2012 at 12:36am


You said more than volumes could speak by stating the cure.

Just wish it would begin with the people who are examples to so many millions of horse folks.

Comment by wildehex on March 25, 2012 at 12:00am

But how many people methodically attach side reins to a caveson first? Or drive with a surcingle (and certainly NOT with side reins)? If a horse posses behind the vertical, or a cannot take a hh driven, then more flexion will call explosion.  And the more buoyant and alive the horse, the more likely they will be more wired in their reactions.  But what do people want?  Enhanced expression early on is the de jour requirement , and that is not part of traditional training. How many people teach a horse a hh (how to fold its hind legs) in hand, driven, even on a lunge?  Nope, lunging is sheerly about longitudinal flexion at this point for 99% of handler.

There are three vids, and all show the same bearing which imho contributed to a perfect storm later.  Both handlings are problematic, and the horse suffered. Ideally equipment is correctly fitted by all handlers, and for a purpose (which is NOT longitudinal flexion).  

It all makes me sad for the horse (and as someone who has been in the owner's shoes).  The cure: depth of education on many levels.

Comment by Barbara F. on March 24, 2012 at 11:59pm

I either had loose side reins or no side reins. I can't remember, as it was a long time ago. The footing gave way and he slid down, then he got up again and carried on. I nearly had a heart attack though!

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