Equestrian Canada released the following statement on Feb. 18th regarding the provisional suspension of Canadian dressage riders Evi Strasser and Tanya Strasser-Shostak of Sainte-Adèle, QC:

“All allegations of misconduct are received through EC’s third-party complaints process. If EC receives a report from our Independent Third Party (ITP) Complaints Manager regarding a complaint they have received that is serious in nature, the respondents are provisionally suspended.

To protect the integrity of the investigation, EC is not provided further details until the investigation is complete and a decision is rendered.

We confirm that pursuant to section 17 of EC’s Discipline, Complaints & Appeals Policy, EC has provisionally suspended respondents Evi Strasser and Tanya Strasser-Shostak effective February 17, 2024 from all EC-related business, activities, and events pending the completion of an Investigation. According to section 19, the respondents have the right to request the provisional measures be modified or lifted.

Sanctions are provided on our public website. All EC sport license holders that are suspended for misconduct appear on the ‘other not in good standing’ list found here.

EC asks our community and the public to support the third-party investigative process and allow it to do its job in coming to a fair and expeditious resolution for all parties involved. Anyone that has witnessed or has reasonable grounds to believe that a human or horse is suffering or has suffered abuse in our sport, is obligated to report it and we encourage them to report their concerns here.”

According to a report on Eurodressage.com, the situation apparently dates back to 2018 and involves photos of a mistreated horse in Evi Strasser’s barn, which was reported to Canada’s SPCA as well as Equestrian Canada at the time. In 2020 it was brought up again to EC as well as SafeSport, but the case never proceeded. Photos of the allegedly severely mistreated horse were posted briefly on Facebook by an unidentified party on December 3, 2023 before a “cease and desist” letter from Strasser’s lawyer caused them to be taken down.

Horse Sport reached out to Evi Strasser for comment but none was received, but Evi Strasser, Tanya Strasser, and Good Tyme Stables posted this joint statement on their Facebook page:

“Recently, an unsupported allegation was received by Equestrian Canada from a past employee of Good Tyme Stables, who had been previously terminated from employment several years ago for her unprofessional and improper conduct.

Since 2018, that former employee, who claims to be a competitor of ours, has engaged in a campaign of libel and slander against us, requiring us to send two cease and desist letters to that person in 2020 and 2023. Unfortunately, this person has now decided to escalate her attacks upon us, by making a complaint to Equestrian Canada for allegations arising in 2017. We strongly deny the allegations by this disgruntled ex-employee. We are defending this matter vigorously, through our legal counsel. As our friends and equestrian community members know, defending such allegations is a difficult and sometimes lengthy process. We appreciate the kind words of support we have received, and continue to receive, as we work through this difficult time.”