International dressage rider and trainer Cesar Parra has taken aim at Trudy Miranda’s lawsuit with an answer and countersuit, which alleges “mental anguish,” and “loss of income.”
Miranda filed her suit last year after a 2009 training incident at Parra’s facility left her Hanoverian stallion, William PFF, severely injured. The suit alleges the horse’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.”
Trudy Miranda and William PFF after the incident
Parra’s counterclaim alleges Miranda has hurt his professional reputation. “The false and defamatory statements made by Miranda were made with the intent to harm or destroy Parra’s career, and to place in jeopardy the United States Olympic Committee’s consideration of him as a representative of the United States Olympic team in 2012.”
Ultimately, Parra’s competition scores will decide if he is invited to the Selection Trials, according to the guidelines. The latest rankings by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) - released on April 30
- show that Parra is ranked 27 out of 37 riders vying for a coveted spot to represent our American dressage team. The qualifying period ends in late May and only fifteen horse and rider pairs will be invited to the trials by the US Olympic Committee. Only three horse and rider pairs and one alternate will go to London this summer.
The court documents continue, stating “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.”
Parra’s fifth count alleges malicious prosecution. Court documents state “Miranda initiated or procured the institution of criminal proceedings against Parra.” In fact, Utah resident Allan Buck filed the criminal complaint, and has filed similar complaints against associations and horse professionals regarding the alleged abuse of horses across the country. The charges
were filed with the Readington Township Municipal Court by the Hunterdon County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The sworn documents submitted to the court on April 16 by Parra’s attorney(s), on his behalf, state “The criminal proceedings against Parra have been or will be dismissed.”
Rate My Horse PRO contacted Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Jeffrey Weinstein regarding this claim yesterday. Weinstein said, “The investigation has not been concluded therefore he absolutely does not know that.” Parra could face indictment for allegedly torturing Miranda’s stallion, if there is evidence it was not a one-time incident.
In a countersuit, the party who's the target of a lawsuit asserts a legal claim against the plaintiff, who made the original claim.
Rate My Horse PRO recently brought you the details of another civil lawsuit
filed in New Jersey against Parra and his team in 2011 alleging deceptive business practices. The case, brought by Carolyne Morgan was dismissed, without prejudice, last August so that both sides could pursue mediation as stipulated by their contracts.
Morgan’s attorney recently filed a motion to vacate the dismissal stating the mediation was not successful. Today, the Judge denied the Plaintiff's motion and ordered that the parties mediate on or before June 15. The Judge stipulated all proceeds from the sale of Florence are to be held in escrow with Parra's attorney.
Court documents state Parra sold the mare he and Morgan owned together, without her knowledge or permission. None of the sales proceeds have been paid to her, although their partnership contract states that if the horse is sold Morgan is due the first $327,000 from the proceeds.
Cesar Parra and Florence 115 in 2008
Parra’s attorney opposed the Plaintiff’s motion and asked the Judge for additional time to mediate the case.
Late last week Morgan’s attorney fired back with additional documentation to support their motion. A copy of the translated sales document was provided to the court noting “Dr. Parra represented that there were no existing rights by third parties to the horse when Plaintiffs indeed had an ownership on the horse.”
The purchase price on the document states the mare was sold by Parra for $238,000, meaning Morgan should have received all of the proceeds, according to their contract. It is interesting to note that according to court documents, the purchaser wired the funds to a German bank account at SPK Iserlohn to Arnd Erben. This move could put Parra and Erben in an uncomfortable position with government officials in their respective countries.
Arnd Erben and Cesar Parra in Germany
Michael Klimke of the law firm Dr. Klimke & Kollegen is representing Morgan in Germany, against Parra and those involved in assisting him. Klimke is the son of the legendary horse trainer and attorney, Dr. Reiner Klimke.
As soon as details become available Rate My Horse PRO will continue reporting and providing the most up to date information.