The French equestrian world's blinkered approach to child sex abuse

By Quentin Müller, Margaux Solinas

After decades of silence, the victims of child sex abuse in France's equestrian world are finally telling their stories. In some cases the offenders' suspect behaviour was known to other members of the close-knit horse riding and racing community, who nonetheless chose to say nothing. Meanwhile the president of the France's main riding federation has denied claims that he turned a blind eye to what was going on in the industry. Quentin Müller and Margaux Solinas report.

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After years of silence, Joséphine has decided to speak about it for the first time. “He touched our bottoms, put his hands under our tee-shirts, kissed us on the lips, and he was in the changing rooms checking us out,” she says. “He once asked me to help him clean the [horse] boxes and once the horse was out he came up behind me and touched my breasts. I wasn't afraid of violence from him, but I was afraid that if I rejected him he'd get rid of me from the club and tell stories about me.”