By Canadian Horse Journal
Updated June 9, 2021 - The once celebrated United States Show Jumping Olympian Rich Fellers was arrested June 7, after an indictment by a Grand Jury for four counts of second degree sexual abuse of 18-year-old Maggie Kehring. A former student of Fellers, Kehring was only 17 at the time the allegations of misconduct took place in her apartment.
The U.S. Center for SafeSport issued Fellers an interim suspension on February 9, along with his wife Shelley Fellers. In April, Shelley’s suspension was elevated to four years, a ruling she is appealing, for “abuse of process, retaliation, failure to report.”
Following a months’ long investigation into the allegations, the case was presented to a Grand Jury after a “mounting body of evidence which demonstrated serious predatory behavior and sexual abuse of long-term equestrian rider, Maggie Kehring,” as stated in a press release by her attorneys, Russell Prince and Michael Palma.
Fellers has been released on bail after being booked by the Tualatin Police Department in Oregon, June 7, 2021, into the Washington County Jail. (Photo Courtesy of the Washington County Jail)
Fellers competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games as a U.S. Team Rider and is the 2012 Jumping World Cup Champion. Before their suspensions, Rich, 61, and Shelley, 54, ran Rich Fellers LLC out of Timberline Meadows in Oregon City.
Kehring released a statement regarding the arrest via her attorneys, “Though there are things that happened to me that I can never get back, I am relieved and grateful to see that my truth, The Truth, was heard, understood and believed. The power in me has been restored by protecting others and ensuring that no one else will be scarred by this same experience. I am so thankful for the work the Tualatin Police Department and FBI have done on my behalf and on the behalf of others in similar situations.”
The U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) stated their position on the arrest: “USEF strongly believes that sex abuse has no place in sport. Protecting athletes from all forms of abuse should be the collective concern of our community. USEF urges all participants to respect the privacy of the victim and her family at this time. Please be reminded that sexual abuse involving athletes under 18 must be reported to the U.S. Center for SafeSport and the authorities. Let’s stand together by supporting victims and survivors of abuse in our sport.”
Photo: Rich Fellers competing on Flexible in the 2010 BMO Nations’ Cup at Spruce Meadows, Alberta. Credit: Robin Duncan Photography