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Man riding from Spain to China faces animal abuse
Published on: 2022-09-23
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A 32-year-old Chinese man who shot to fame after starting a journey from western Europe to China on horseback may have to cut his trip short after allegations of animal abuse.

Xu Zhixian, from Heze in Shandong province, eastern China, was detained by police in the Netherlands recently after they received complaints alleging Xu was abusing his horse.

On February 20, Xu started a planned journey riding his eight-year-old purebred Arabian white male horse, Huihui, from Spain to central China. Moving about 30 kilometres a day, he has so far travelled through Spain, France and Belgium.

Late last month, the pair reached the Netherlands after covering more than 2,500 kilometres.

In a video Xu posted online earlier this week he said local police in the Netherlands had detained him and taken his horse into custody, but said he was released two days later after they failed to prove the abuse allegations.

Xu then resumed his journey, however, two days later the police questioned him again, this time with a vet accompanying them.

The vet gave the horse a full health check and then, according to Xu, told him that the horse had received an injury before he purchased it.

“I am informed that the horse doesn’t feel up to a long journey based on the policy of animal protection groups,” Xu said.

Xu said he is now resigned to the reality of the situation and told the police that they would end their intercontinental journey if required.





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