Rich Fellers of Oregon City, Oregon, has been suspended by the US Center For SafeSport’s as of February 9th, along with his wife, Shelley. Fellers is an international showjumping champion and his wife is also a jumper rider. The action is reported to be a “temporary suspension” with a no-contact order, all due to what is listed as “allegations of misconduct” surrounding his former student, Maggie Kehring.
Fellers won the FEI World Final Cup held in the Netherlands back in 2012 with the horse Flexible. From there he represented the United States at the 2018 London Olympic Games. Following the release of the suspension list, Maggie Kehring, a former student of Fellers, came forward with a public statement which was provided by her attorney Russ Price to NW Horse Report.
“I moved to Oakland Stables in Wellington, Florida, in late 2020 to continue my training,” said Kehring, now 18. “Since arriving Darragh Kenny and Hardin Towell have been nothing short of amazing. They have provided me a safe place to train and grow as a rider. While I understand everyone wants to discuss and speculate about my previous trainer, and the circumstances under which I departed, please don’t. My family and I would appreciate everyone allowing us our privacy. At this point I have participated in the process that was available to me, answered the questions asked by the U.S. Center for SafeSport, and I am moving forward with my full focus on my riding and the wonderful opportunities in front of me.”
In response, some individuals within the equestrian community took to social media to attack her. Kerhring released a second statement saying “I know it is hard for my peers, friends, coaches, and strangers to understand the suspension of my former trainer and his wife. It is important to know this investigation and process has been underway for many, many months.” She further stated “I struggled with the thought the world would know that what occurred to me for many years would lead to someone America came to love to possibly be banned from the sport.”
According to information from the Oregon Secretary of State Corporations Division, the Fellers operate Rich Fellers Stables, LLC in Oregon City, Oregon. The business was registered in 2008 and is still active. The Fellers operate out of a facility that has been known as Timberline Meadows Equestrian Center, although the business originally behind that name, Timberline Meadows LLC, was dissolved by its owners in 2017 after the sale of the property to the Fellers.
Kehring’s attorney Russ Prince further stated “Ms. Kehring spoke up in an effort to end the constant rumor and innuendo mill she has been subjected to, and she was going to be criticized no matter the path she took. I assure you that while Ms. Kehring may have been a victim, she is not going to allow herself to continue to be victimized by anyone. I applaud her for the strength, courage, and perseverance she has already shown. Hopefully, the public will allow her some peace and privacy to get through this difficult time.”
Phone calls from NW Horse Report to both Fellers and his attorney have not been returned. USEF also told The Chronicle of the Horse “USEF takes allegations of misconduct very seriously, and will enforce the temporary suspensions put in place by the U.S. Center for Safe Sport, but, most importantly, respect the privacy and confidentiality of the process for all parties involved.”
Should Fellers or his attorney choose to comment at a later time we will update this article.
This article was updated to reflect further statements provided by Kehring’s attorney Russ Prince.