A prominent Pakenham equestrian accused of raping a fellow competitor has assured supporters he will fight to clear his name.
Callum Buczak was charged with one count of rape which allegedly took place in Frankston earlier this year.
Despite the accusations, Equestrian Australia is allowing Mr Buczak to continue competing because the alleged incident didn’t take place during an official event.
In a statement posted to social media, the 27-year-old said “the allegations made against me are strongly denied and shall be vehemently opposed”.
“Those closest to me know the type of person I am and the allegations made against me are not reflective of the way I have been brought up or the respect I have for women with whom I stand shoulder to shoulder in all aspects of life.
“Horses are my life. I have worked my entire career to compete with and care for the animals I love, towards a dream I have held since a child to compete at the very highest level,” Mr Buczak said.
“I would never do anything to jeopardise that dream.”
The once aspiring Olympian appeared at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday 4 October, supported by his girlfriend. The Gazette understands nine witnesses are ready to give evidence, with defence lawyers set to cross examine all.
Mr Buczak will return to court on 17 October.