Olympic event canceled after horse struck at Tokyo Games
Horseback riding should be removed from the modern pentathlon at the Games for the next Olympics after controversy erupted in Tokyo.
During the Tokyo Olympics, Annika Schleu – who was leading the equestrian event – fell completely out of action when her mount absolutely refused to cooperate.
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However, the coach Kim Raisner was then banned from the men’s individual competition at the Tokyo Olympics after footage showed her hitting a horse with her fist and urging rider Schleu to “really hit” the horse when he refused to jump.
The Modern Pentathlon Federation (UIPM) said Raisner was disqualified due to her actions during the show jumping.
However, Schleu was not the only competitor to suffer from a frustrated horse.
Top-ranked Michelle Gulyas and Irish Natalya Coyle suffered the same fate with their horses as they saw their own podium hopes dashed, dropping the top 10 and out of competition.
At the time, the head of the German Olympic team, Alfons Hoermann, called for urgent changes to the rules of the international federation.
“The rules have to change so that the rider and the horse are protected,” Hoermann said.
“The emphasis must be on animal welfare and fair competition for athletes.”
Governing body for making the riding decision
Now Olympic news site ‘Inside the games‘reported that the discipline will be withdrawn from the sport.
And the International Modern Pentathlon Union could replace the discipline with cycling.
The UIPM did not deny to Inside the Games that the discipline would be abandoned.
The governing body issued a statement, which read: “As part of the UIPM’s commitment to maintain a strong and dynamic profile for modern pentathlon, a series of strategic meetings are underway.”
“These meetings will include an upcoming call with the national federations later this week. The outcome of these meetings will be detailed in a press release to be issued on November 4.”
After the Tokyo Olympics, UIPM President Klaus Schormann said the incident involving Raisner was a crucial learning moment.
“The problems that arose in the women’s final equestrian competition in Tokyo demanded prompt and meaningful thought and remedy,” Schormann wrote for Inside the Games.
“Within days, the UIPM had put in place new measures to improve the welfare of horses in our sport.
“A working group of the most eminent experts has since been established and has begun to explore and address both the incidents that arose in the women’s final and the proposed changes.”
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