For the equestrian portion of the modern pentathlon, athletes are assigned an "unfamiliar horse" 20 minutes before they're set to compete. Most of the times, this goes well. Other times, you have what happened to South Korea's Woojin Hwang, who was thrown from his unruly mount, Shearwater Oscar, at the beginning of his ride.
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The trouble started almost immediately. Shearwater Oscar didn't take kindly to a new face, bucking and neighing at the outset. It's been a while, but we're pretty sure this is exactly how "The Black Stallion" began.
Each athlete has an official page on the London 2012 website. Some athletes have bios that run thousands of words (Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, for instance). Others have scant information. The only nugget that appears in Hwang's bio: "Nickname is 'Careless' [because he makes many small mistakes]." Having his horse step on a flower pot probably qualifies as a small mistake.
Shearwater Oscar had decided enough was enough and bucked Hwang off the saddle. Fortunately, neither horse nor rider were injured.
Hwang brushed himself off while Shearwater Oscar trotted away.
Hwang finished with 734 out of 1200 points. He is in last place amongst competitors who finished the first three events of the modern pentathlon. Azerbaijani boxing judges found nothing wrong with Hwang's ride and would have voted to award him the gold medal.
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