The German modern pentathlon coach was disqualified and won’t be part of the men’s individual final at the Tokyo Olympics after she hit a horse with her fist earlier in the Games.
Coach Kim Raisner, according to Reuters, hit a horse with her fist during Friday’s show jumping in Tokyo and urged a German rider to “really hit” the horse when it didn’t want to jump.
“We were all in agreement that the coach will not be at the competition on Saturday,” German Olympic team chief Alfons Hoermann said, via Reuters. “We also consider that an urgent review of the incident is necessary, especially in terms of animal protection, and that the national and international federations draw their conclusions.”
German coach hits horse that wouldn’t jump
Horses at the modern pentathlon are assigned at random, and riders get just 20 minutes to warm up with their horse ahead of competitions. German Annika Schleu held a 24-second lead entering the show jumping leg of the pentathlon, though Schleu’s horse, Saint Boy, was struggling during the warm up, per the report.
Schleu repeatedly grew frustrated as Saint Boy started refusing to jump and she cried out as time on the run expired, as her lead had completely vanished.
Imagine: You come 4th in Rio, you go again, train so hard, ‘Tokyo will be my Games’. The big day comes and it’s going brilliantly, you have one of the biggest leads in #Olympics history. And then a random horse ruins your dream. Crushing for Annika Schleu pic.twitter.com/sbXI3C8Ox1
— Jason Keen (@Jason_Keen) August 6, 2021
Raisner, however, urged Schleu to “really hit it, hit” the horse and even punched the horse once on the back of the leg. Schleu was seen hitting the horse multiple times, too. The whole exchange was seen and heard on live TV in Germany.
— Julian (@JeepneyJulez) August 6, 2021
Schleu was one of six riders that didn’t finish the leg and was eliminated.
"Rules must change in such a way so that rider and horse are protected," Hoermann said, via Reuters. "The focus must be on the welfare of the animals and the fair competition for athletes."
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