A German modern pentathlon equestrian coach has been expelled from the Tokyo Olympics for punching a horse during an event.
Kim Reisner, the German trainer for the Olympic Modern Pentathlon, wanted to help athlete Annika Schleu, who was having a hard time controlling the horse she was going to ride, but the stance she took earned her a one-way ticket out of Tokyo 2020.
In the race, athletes have only 20 minutes to get used to a horse they have never ridden before. On Friday, Anikka Schleu, who finished first in the race by 24 seconds over the second athlete, was unable to enter the course because Saint Boy, her designated horse, refused to jump. In tears mid-episode, he ended up moving to the 31st place.
Given the apparent difficulties in controlling the animal, the trainer encouraged the athlete to hit him—“hit him, really hit him,” she said loud and clear—and even punch the horse above one of its hind legs.
Following the coach’s behavior, the Union of Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) announced the disqualification of Kim Reisner, who had been removed from the women’s and men’s competitions.
The head of the German Olympic team, Alphonse Hormann, considered the need for an “urgent review of the incident”, especially with regard to animal protection, and considered that “national and international federations should draw their own conclusions” from what happened.
“The rules should change so that both the rider and the horse are protected,” Hormann said, and emphasized that “the focus should be on animal welfare and fair competition for the athletes.”
“Food fanatic. Organizer. Hipster-friendly tv specialist. Avid reader. Devoted web ninja.”