Cycling is reportedly set to replace horse riding in the modern pentathlon following controversial scenes at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Germany’s modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner was disqualified from the Games after she punched a horse when it refused to jump a fence.
Rider Annika Schleu was left in tears as the horse, Saint Boy, did not cooperate.
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The distressing scenes led to concerns about the treatment of the horse and it appears modern pentathlon’s governing body, the UIPM, has taken action ahead of the 2024 Paris Olympics.
According to the Guardian, a vote has been taken to remove horse riding from the sport and replace it with cycling.
The UIPM did not confirm the decision in a statement but said: “As part of UIPM’s commitment to maintaining a strong, dynamic profile for modern pentathlon, a series of strategic meetings are being held. These meetings will include an upcoming call with national federations later this week. The outcome of these meetings will be detailed in a press release to be published on November 4.”
The women’s modern pentathlon was won by Kate French, who became only Great Britain’s second gold medallist in the event after Stephanie Cook at Sydney 2000.
Former British modern pentathlete, Kate Allenby, who won a bronze medal in Sydney, says she is not in favour of dropping horse riding from the event.
“This needs talking about because it’s not modern pentathlon if it hasn’t got riding in it,” she told the Guardian.
The UIPM disciplined Raisner for her actions in the summer and promised to conduct a full review.
In a statement in August, the UIPM said: “Horse welfare and athlete safety will be at the centre of this process and the UIPM 2021 congress in November will provide an opportunity for UIPM’s national member federations to participate in a collective effort to secure the future of riding in modern pentathlon.”
The modern pentathlon has been a core sport of the Olympics since 1912 and also features fencing, swimming, and a combined event of pistol shooting and cross country running.
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