By Manasi Pathak and Shrivathsa Sridhar
(Reuters) – Horse riding will be removed from the modern pentathlon program at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, the sport-governing UIPM said on Thursday, with a consultation process set to begin soon to find a suitable replacement.
The move comes after German modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner hit Annika Schleu’s horse Saint Boy at the Tokyo Games nL8N2PE0AU when he refused to jump a fence. The incident led to widespread criticism of the sport.
“First of all, we know this information will surprise and even shock you,” the Modern Pentathlon International Union said in a statement.
“It’s not been very long since we made a commitment to review and protect the equestrian discipline following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. But life within the Olympic movement is changing rapidly.
“The decision to replace Riding comes after our UIPM Executive Board approved a set of recommendations made by the UIPM Innovation Committee after a two-day meeting in Monaco last week.”
Raisner’s actions in Tokyo prompted the UIPM to disqualify her https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/germanys-modern-pentathlon-coach-disqualified-after-punching-horse-2021-08-07 from men’s event, while animal rights group PETA called on the International Olympic Committee to eliminate https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/peta-calls-ioc-president-remove-equestrian-events -games-2021-08-13 Games equestrian events citing cruelty in Tokyo.
Modern pentathlon has been an Olympic sport since 1912 and consists of five events: fencing, swimming, equestrian show jumping, pistol shooting and distance running.
PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo welcomed the UIPM’s decision to end riding.
“PETA is delighted that the UIPM has heard from PETA and the public and chosen to make the pentathlon truly modern and human,” PETA said in a statement to Reuters.
“This is not a game for horses, and they don’t choose to compete.”
(Reporting by Manasi Pathak and Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; writing by Dhruv Munjal; editing by Ken Ferris)