Footage has been released showing the moment a coach punches a horse after it refused to make any jumps during a horse riding competition.
Germany's modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner was caught physically abusing the animal by punching it on the back leg during Annika Schleu's performance in the showjumping event. Schleu was leading the women's competition and was set to take gold home before the horse that was assigned to her, Saint Boy, refused all of her commands.
Schleu broke down in tears as she was riding while Raisner increasingly became irate and yelled at her to hit the horse to get it in line before doing the job herself. She has since been banned from any further competitions at the Olympics. Germany's Olympic team chief Alfons Hoermann said:
We were all in agreement that the coach will not be at the competition on Saturday 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.
A thorough investigation underway
The International Union of Modern Pentathlon was also horrified by what it saw from Raisner and has issued a statement:
The events of August 6, 2021 in the Tokyo Stadium have caused distress both inside and outside the global UIPM sports community.
Not only will UIPM conduct a full review of the Riding discipline of the women's Modern Pentathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it will also reinforce the importance of horse welfare and athlete safety across the entire global competition structure.
UIPM regrets the trauma suffered by Saint Boy in this high-profile incident and has penalised the coach who violated the UIPM competition rules by striking the horse from outside the ring.