PETA Calls for End to Olympic Equestrian Events After German Coach Punches Horse

PETA Calls for End to Olympic Equestrian Events After German Coach Punches Horse

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is calling for an end to all Olympic equestrian events after an incident at the Tokyo Games where they say a German coach and horse rider tortured a horse.

The incident occurred last Friday during the show jumping portion of the Olympic games. German coach Kim Raisner punched Annika Schleu’s horse after the animal refused to trot or jump.

Raisner was given a “black card” and ejected from the Olympics for striking the horse – Saint Boy – and encouraging Schleu to “really hit” the horse.

Clearly the horse is in distress as Annika Schleu of #GER in tears struggling to control him. Then her coach Kim Raisner violated the rules by punching the horse. Coach has now been disqualified from #Tokyo2020. Poor horse. #ModernPentathlon

pic.twitter.com/GphQ5g4CkV

— (@ayshardzn) August 7, 2021

Peter Hoffken of PETA in Germany says the equestrian event “dishonors the Olympic spirit and must be a thing of the past once and for all.”

Hoffken told the Daily Express:

Saint Boy was covered over and over with sweat, his eyes were wide open with fear and had to endure a lot of suffering because Annika Schleu had completely freaked out.

Forcing horses through a life-threatening course by force dishonors the Olympic spirit and must be a thing of the past once and for all.

We call on the International Olympic Committee to remove all equestrian disciplines from the list of sports.

PETA’s demands have resulted in a promise from the¬†Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne (UIPM) – the equestrian sport’s governing body – to launch a full review of the rules and guidelines of the competition.

According to a statement from the UIPM:

UIPM regrets the trauma suffered by Saint Boy in this high-profile incident and has penalized the coach who violated the UIPM Competition Rules by striking the horse from outside the ring.

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.

Although no athlete or horse was physically injured on August 6, the best possible safeguards must be in place to minimize risk in future.

Saint Boy managed to clear four fences before refusing to trot or jump any further.

Dylan Gwinn