A German modern pentathlon coach has been thrown out of the Tokyo Olympics for punching a horse during competition.
Kim Raisner was trying to assist German athlete Annika Schleu as she battled to control Saint Boy ahead of her show jumping round in the women’s event on Friday.
Athletes are given only 20 minutes to bond with an unfamiliar horse before their round and Schleu, who had been leading the field, was in tears as she came into the ring.
Saint Boy, who had already proven a tricky ride for his first athlete, bucked and refused to jump or trot around the course, with a number of people on social media raising concerns about the way Schleu and Raisner were treating the horse.
The horse cleared just four fences before crashing into the fifth and then repeatedly refused to jump, leaving Schleu with zero points.
The world governing body for modern pentathlon, the UIPM, acknowledged those concerns ahead of the men’s event on Saturday and then issued a statement revealing Raisner’s punishment.
The statement read: “The UIPM Executive Board (EB) has given a black card to the Germany team coach Kim Raisner, disqualifying her from the remainder of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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“The EB reviewed video footage that showed Ms Raisner appearing to strike the horse Saint Boy, ridden by Annika Schleu, with her fist during the riding discipline of the women’s modern pentathlon competition.
“Her actions were deemed to be in violation of the UIPM competition rules, which are applied to all recognised modern pentathlon competitions including the Olympic Games.
“The EB decision was made today at the Tokyo Stadium before the resumption of the men’s modern pentathlon competition.”
Raisner is a former modern pentathlete who competed at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.