A debate has erupted over distressing scenes in the modern pentathlon on Friday night, after some athletes’ campaigns were ruined by poor show jumping routines.
The unique event sees athletes compete across five disciplines: fencing, swimming, running, shooting and horse riding.
Show jumping is arguably the most difficult component because athletes don’t ride their own horses. Instead, they are assigned a horse they first meet about 20 minutes before the event, and need to try to cajole it into hopping over obstacles.
However, not all the animals wanted to play ball. German Annika Schleu, who finished fourth in Rio, was in tears as her horse went rogue, unable to convince it to get around the course and over any jumps.
Schleu was in the lead heading into the equestrian event but it wasn’t long before her hopes of Olympic glory were ripped away. Her horse appeared spooked as it…