WASHINGTON — A German modern pentathlon coach has been disqualified from the remainder of the Tokyo Olympic Games for hitting a horse, according to the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM).
Saturday in Tokyo, video surfaced of coach Kim Raisner hitting Saint Boy the horse with her fist, while German athlete Annika Schleu was attempting to bond with the horse.
The UIPM Executive Board acted quickly Saturday, reviewing the video and subsequently issuing Raisner a black card just days before the games are set to end.
"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 UIPM said in a statement.
In the modern pentathlon, athletes are assigned random horses for the showjumping portion, and given just 20 minutes to form a bond with the animal.
This bonding, or lack thereof in Schleu's case, was pivotal in the competition. Schleu came out of the gate in tears as Saint Boy refused to jump, and even at one point came to a stop.
“I tried but he did not want to go. I just started crying,” Schleu said. “I did not expect to make him go and that was the reason I was crying ... I felt the horse lacked confidence. But I tried my best.”
Schleu was leading the pack entering the riding event. Her zero points dropped her all the way down to 31st place. In all six of the 36 competitors failed to score in the showjumping, including Gulnaz Gubaydullina of Russia, who was given the same horse.