It was a moment the (equestrian) world is still discussing today: Annika Schleu’s performance in the Modern Pentathlon at this year’s Olympic Games. Now follows, according to an insider, a reaction: The Modern Pentathlon will take place at the 2024 Olympics in Paris WITHOUT riding.
To this day, it is a scandal what happened at the Olympic Games in Tokyo: A completely desperate and overstrained Annika Schleu can not cope with the also completely overstrained horse Saint Boy. The athlete had been on course for gold until the loan horse Saint Boy, which had been assigned to her, refused to cooperate – several times. At the request of the national trainer, “Hit it hard! Hit it!” – and in her desperation – Schleu then used the riding crop. But nothing helped, Saint Boy did not want to. After much persuasion, Schleu, who was already in tears, was able to move him over a few more obstacles, but the two did not see the finish line or a medal. An image that many still can’t get out of their heads to this day.
Modern pentathlon from 2024 without riding?!
Insidethegames now reports that the worldwide governing body for Modern Pentathlon is drawing consequences. According to this, horseback riding will no longer be a discipline of the competition. According to sources, show jumping will be replaced by cycling, but this has not yet been finally confirmed. The final decision will follow on Thursday.
How much does the Modern Pentathlon have to do with equestrian sport?
Until the drama surrounding Annika Schleu, many people were not aware that athletes in the Modern Pentathlon also have to ride, and the question arises to what extent this can be equated with the Olympic (equestrian) disciplines of dressage, show jumping or eventing. Because in the course of the heated debate not only the riding in the Modern Pentathlon is criticized, but the equestrian sport as such.
The riding in the Modern Pentathlon forgets an essential point, which is so important in the equestrian sport: The relationship between rider and horses, which makes the fascination riding to a large extent. There is hardly any other sport that builds so much on trust, courage and cohesion as equestrian sport. Rider and horse compete as a team – a team that grows together over the years and experiences highs and lows together.
In Modern Pentathlon, athletes have only 20 minutes to become a “team” with their horse – so it is virtually impossible. Thus, there is no relationship to the horse and the four-legged friends are means of transportation.