Modern Pentathlon Ditches Horses for Bikes After Olympic Animal Abuse–News Reports
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Nov. 2, 2021
Modern pentathlon, a sport that has been in the Olympics with horses for more than a century, is reported to have decided to replace equestrian with bicycles after the Tokyo Games that sparked outrage over animal abuse, according to news reports.
Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne’s executive board made the change, according to news reports, following a German coach being thrown out of the Games after punching a horse that refused to jump a fence.
Some countries are believed to oppose losing the horse-riding element saying it fundamentally changes the sport. Modern pentathlon has been a core Olympic event since 1912 when it was invented by Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympics, to test athletes in fencing, swimming, show jumping, pistol shooting, and cross-country running.
However, the governing body of the sport issued a news release: “As part of UIPM’s commitment to maintaining a strong, dynamic profile for modern pentathlon, a series of strategic meetings are being held. These meetings will include an upcoming call with national federations later this week. The outcome of these meetings will be detailed in a press release to be published on 4 November.”
The International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that governs the Olympic sports of dressage, eventing and jumping but not modern pentathlon issued a news release in Tokyo distancing itself from any connection with modern pentathlon. Horses are loaned by the host country for modern pentathlon.