'Disgraceful': Coach banned after 'disgusting' act caught on camera

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·Sports Reporter
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Germany's modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner (pictured right) allegedly hitting the horse at the Olympics.
Germany's modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner (pictured right) won't take part in the men's modern pentathlon on Saturday after a controversial incident at the Olympics. (Image: Twitter)

German modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner has been banned from attending Saturday's competition after allegedly 'striking' a horse during competition.

In a drama-filled day in Tokyo, competitor Annika Schleu, who held the lead heading into the horse riding event, fell completely out of contention when her mount absolutely refused to cooperate. 

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Schleu, who finished fourth in the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, was in tears riding around the course as her horse flatly refused to tackle any of the obstacles on course.

Viewers found footage heartbreaking for the athlete Schleu and the horse.

However, coach Raisner will not be part of Saturday's men's individual competition at the Tokyo Olympics after she hit a horse with her fist and urged rider Schleu to "really hit" the horse when it refused to jump.

The Modern Pentathlon federation (UIPM) said Raisner had been disqualified because of her actions during Friday's show jumping.

Germany's Olympic team chief Alfons Hoermann said earlier the coach had been pulled out of the men's individual competition. He also demanded urgent rule changes from the international federation.

"We were all in agreement that the coach will not be at the competition on Saturday," Hoermann said.

"We also consider that an urgent review of the incident is necessary, especially in terms of animal protection, and that the national and international federations draw their conclusions."

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Viewers who witnessed the act were enraged and had initially called for a ban.

There were signs of trouble ahead as Schleu's horse Saint Boy bucked and misbehaved during the warmup and soon after was refusing jumps.

With each refusal Schleu's frustration grew, the German finally exploding with a scream that echoed through the empty stadium as tears poured down her face.

Her coach urged her to hit the horse. Raisner's orders to "really hit it, hit," were heard live back in Germany, triggering a wave of criticism.

Raisner herself punched the horse once above the back leg.

German modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner.
German modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner. (Getty Images)

As Schleu became more desperate and frustrated, the horse became more agitated.

Top ranked Michelle Gulyas and Ireland's Natalya Coyle suffered similar fates with their horses as they saw their own podium hopes crushed, dropping out of the top 10 and out of contention.

"Rules must change in such a way so that rider and horse are protected," Hoermann said. "The focus must be on the welfare of the animals and the fair competition for athletes."

with Reuters

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