Celebrity's stunning act after Olympic Games horse 'disgrace'
Actor Kaley Cuoco has made a stunning offer to buy the horse at the centre of an Olympic Games controversy that left viewers and animal rights advocates disgusted.
German modern pentathlon coach Kim Raisner sparked global outrage after images emerged of her hitting a horse at the Tokyo Games.
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In a drama-filled equestrian section of the modern pentathlon, German competitor Annika Schleu, who held the lead heading into the horse riding event, fell completely out of contention when her mount Saint Boy absolutely refused to cooperate.
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.
The chaotic scenes prompted the German coach to hit the horse with her fist, while urging Schleu to "really hit" the horse when it refused to jump.
The Modern Pentathlon federation (UIPM) disqualified Raisner for her actions after consultation with officials from Germany.
Germany's Olympic team chief Alfons Hoermann confirmed the coach had been stood down and 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."
Following the shocking controversy, American actor Cuoco - a former star on popular TV show The Big Bang Theory - offered to buy the horse at the centre of the incident.
Cuoco's husband Karl Cook is a horse trainer and the pair met an equestrian event, which the actress herself competes in.
Kaley Cuoco offers to buy horse
Her Instagram page is filled with photos of her with horses and the steed would no doubt find a nice home with Cuoco if her generous offer is taken up.
“I feel it’s my duty and heart to comment on this disgrace,” Cuoco wrote. “This is not Olympic show jumping. This is a disgusting, classless, abusive representation of our sport in so many ways. This team should be ashamed of themselves.
“You and your team did not do your country proud or this sport. You make us look bad. Shame on you and godspeed to any animal that comes in contact with you.
“Pure classless behaviour right here. Disgusting on all levels. This is not our sport. This does not represent our sport.
“This rider and her ‘trainer’ are a disgrace. I’ll buy that horse outright and show it the life it should have. Name your price.”
There were signs of trouble ahead as Schleu's horse Saint Boy bucked and misbehaved during the warmup and soon after was refusing jumps.
A frustrated and tearful Schleu repeatedly used her whip on the horse with Raisner overheard encouraging her to "hit it" during live coverage.
The International Modern Pentathlon Union said footage then showed Raisner "appearing to strike the horse ... with her fist", which resulted in the coach being thrown out of the Olympics.
Schleu eventually finished well outside the medals in 31st place with Britain's Kate French winning the gold.
Competitors in the modern pentathlon draw their horses at random.
The German Animal Welfare Association criticised Schleu for having "roughly beaten the frightened and overtaxed the horse several times".
Raisner is accused of urging the athlete "to commit this act of cruelty to animals".
"Of course, an athlete fixated on Olympic gold is under enormous stress at that moment, but that is no excuse for cruelty to animals," said Thomas Schroeder, President of the association.
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