Modern Pentathalon

I’m not feeling very benevolent to the modern pentathlon today with all the media coverage. They really do a terrible job holding up the horse welfare side when they aren’t governed by our rules, and people don’t understand that they aren’t part of the regular equestrian events.


Did anyone else literally start crying when watching the German lady Annika riding that poor horse around??


It is a relief to come here and see this post being sympathetic to the poor horse after seeing online articles by non-horse people saying the “stubborn” horse “ruined” the score for the “poor rider.” I felt so sorry for the horses.


Gave me flashbacks to some of the nightmare rides I’ve had. Saint Boy had had several terrible riders prior to Annika and even if she did know what she was doing the horse had just been completely soured and was shouting “please no, I don’t want to do this anymore” as loudly as a horse can. The fact that after all that he went ahead and started the course and only stopped again when he felt his rider panicking, he’s deserving of his name.


It seemed pretty clear that the horse was “stick a fork in me I’m done” by prior rides. It had also refused three times for the rider before Annika.

Not really her fault that prior bad rides soured the horse, and then she got totally screwed out of her gold. McClain Ward couldn’t have gotten that horse around.

The right decision would have been for the horse’s owner to pull the obviously done-with-this-sht horse.


Yes, poor rider indeed ( I am sure she is a great athlete - but she had too much horse). Can you link the articles please? At this point, I think the only benefit to keeping it in is so next time some misinformed soul thinks that we are forcing our horses to event, show jump, or dressage we can all say no…what happened at the Modern Pentathlon is what happens when a horse doesn’t want to go - and its typically because of the rider.

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Are there any videos of this ride? All I can find are stills of a person crying and the horse looking like his face just got ripped off (exposed teeth, head straight up).


I have not watched but did read an item that she had the option to choose another horse. I am a little surprised that a German athlete did have a few more horse skills in her tool box to get through this situation.

As well I think the judge / ground committee should have the power to pull a horse that is clearly not showing up for duty ( or breaking down during it) . Do the owners have a say, Is their oversight? The horse is not the same as a pair of running shoes or an epee.


My 10 year old asked me turn it off after saint boy when the first time because she couldn’t watch any more bad riding…


Did anyone else notice that the German girl’s coach reached across the rail and punched Saint Boy’s hip? How is that allowed? This sport is a trainwreck.


Can’t watch, won’t watch,it’s downright ugly.


How many times do the horses get ridden?? That was the saddest thing ive ever seen :sob:

And the men compete tonight, presumably on the same set of horses … let’s hope it goes better for the horses this time around!

OK, did not want to watch after reading here, but made myself.
Where is the vomit emoji?

I think the pentathlon was supposed to represent a cavalry courier going cross-country to deliver a vital message–he/she runs, swims, rides, fights off enemies with gun and sword.

Suggestion: replace the horse with a bicycle. Couriers used bicycles. Make cycling, not show jumping, one of the five events. You can’t hurt a bicycle much.


One fall should equal elimination.

One pole - four faults

More than one pole in one fence- 20 faults.

More than one multi pole fence crash: elimination.

It wasn’t all terrible. Alot of it was terrible. Too much. Raise the bar!!


Looking at athlete bios on the Olympic website it seems like a lot more of the men actually have riding backgrounds, or at least look decent in the photos/video of them over fences, which is the opposite of what I’d expect but perhaps that’s an America-centric view. Maybe it won’t be as bad tonight?
Also many of them are military members, which is interesting as we’ve been told time and again that “modern” pentathlon has no relevance to current military skills.


I agree and I felt sorry for the horse and the rider… I really hope they will change the rules…. I watched a WC qualifier a couple of years in Sarasota (I think there was even a horse from somebody here participating, a lovely grey by Ironman) And my conclusion was that the riding part is simply a lottery…. If you get a nice horse you win otherwise you are screwed…. and I have no idea why you would put in all the hard work for the other disciplines and then simply participate in a lottery for the last discipline…. I think the Germans should have known that and that’s why I think the emotions were stupid….
There are better ways to handle the horse draws…. I participated in a couple of event were the horses were drawn and I never saw anything bad for horse and rider. It was in University in the equestrian competitions…. One horse for 3 riders the rider who handled the horse best advanced… So if you had a horse which didn’t jump and one of the riders was able to jump 1 jump he advanced…. I think that’s fair because that leveled the conditions….and it awarded good riding…
In the penthathlon if you draw the wrong horse you are out….it’s not about your riding…

Men are about to start. I don’t think I’ve seen Saint boy in the line up today.

Lovely round for the german and praise for his horse too! So happy to watch that :blush:


Yeah, this is much better so far. Lots of beginner mistakes and problems with stride/setting up to fences, but they are riding forward and most importantly on a loose rein.