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Gold Medal Favourite Rides Around In Tears After Horse Refuses To Cooperate

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Gold Medal Favourite Rides Around In Tears After Horse Refuses To CooperatePA Images

Olympic pentathlon favourite Annika Schleu was left riding around in tears after her horse refused to jump during the event.

The German equestrian and athlete was hotly tipped to win the gold medal in the women’s modern pentathlon, having topped the leaderboards in fencing and 200m freestyle swimming.

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When it comes to the horse-riding leg of the competition, competitors are assigned a random horse just 20 minutes beforehand. For Schleu, it was Saint Boy, who simply wouldn’t cooperate, having previously refused to jump for Gulnaz Gubaydullina, who was left with a score of zero.

Schleu, a five-time world champion who finished fourth in Rio 2016, got off to a rough start with Saint Boy, having initially refused to start before knocking down some fences in its brief attempts at jumping. ‘Well this is devastating to watch. Annika Schleu is not able to get Saint Boy to move into the arena. She is looking devastated,’ one commentator said.

Soon, the horse wouldn’t jump whatsoever, reducing the 31-year-old to tears and aggression as she rode around the arena. ‘It’s all falling apart for Annika Schleu. I think she’s starting to lose the composure. It looked like she might have recovered it and now this is really, really sad to watch… the German coaches just watching – watching these points disappear, watching the German dream disappear,’ they continued.

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‘[She is] having an absolute real life nightmare right now. I think she realises all hopes are over and she has lost her concentration and lost her chance at an Olympic title. This is hard to watch. It’s hard to commentate on to be honest… her face says it all. The crowd don’t really know how to react,’ the commentator added.

While there’s sympathy for Schleu, viewers have also criticised her for ‘smacking the sh*t out of the horse…. that horse gave no f*cks about her Olympic dream’, one wrote.

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‘Painful and distressing to watch Annika Schleu being allowed to dig her spurs in, yank on the horses mouth and crack it with the whip repeatedly. You should have dismounted, he very clearly didn’t want to jump,’ another wrote.

‘Did y’all see how that Annika Schleu absolutely dropped thirty spots down the modern pentathlon…? Deserved for hitting the poor horse like that,’ a third wrote. ‘Disgusting scenes in the pentathlon riding, Annika Schleu was behaving like such a spoilt child. She should never be allowed around a horse again. That whipping was beyond cruel,’ a fourth commented.

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Topics: Sport, Animals, horses, Olympics, Tokyo 2020

Cameron Frew
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