Olympics - good bad or both?

In the Beijing Olympics in 2008 the horses used in the pentathlon were said to cause farcical scenes with fall after fall after fall. This was said to be the fault of the horses that were either hired or loaned to the competitors. It was not blamed to be rider error or a combination of both rider error and horse error, it was labelled as being the horses fault or this is what it said in 'Horse and Hound Magazine'.

This horse was said to have been to spooky and sharp, but is it not a combination of rider's aids and rider error AS WELL as the horse being spooky. Can we really just blame it on the horse, when we are the ones that tell the horse what to do, by no means am i saying it was 'just the riders fault' couldn't it have been a combination of both?.
 For the London 2012 Olympics it was said that a total of two years if no longer was spent attempting to find the right horse for the right competitor. They made sure that the horse was at the right level or stage in its training but error's still happened however this time it was said to be because organises ignored the owners of the horses about who was to ride the horse but also because the competitors were NOT up to the right level of riding, and had NOT practiced jumping at the 1.20metre jumps that this course was made of. On twitter this particular event was recorded as being a 'car crash' and another user called it 'a disgraceful and disgusting exhibition'. 

Shearwater Oscar rearing up and going over on to his back and falling on South Korean athlete Hwang Woojin.

However the complaints about the olympics do not end here, several people have complained about a particular has that goes by the name of 'Shearwater Oscar', each horse gets rode twice by two different competitors. On Oscar's first ride he reared up when the South Korean Hwanj Woojin was riding him. He reared up so high that he started to fall backwards and the weight of the rider helped this to happen. By now most people would think that this would be the end of the road for Shearwater Oscar and that his second rider would have one of the reserve horses but NO, Shearwater Oscar was rode a second time by his next rider, he didn't have to be used but the organisers still had him being used. There judgement was seriously questioned by many others (I did not see this myself I am just reporting what I have read). Oscar was one of a number of horses provided by the Dorset based producer Jabeena Maslin who told 'Horse and Hound Magazine' that her requests had been ignored for him to only be used for the ladies jumping, she says 'I didn't want a man on him and I saw it coming before he went in the ring - he nearly pulled him over in the warm up' is this not something that the organisers should be listening to and recognising? 

One angry person wrote in to 'Horse and Hound Magazine' and this is what she had to say 'Sir- I watched the modern pentathlon at Greenwich Park and feel shocked and angry at the poor standard of riding. The horses were honest, forward, of good quality and deserved better from their riders. I understand that different countries have different riding styles and that these riders have only had 20 minutes to familiarise themselves with their mounts. But surely the sport's international governing bodies should do more to protect the (carefully sources) horses from such poor riding perhaps, more importantly, have a duty of care towards the riders. What will it take for the sport to strengther those riding standards - a fatality? More needs to be done before someone gets seriously hurt?'

Another reader said 'Sir - I thought the standard of riding in the modern pentathlon was very poor to say the least. I felt sorry for the horses. Also I was amazed that they were allowed to remount after falling off when our experienced jumpers and eventers are now automatically eliminated after a fall, even if they landed on their feet'. 

Well what do you think? In so many ways I believe that the olympics are a good thing, but truthfully this is starting to put doubt in to my mind that they are. Horses are being used unfairly, and cruelly by people who don't have a full understanding of what they are doing and how their riding is effecting the horses. Let me know your opinion 

Until next time 

A Girl With A dream


  1. I understand the history of the modern pentathlon but in my opinion the riding part either has to go or it has to change. It's bad for the athletes, it's bad for the horses, and it's bad for the spectators. It just leaves a bad impression. That said, I did hear that the modern pentathlon might get dropped as an event at the next Olympics, and replaced with one of a long list of other events vying for recognition. We can only hope.

  2. I completely agree with you if the horses were being treated and rode fairly I wouldn't see the problem but right now that is now happening and it is not fair! Hopefully it well get dropped as an event at the next olympics because it isn't fear!

    I know my view's might have sounded harsh but as a horse lover I just CAN'T stand horses being treated unfairly.


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