Horse Riding to be removed from Pentathlon after Paris 2024

Annika Schleu (GER) and Saint Boy in the Modern Pentathlon Tokyo 2020 - Screenshot from EuroSport Coverage

Horse Riding to be removed from Pentathlon after Paris 2024

The horse riding element of the Modern Pentathlon sport will be removed from the discipline mix after the Paris Olympic Games, 2024.

The Executive Board (EB) of the sport’s world governing body confirmed the decision last week, intending to keep the integrity of the discipline intact.

Aims of the Modern Pentathlon envisaged by founder of the Modern Olympic Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, were to highlight the sportsman’s physical ability and moral conduct. The element has been in existence since 1912, alongside Swimming, Fencing, Running and Shooting.

However, the move to eradicate the riding element is not the only recent change of scheduled activity, as the Laser Run was formed after the merge of the Running and Shooting element. The discipline has taken many forms since its inception, with women only making their debut in 2000.


The news may come as no surprise after the complaints received regarding the treatment of one particular horse, Saint Boy, by its trainer during the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

In an official statement released from the International Modern Pentathlon Union (UIPM) following the incident in Tokyo, the organisation spoke of the review that was scheduled to take place; 

Not only will UIPM conduct a full review of the Riding discipline of the Women’s Modern Pentathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it will also reinforce the importance of horse welfare and athlete safety across the entire global competition structure. UIPM regrets the trauma suffered by Saint Boy in this high-profile incident and has penalised the coach who violated the UIPM Competition Rules by striking the horse from outside the ring.

Although the Pentathlon will remain as a five-discipline competition, the sport which will replace the equine element is currently unknown. A consultation process involving key stakeholders is set to get underway to decide to the best course of action.

UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said:

The recommendations put forward by the UIPM Innovation Commission are in continuity with the tradition of innovation which UIPM has in its DNA.

On behalf of the UIPM Executive Board I ask our global community to embrace change and grasp the momentous opportunity before us. A new discipline will provide fresh impetus to our sport and strengthen the position of Modern Pentathlon within the Olympic movement.”

The Modern Pentathlon will remain a five-discipline sport and will continue to provide the ultimate moral and physical examination of an athlete, as Coubertin envisaged.”

An exciting new format Pentathlon will take place during the Paris 2024 Olympics, with riding being removed after that. 

Related posts