Modern Pentathlon Horse Welfare Petition Launched
A modern pentathlon horse welfare petition has been launched.
In response to distressing scenes witnessed at this year’s Olympic Games, equestrians call for horse welfare regulations to be improved in Modern Pentathlon events.
A sport consisting of five phases, a showjumping phase see competitors ride a horse they have only known for 20 minutes prior to competition.
At Tokyo 2020, this lead to horse and rider distress on course when Team Germany’s Annika Schleu stepped up with ride, Saint Boy. Going into the round as a favourite for Gold, Schleu entered the arena in tears, resorting to excessive whip and spur use after the horse refused fences several times. Team Germany’s coach was also disqualified after mistreating the horse during competition.
The petition calls for athlete to ride safely and kindly before being allowed to compete on their given horse. It calls for changes from the sport’s international governing body, the UIPM, to enhance horse welfare. The petition highlights the needs for;
- A ban the unnecessary and uneducated use of spurs.
- A ban the use of harsh mouthpieces and any bit with a head lifting action, such as the running gag.
- Regulation on the frequency and position of crop use.
- Ensuring minimum competency levels of athletes before they are allowed to compete on horses.
After witnessing the Tokyo 2020 scenes, Abbie Tipping, the creator of the Change.org petition, explained;
Many of these athletes are not horse people and clearly don’t understand or care for the welfare of the horses that they have the privilege to ride. The involvement of these loan horses to the sport in their current form will result in horses being injured, traumatised or dying.”
“There are so many aspects of the horse industry that we’ve all collectively worked on over the years, how has this so publicly slipped through the gaps?”
There are already over 5,000 signatures on the petition. Approximately 7,500 signature are needed for the decision makers, the UIPM, to react.
To sign the Change.org petition, click here.
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August’s Everything Horse Magazine – read the digital issue here for free – click on the front cover image
Journalist and News Reporter, Everything Horse
Reporting on equestrian news stories, Abby also produces a variety of engaging content for the magazine.