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bad riding

by geosolstice (U13128136) 21 August 2008
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Did anyone watch the pentathlon? I have just been watching the show jumping phase and am absolutely appalled by the poor riding and the treatment of the horses. This does not look like an Olympic event - I have seen far better riding at my local show. The majority of the riders gave the horses no rein over the jumps, pulling sharply on their mouths. When the horses refused because a) it hurts being yanked in the mouth over every jump and b) because they are not riding them into the jumps properly, the riders hit them hard with their whips, sometimes numerous times. There have been a few really nasty falls for the horses and riders. One unfortunate horse got stuck on top of the wall, its back leg got stuck through the wall and then the horse fell over backwards. It was lame on one hind leg and yet the rider was going to keep going without checking the horse over. Very few horses have been patted at the end of the round. Most of the riders didnt appear to care about the horses, the commentator knew nothing about horse riding and the whole event came across as very unprofessional and also almost like game show. They either need to find riders who can ride to the standard of the course, or make the course far smaller. They should also give some of the riders some basic lessons on how to ride over a fence, making the experience far nicer for the horses and those watching the event.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Just a few quick replies:

Babymonkeyrascal – yes in total agreement with you. I’m really hoping that we don’t see a repeat of this in London. Surely not. I cant imagine that anyone would want their horses to be treated like that.

Hamonso – I don’t see why horses should have to put up with such bad treatment. Yes, some did express themselves by refusing to jump, but were subsequently hit with a whip.

ScotsSuzi – Totally agree. The commentator blamed the ‘naughty’ horses and not the riders poor riding skills. I couldn’t believe that people found the horses falling over funny. The riders should not have been wearing spurs or carrying whips based upon the way that some of the riders used them.

Westbromalb and sambaggilbert – Totally agree. It was a shocking display. It does need to be sorted. We really can’t have a repeat of this in London. The whole event was just awful to watch.

Chipleader – Agree - the event in itself is fine. But something must be done to raise the standard of the riding and care of the horses. In addition, maybe the showing jumping phase should have normal show jumping rules (rather than being allowed 2 refusals at every jump) and they should use a show jumping commentator.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

I think the World Championship format is good, where the top 4 riders jump a final round on each of the other three's horses. It really shows the individual talents of the riders, and it's very interesting watching them getting to grips with strange horses - particularly the tricky ones!

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comment by PNkt (U9804482)

posted Aug 22, 2008

Apparently, so I've been informed on another forum, the riders have to be BHSAI level <laugh>

The standard of riding was appalling, but I have to say that I suspect several of the horses were not up to scratch either.

Yesterday's events will have done no favours for the sport of pentathlon, but perhaps it will serve to prove that riding really isn't all that easy after all.

Thank god for Clare Balding!

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posted Aug 22, 2008

I think it was disgusting and believe this part of the competition should be banned!

The majority of the riders were atrocious and I believe half of them have hardly ever SAT on a horse, let alone jump one!

I was infuriated at the way those poor creatures were abused. If I had been there I would not have been able to control myself, I would have had to do SOMETHING to help those poor animals and put an end to the torment they were going through.

Who the hell decided to let the jumping go ahead anyway in those terrible conditions? They were mad!

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comment by masaka8 (U8546717)

posted Aug 22, 2008

I watched it this morning (women's section). I thought it was appalling with little regard for the welfare of the horses involved. One of them was very clearly lame, the rider didn't notice and the poor creature couldn't put its foot to the ground at the end of the round. In the second round the lame horse was jumped again, not as lame, but clearly moving in pain. Once again the rider failed to notice. Also riders were unaware when horses were not on the correct leg approaching a jump; all this is very basic horsemanship, Pony Club C test stuff, and these riders were competing in an Olympic final?! What were the officials doing? The vet? How could they allow a lame horse to continue?
I did notice that the women who patted and praised the horses got the best results.

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posted Aug 22, 2008

Truly shocking, not only to see the abuse that was meted out to the horses but the way the commentators failed to spot it, instead sneering at the horses ability.

I can't believe the BBC have posted 'amusing' video footage of the carnage (though I notice the whipping has been edited out). I complained to the BBC and will write to the IOC, I know many others are doing the same.

I wonder if viewers would be so amused at the sight of dogs being whacked and dragged around by their mouths? Maybe if horses howled, things would be different :(

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posted Aug 26, 2008

I only saw the mens pentathalon jumping phase & must say it was absolutely shocking, as well as distressing, to witness.

The rider's were truely appaling & seemed to be taking all their aggression at their own failings out on the horses. The commentator seemed to think it was all the horses fault & didnt have an informative word to say throughout the entire broadcast.

It does seem a crazy idea that they are given 20mins to get to know the horse prior to the jumping, but thats the sport they choose to compete in, so they should deal with it. If this was the cream of the modern pent competing at Olympic level I dread to see the amateurs...

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posted Aug 26, 2008

It's called modern pentathlon by the way.
A sport as ludicrous as show-jumping would never get into the proper pentathlon.

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posted Aug 28, 2008

Actually, westbromalb, I don't consider myself stupid, and if I was it wouldnt be anything to do with the football club I support. There's really no need to introduce derogatory stereotypes into this.

I think that the poor wording of my above response may well have misled many people. I am a fan of equestrianism myself and I regularly watch showjumping and races, whether on the TV or at my local ground.
I merely sought to point out the error that the article had made in referring to showjumping being an event in the Pentathlon.

I don't consider showjumping to be ludicrous in its own right (though where the idea came from does puzzle me), merely I think that making athletes with little or no prior training guide horses around a difficult course is a ludicrous, even cruel, idea. I apologise for anyone my response may have offended in any way.

And please don't resort to needless snide insults. I think you'll find that it belittles both of us.

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