Great Britain

Tokyo Olympic horses are ‘SPOOKED’ by huge sumo wrestler statue on course as riders blame it for penalties

HORSES appeared to be 'spooked' during the equestrian event at the Tokyo Olympics by a giant SUMO WRESTLER.

No horse in the Olympic jumping qualifier had ever seen anything like obstacle No10.

Just to the side of the fence was a ready-to-engage figure of a man in the traditional loincloth-style pants.

British rider Harry Charles said: "As you come around, you see a big guys [bum].

Ireland's Cian O'Connor added: "There's a lot to look at", while Israel's Teddy Vlock described it as 'very realistic'.

But several competitors said the sumo may have distracted a number of horses.

A few pairings pulled up short of the barrier, accumulating enough penalty points to prevent entry into the finals.

Charles said: "I did notice four or five horses really taking a spook to that."

Among the horses alarmed by the setup was France's Penelope Leprevost a team jumping gold medalist in 2016.

She wasn't sure if the wrestler specifically threw off her 12-year-old stallion, Vancouver de Lanlore.

When asked, she replied: "Maybe. We tried to relax our horses in the turn, and maybe they're surprised to see a vertical so close. I don't know."

Vlock went 34th in the 73-horse field.

You know, horses don't want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, looking like he's ready to fight you.

Olympic rider

After seeing others have issues, he and trainer Darragh Kenny of Ireland also a competitor in Tuesday's field made a point of trotting their horses to the 10th jump before beginning their runs so the animals could look it over.

The hope was that familiarity would breed bravery.

Vlock said: "It does look like a person, and that's a little spooky.

"You know, horses don't want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, looking like he's ready to fight you."

Vlock and Kenny both cleared the obstacle without issue. Kenny finished second with no penalty points and a time of 82.01, while Vlock fell short due to other issues.


Some riders chalked up the troubles to how close the jump was positioned to the turn.

Others blamed the stadium's bright lights that also led to concern at jump No. 1.

Medal hopefuls Scott Brash of Britain and Martin Fuchs of Switzerland believed cherry blossoms positioned on the other side of the jump were the more likely culprit.

🥇 TOKYO OLYMPICS LIVE: All the latest from the Games with our live blog

🥇 WHAT'S ON TODAY? Best bits to watch at the Olympics and UK times for your favourite stars

DREAM TEAM 2021/22


Tokyo 2020: Team GB boxer Ben Whittaker refuses to wear silver medal in Tokyo Olympics after loss to Arlen Lopez

Football news:

Mourinho is the first Roma coach to lose his debut derby, after Luis Enrique in 2011
Kane has 0 goals in the first 5 matches of the Premier League season. This is his worst start since 2015
Barca coach Schroider: We lacked the qualities of Fati. We will have a very powerful squad when everyone returns
Barcelona Interrupted a series of 3 matches without a win
Saka has 20 assists for Arsenal since the start of last season. This is the best result in the club
Alex Ferguson: Ronaldo dreamed of Real Madrid. This is the only club where world-class players appear from year to year
The 60-year-old vice-president of Suriname played for his club in the CONCACAF League and distributed money to rival players. He was suspended from football for 3 years