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Recently, Kim Raiser, a pentathlon coach was asked to leave the Tokyo Olympics after she was caught on camera punching a horse and telling the rider to “really hit it, hit.” This occurred after the horse, named “Saint Boy,” balked at a jump and stopped cooperating during the competition. The rider, Annika Schleu, was also caught spurring and whipping Saint Boy during the competition, according to South China Morning Post.
The Modern Pentathlon Foundation (UIPM) agreed that Raiser’s behavior violated the rules and thus, disqualified her. They also announced new measures to improve horse welfare in the competition. However, the incident won’t be so easily forgotten. It sparked outrage all over the world and shone a light on the countless other examples of cruelty in equestrian competitions.
Animals who are used for human sports and entertainment suffer immensely. They are often bred, drugged, and forced to undergo intense training before the competitions. These animals have no say in their participation, and if they try to rebel at all, they could be punished as Saint Boy was during the Olympics.
Fortunately, things could be changing. Citing other riders who forced their horses to continue competitions despite injuries and medical issues, PETA is asking The Olympic Committee to end equestrian events. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk explained, “The Olympic Games showcase human athletes, not the ability to terrify and injure horses who don’t choose to compete yet are doing all the work, sometimes at the cost of their very lives.”
Exploiting horses and other animals for human entertainment is cruel and inhumane. Sign this petition to urge the International Olympic Committee to ban all Horse competitions from the Olympic Games!
To continue speaking up, sign these other petitions as well:
- Tell Savannah and New Orleans to Ban Horse Carriages
- Pass the SAFE Act to Protect Horses From Slaughter
- Ban Horse Racing in the U.S.
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