The International Modern Pentathlon Union has declared that showjumping would be removed from the modern pentathlon. The UIPM executive board approved suggestions at a meeting in Monaco last week, which resulted in the abolition of the equestrian department.
The amendments will take effect following the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. The UIPM described it as a “historic gesture” and stated that it “has launched a consultation process to determine an appropriate successor for riding.”
“All adjustments emerging from the consultation process will be implemented in time for the Olympic Summer Games in Los Angeles in 2028,” the UIPM stated in a statement. Since the event was founded by Pierre de Coubertin and first competed in at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, showjumping has been an element of the modern pentathlon.
“A new discipline will give our sport additional momentum and reinforce modern pentathlon’s place within the Olympic movement,” stated UIPM president Dr Klaus Schormann.
“As Coubertin envisioned, the modern pentathlon will continue to be a five-discipline sport that provides the ultimate moral and physical assessment of an athlete.”
“We now look forward to an inclusive and very positive consultation process as we decide which sports discipline, alongside swimming, fencing, and laser run (laser shooting and running), is most suited to usher modern pentathlon into a new age.”
‘It’s a terrible day for contemporary pentathlon,’ says one observer. During the summer Olympics, German coach Kim Raisner could be heard on German television telling crying competitor Annika Schleu to “really pound” the horse as she fought to manage Saint Boy during the showjumping round.
Pentathlon GB head David Armstrong called the elimination of showjumping “a sad day for contemporary pentathlon.” He continued, saying: “Many of our athletes come from an equestrian background and have a long history of being competent and skilled riders.
“We understand that this decision will come as a surprise to them, and we will be there to help them at this difficult time. “Of course, we are saddened by the abruptness of this decision and the lack of consultation until now, but we equally recognise that the modern pentathlon’s status in the Olympic Games is critical and was under threat.”
Kate Allenby, a bronze medalist for Great Britain in the Sydney Olympics in 2000, is opposed to the UIPM’s decision.
“Everyone is a little surprised to hear it’s official; it’s been rumoured for a few days. It’s incredible “Allenby spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live.
“It isn’t [as a result of the Tokyo event]. When we posed these queries to the UIPM, they stated that conversations had begun in 2017 and 2018. “This is aggravating since there has been no consultation throughout the years. Until this week, no one knew anything about it.
“It’s incredible that these conversations have been held behind closed doors.” Samantha Murray of the United Kingdom won silver at the London Olympics in 2012 and gold at the World Championships in 2014.