A sumo wrestler that whitethorn person spooked the horses has been knocked retired of the Olympic equestrian ring.
The statue and a adjacent spot of cherry trees that riders thought mightiness beryllium startling the animals during the idiosyncratic jumping lawsuit were among the obstacles swapped retired for the commencement of the squad contention tonight.
Officials accidental decorator Santiago Varela had planned connected removing the sumo wrestler adjacent earlier riders said the life-sized rikishi mightiness beryllium rankling their animals.
Several pairings successful the aboriginal stages of Tuesday’s idiosyncratic qualifying stopped abbreviated adjacent the sumo wrestler, who was positioned adjacent to the 10th obstacle connected the 14-jump course. The hurdle was located close aft a crisp turn, and the wrestler's wedgied backside was the archetypal happening successful show for equine and human.
“As you travel around, you spot a large guy’s (butt),” British rider Harry Charles said, adding “I did announcement 4 oregon 5 horses truly taking a spook to that.”
"There's a batch to look at," Ireland's Cian O'Connor added.
The jumping people is ever reconfigured betwixt the idiosyncratic and squad rounds, and respective of the Japanese-themed barriers were swapped out. The caller fences see a life-size samurai and jumbo-size sushi.
The course's hurdles for the idiosyncratic lawsuit besides included geisha kimonos, a miniature Japanese palace and taiko drums.
But nary caught the oculus rather similar the sumo wrestler.
Among the horses alarmed by the setup was France's Penelope Leprevost — a squad jumping golden medalist successful 2016.
She wasn't definite if the wrestler specifically threw disconnected her 12-year-old stallion, Vancouver de Lanlore.
"Maybe," she said. "We tried to unbend our horses successful the turn, and possibly they're amazed to spot a vertical truthful close. I don't know."
Vlock went 34th successful the 73-horse field. After seeing others person issues, helium and trainer Ireland's Darragh Kenny — besides a rival successful Tuesday's tract — made a constituent of trotting their horses to the 10th leap earlier opening their runs truthful the animals could look it over.
The anticipation was that familiarity would breed bravery.
"It is precise realistic," Vlock said. "It does look similar a person, and that's a small spooky. You know, horses don't privation to spot a guy, like, looking aggravated adjacent to a jump, looking similar he's acceptable to combat you."
Vlock and Kenny some cleared the obstacle without issue. Kenny finished 2nd with nary punishment points and a clip of 82.01, portion Vlock fell abbreviated owed to different issues.
Of course, it's hard to cognize what's successful a horse's head. Some riders chalked up the troubles to however adjacent the leap was positioned to the turn. Others blamed the stadium's agleam lights that besides led to interest astatine leap No.1.
Medal hopefuls Scott Brash of Britain and Martin Fuchs of Switzerland believed cherry blossoms positioned connected the different broadside of the leap were the much apt culprit.
Whatever the cause, it's not astonishing to Olympic veterans that there's play astir the park. The Games person a estimation among riders for flashy people design, including an oddly shaped leap astatine Rio de Janeiro successful 2016 that caused akin consternation.
"To beryllium honest, you expect it successful the Olympic Games," Brash said.
And that's OK with them.
"You cognize it's going to beryllium colourful coming here," helium added.
"You cognize it's going to beryllium decorative. And it's beautiful, you know? It's fantastic. That's what makes it a championship. If it was conscionable plain aged jumps, it'd beryllium conscionable similar immoderate different week."
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