Sumo wrestler statue scares horses at Olympic equestrian event, riders say

A life-size statue of a sumo wrestler scares some horses during equestrian events at the Tokyo Olympics, contestants told The Associated Press.

“I noticed that four or five horses were really scared by this,” said British rider Harry Charles, noting that the character’s presence at obstacle no. 10 is a real eye-catcher for equines.

A jumping rider walks behind an obstacle with a sumo wrestler next to it during an event at the Tokyo Olympics.


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A jumping rider walks behind an obstacle with a sumo wrestler next to it during an event at the Tokyo Olympics.

“As you get in you see a fat guy’s butt,” Charles added after the qualifying round for the individual jump.

A rear view of the sumo wrestler during the horse jump.


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A rear view of the sumo wrestler during the horse jump.

“It’s very realistic,” said Israeli runner Teddy Vlock. “It looks like a person, and it’s a little scary. You know, horses don’t want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, like he’s ready to fight you. “

Reuters also reported that the statue appeared to shake some horses.

A rider crosses the barrier as the statue of a sumo wrestler watches in the equestrian competition of the Tokyo Olympics.  )


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A rider crosses the barrier as the statue of a sumo wrestler watches in the equestrian competition of the Tokyo Olympics. )

A few pairs stopped before the barrier and failed to advance to Wednesday’s finals, AP noted.

The sumo wrestler statue at the Tokyo Olympics equestrian site distracts some horses, competitors say.


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The sumo wrestler statue at the Tokyo Olympics equestrian site distracts some horses, competitors say.

Jessica Springsteen, the daughter of iconic rocker Bruce Springsteen, was among those who failed to qualify on Tuesday. But his problem seemed to be happening at a different barrier than sumo. She and her horse, Don Juan van de Donkhoeve, received 4 penalty points for “knocking over a rail around the 11th obstacle,” NBC reported.

Jessica Springsteen, aboard Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve, did not pass the individual show jumping qualification but has another


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Jessica Springsteen, aboard Don Juan Van De Donkhoeve, did not make it past the individual show jumping qualification, but she still has one more event.

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