Showjumping is one of the coolest Olympic sports out there. After all, it’s part of the only Olympic sports category that utilizes animals. To make things more impressive, the rider and horse have to work together as a team to win. Now Olympic jumps are notoriously outrageous because well, it’s the highest form of competition. But one jump, in particular, this year was so outrageous it had to be removed.
That jump featured a giant sumo wrestler, wedgie and all. During Tuesday’s individual qualifying class, the sumo wrestler’s behind was next to the 10th obstacle on a 14-jump course. It was one of the first things that both rider and horse saw as they turned a sharp corner on the course. Turns out a good chunk of the horses didn’t like it and a patch of cherry trees nearby. Multiple riders noted that horses were spooky near the area but also noted it could have been for a number of reasons.
To play things safe, designer Santiago Varela had the sumo wrestler and cherry trees removed for today’s competition.
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Honestly, we get it, seeing a large man crouching pretty much naked is enough to scare anyone, including horses. But luckily, the course is reinvented for each new competition and in place of the sumo wrestler and cherry trees, riders now have to face a life-size samurai and jumbo sushi. At least the samurai is clothed.
We’ll be curious to see how riders and their horses fare with the jump swaps today and we hope this brought a smile to your face. If you’d like to check out the original story you can click here. In the meantime watch out for those sumo wrestlers! You never know when and where they’ll pop up.