1. Will riding will be dropped altogether from modern pentathlon?
Rumour has it that riding may be dropped from the modern pentathlon — although the world governing body is saying nothing for the time being. This follows scenes in Tokyo that did the sport no favours. We have heard that an executive board meeting was held on Sunday (1 November) and the decision was made to exclude the horse element of the competition. World governing body UIPM has not responded to H&H’s requests for comment, but said in a statement that a series of strategic meetings are being held, including a call with national federations this week, and that we’ll know the outcome of these on Thursday…
2. Strong views on the Tokyo format
Asked for their views on the new Olympic format, national federations have not held back, saying it did not serve riders, horses or the global image of the sport – and that we must not compromise horse welfare to have more flags at the Games. This was to be expected, as it is what riders and governing bodies were saying before the Games, too, along with emphasis over concern that the best teams may not win because of one team member’s misfortune. The FEI is, as promised, conducting a full review of the format that was brought in for this summer’s Olympics and these responses form part of that review.
3. William Fox-Pitt’s thought on future of eventing
In his assessment of his experience at Pau last week, William has pointed out that this five-star proved that in eventing now “there are a lot of horses who can get into the 20s in the dressage (45% of starters at Pau) and showjump clear (34% at Pau, though some had time faults) – and that’s with many of the best horses having been elsewhere this year”. His concern is that, though the jumping phases did have an influence in Pau, with Tom McEwen moving up from 20th after dressage to second, there is a risk of cross-country becoming less influential. As William puts it: “We have to keep the cross-country test sufficient and maintain its influence, as there aren’t many mistakes in any other phase. Our sport is eventing, not combined training.”
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