Equestrian World Horrified After Swiss Horse Put Down After Eventing at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/01/2021, 6:37 AM EDT


The sport of equestrian has maximum risk to both horse and rider. We’ve seen many deaths unfold during eventing, one of the most daunting challenges in equestrian. At the Tokyo Olympics 2020, we witness our first casualty, a Swiss horse named Jet Set.

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Swiss rider loses his horse to a horrific injury at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

01 August 2021, Japan, Tokio: Equestrian/Eventing: Olympic, Preliminary, Cross Country, on the Sea Forest XC Course. Robin Godel from Switzerland on Jet Set in action. Photo: Friso Gentsch/dpa (Photo by Friso Gentsch/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Ridden by Swiss rider Robin Godel, Jet Set a fourteen-year-old gelding embarked on his last ride in Tokyo. At the Sea Forest Cross Country Course, Jet Set attempted the Mt Fuji water complex at fence 20. Upon clearing it, the gelding pulled up extremely lame and could not walk at all.

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Emergency medical and veterinary services arrived at the scene and took the gelding to the equine treatment center. Unfortunately, the extend of the injury and the pain led to euthanasia becoming the humane option. This must’ve been a crushing blow for the entire Swiss equestrian team and the world of equestrian.

Horse fatalities are not that common, but 2021 has seen a huge number of withdrawals. This incident at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 is another testament to how riders, owners or organisations cannot ignore a horse’s health. Jet Set undeniably had a bright future in the world of equestrian. Our thoughts are with the rider and owners.

The FEI put out a statement confirming that doctors put the horse to sleep under standard FEI Veterinary Regulations and they collected samples for a postmortem. As of now, the eventing championships will continue with the jumping test taking place tomorrow.

What does the FEI statement say?

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The statement by the FEI cleared any issues regarding the euthanization. It says it all took place under their supervision, and they find no wrongdoing in the process. Instead, the FEI proposed the idea to put down the animal was the humane thing to do.

“The horse received immediate veterinary attention at the fence and, after an initial assessment, was transferred by horse ambulance to the onsite Veterinary Clinic.”

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“Sadly, ultrasound scans revealed an irreparable ligament rupture in the lower right limb, just above the hoof, and on humane grounds and with the agreement of the owners and athlete, the decision was taken to put the horse to sleep.”

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Nathan Fulgado

1227 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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