The German Animal Welfare Association announced, on Friday, that it has filed a complaint against the pentathlete Annika Schleu, accusing her of abusing her horse during the modern pentathlon event at the Tokyo Olympics.
Annika Schleu and her teacher Kim Reisner have been charged with “animal cruelty” and “complicity in cruelty to animals,” according to a statement from the German Association for the Protection of Animals (Deutscher Tierschutzbund).
During the sporting event, Annika Schleu, at the head of the standings before the horse race, faced all the troubles in the world to control her horse, inflicting many blows. This rejection then compounded the obstacles, causing the German to drop in rank.
His trainer Kim Reisner was then disqualified from the games by the International Federation of Punch Horse (UIPM).
During the audition, she was heard encouraging Annika Schleu to “hit” the animal, drawing it according to the rules of the modern pentagram.
“Of course, an athlete focused on Olympic gold is under tremendous pressure at this time, but that is no excuse for cruelty to animals,” said Thomas Schroeder, president of the Complainants’ Association.
Annika Schleu had made it clear in the columns of the daily Die Zeit, stressing that she wasn’t “too tough” with the horse while admitting she could have been “more calm and sane”.
For his part, Kim Reisner told Agence France-Presse (SID) news agency that Annika Schleu “did not torture the horse in any way”.