Olympic Equestrian jumping requires years of training to keep the horses from getting spooked. But a life sized sumo wrestler statue on the Olympic course seems to be undoing that training for some of the horses.
Olympic officials have given the course a distinct Japanese feel. Unfortunately for some of the horses, according to 12News, when the riders complete a sharp turn to take on the jump, the first thing horse and human see is the wedgie created by the sumo wrestler’s mawashi.
The 10th obstacle on the 14 jump course with it’s life sized sumo wrestler has caused several horses to pause before the jump, bringing penalty points. Some of the riders have taken to bringing their horse over to the statue before they start their run to show the horse that everything is ok.
“It is very realistic,” one rider said. “It does look like a person, and that’s a little spooky. You know, horses don’t want to see a guy, like, looking intense next to a jump, looking like he’s ready to fight you.”