Swiss horse Jet Set euthanised after falling during race at Tokyo Olympics

Horse Jet Set at Tokyo Olympics, photo: Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis
Horse Jet Set at Tokyo Olympics, photo: Reuters/Alkis Konstantinidis

The 14-year-old Swiss horse Jet Set was euthanised on Sunday after falling during an eventing race at the Tokyo Olympics.

Jet Set fractured his leg. “Due to the severity of the injury and the pain caused, the horse had to be euthanised shortly afterwards,” the Swiss Olympic Committee said.

The riders made their horses jump while reaching speeds of 34 kph (21 mph) when Jet Set got hurt. The race was stopped to get him veterinary help.

Eventing is an event where riders make their horse compete in three disciplines: dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

Jet Set got hurt during the cross-country race, which is a competition to prove the horse’s speed, endurance, and jumping ability.

“The 4th horse to die this year in cross country competition. It’s a bloody dangerous sport, with often ludicrous obstacles,” journalist Patty Huntington said on Twitter.

Jet Set got injured after jumping the final Mt Fuji water complex (fence 20) on the Sea Forest Cross Country Course.

“So sad about horse Jet Set. That downhill Mt. Fuji sequence looks extremely stressful on the horse. To have to jump up while moving downhill seems unnecessary,” someone tweeted after the race.

Another person said, “Eventing at the advanced levels is just too dangerous for the horses.”

“Ultrasound scans revealed an irreparable ligament rupture in the lower right limb, just above the hoof,” the equestrian federation FEI said in a statement.

“On humane grounds and with the agreement of the owners and athlete, the decision was taken to put the horse to sleep,” they added.

Jet Set’s rider, Robin Godel, was unharmed. FEI added that samples had been taken from the horse, and a post mortem would take place.

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