From "Associated Press."
Riders say a life-size sumo wrestler positioned next to the tenth obstacle on the fourteen-jump Olympic course may have distracted several horses in qualifying for the individual jumping final Tuesday night. A few pairings pulled up short of the barrier, accumulating enough penalty points to prevent entry into Wednesday’s finals.
The statue is positioned to the left of a jump placed in the corner of the arena. Hunched over and seemingly ready to attack, the wrestler is facing away from approaching riders, meaning that when they complete a sharp turn to take on the jump, the first thing horse and human see is the wedgie created by the wrestler’s mawashi.
“As you come around, you see a big guy’s (butt),” British rider Harry Charles said.
“There’s a lot to look at,” Ireland’s Cian O’Connor added.
“It is very realistic,” echoed Israel’s Teddy Vlock.