London Spy

Random horse pick goes very, very wrong for Korean

There are many strange and wonderful things about the modern pentathlon, but perhaps the most extraordinary of the lot comes in the equestrian section.

Rather than bring their own horses, athletes are randomly assigned a horse 20 minutes before they're set to compete.

Sometimes, it goes well. At other times, you have what happened to South Korea's Woojin Hwang, who was thrown from his unruly mount, Shearwater Oscar, at the beginning of his ride.

Hwang Woojin, of South Korea, and his horse Shearwater Oscar, fall down after the horse bucked after the starting bell sounded to start their run in t

The trouble started almost immediately. Shearwater Oscar didn't take kindly to a new face, bucking and neighing at the outset.

And when his new rider both refused to get off, and then accidentally guided him into one of the obstacles, that was that .

Woojin Hwang, of Korea, lays on the ground after getting bucked off his horse Shearwater Oscar, in the equestrian show jumping stage of the men's mode

Each athlete has an official page on the London 2012 website. Some athletes have bios that run thousands of words (Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, for instance). Others have scant information. The only nugget that appears in Hwang's bio: "Nickname is 'Careless' [because he makes many small mistakes]." Having his horse step on a flower pot probably qualifies as a small mistake.

Shearwater Oscar had decided enough was enough and bucked Hwang off the saddle. Fortunately, neither horse nor rider were injured.

 Hwang Woojin, of South Korea, is checked on by an official after getting bucked off his horse Shearwater Oscar, in the equestrian show jumping stage

Fair play to Hwang, though: he picked himself up and brushed himself off while Shearwater Oscar trotted away, then got back on and finished the job.

Hwang finished with 734 out of 1200 points in the riding, and ended up 34th out of the 36th competitors.

Hwang Woojin, of South Korea, and his horse Shearwater Oscar, knock down a pole in the equestrian show jumping stage of the men's modern pentathlon at

Eurosport / Chris Chase, Yahoo! Sports


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London Spy is the place to keep you informed on all the news in and around the 2012 Olympics. From torch tours to ticket touts, from Greco Roman wrestling to Stratford International maintenance, from Lord Coe to Wenlock and Mandeville, we will have all the slightly left field stories covered.

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