Olympic equestrian under fire for wearing mankini to horse jumping event

Olympic equestrian under fire for wearing mankini to horse jumping event

You are currently viewing Olympic equestrian under fire for wearing mankini to horse jumping event
wp header logo png
A showjumper on horseback
Posed by model (Photo: Shutterstock)

An Australian equestrian nearly had his Olympic dreams crushed this last week. It was all down to his choice of outfit at a horse jumping show. He wore a mankini, very much like that sported by Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie, Borat.

Shane Rose has already won three Olympic medals for his country (in 2008, 2016 and 2020). He’s hoping to again represent Australia at the games in Paris later this year.

However, videos of him taking part in the Wallaby Hill Extravaganza in Sydney the weekend before last quickly went viral. Riders were encouraged to wear fancy dress. Rose duly showed up with three flashy outfits.

These were a gorilla costume, a Duffman outfit from the Simpsons, and… a bright, orange mankini?!

It was the mankini that raised eyebrows. Rose went to the trouble of putting a towel down on his horse’s saddle for comfort or to prevent slipping. He also wore tape to, well, prevent certain body parts falling out.

You can see a photo of Rose in his mankini here. He also posted pics to his Instagram.

However, despite the encouragement to wear fancy dress, Equestrian Australia said last week that concerns were raised..

The governing body said it, “has an obligation to address these concerns and is currently reviewing the matter.”

“Truly sorry”

Rose subsequently posted a message to his Facebook saying, “If my costume offended anyone, I am truly sorry as this was never my intention.”

As that began to go viral, he deleted it, realizing it was not de-escaling the matter. It probably didn’t help that Rose is in the middle of preparing for the Olympics. He understandably doesn’t want to jeopardize his selection for that event.

Rose told the Sydney Morning Herald, “With a bit of luck this will all be a bit of a laugh in a few days and we can all move on. I wore a costume which you could see at a theme park or a beach. Potentially no-one has done it on [a] horse, but there you go.”

“I think I am a good person and I do a lot for the sport, and for people in different situations. I don’t feel like I have done anything particularly bad. In hindsight, I should have re-thought what I did, but at the time I thought it was just a bit of fun.”

Equestrian Australia said it was moved to investigate due to a complaint being lodged.

“To be clear, Shane has not been suspended or sanctioned,” it said in a statement. “As is usual in these circumstances for all high performance athletes, he has been stood down from competition for several days while the review is carried out.”

“This does not affect his ability to train or otherwise participate in the sport. Equestrian Australia has also encouraged Shane to provide an account of the events if he wishes to do so.”

Rose cleared to continue Olympic preparation

Yesterday, the organization concluded its investigation. It said in a statement, “The Equestrian Australia Review Panel met on Monday and found that Mr Rose did not breach the code of conduct at Wallaby Hill on 11 February.

“The panel took into account the community event that Mr Rose was competing at and that Mr Rose had already made a public apology.”

Rose expressed relief.

“It’s a great relief to get it to happen and prepare for Paris as best I can,” Rose told the Sydney Morning Herald. “I’ve got an event in New Zealand which is only two and a half weeks away.”

Hopefully Rose makes it to the Olympics. Just don’t expect him to be packing a mankini for Paris.


Leave a Reply

This site uses User Verification plugin to reduce spam. See how your comment data is processed.