Pentathlon Olympic Gold Medalist Is a Horsewoman First
- By Norman Fine
The battle for gold in Tokyo’s modern pentathlon event involved yet another Olympian drama. Annika Schleu of Germany, comfortably in the lead going into the last day of the finals, experienced a meltdown in the equestrian test, catapulting Britain’s Kate French to the Gold Medal by the end of the afternoon.
Kate French, thirty years old, is at home on a horse. “I come from a riding background mainly; I’ve been riding since I was very little,” she said in an interview. French had horses from an early age and grew up in Pony Club. Her mother is Master of a mounted pack of hard-running bloodhounds, and her father is a Master of Beagles. She is the grand-niece of Derek French, ex-Master of the Eglinton and Caledon Hounds in Ontario (and an author and contributor to FHL).