A three-time Olympic medal-winning equestrian rider who was removed after a video emerged of him riding a horse wearing nothing but a mankini has apologized for the cheeky stunt but does not believe it was “too offensive”.
Shane Rose, 50, posted the revealing images on Facebook after competing in a costume contest at the Wallaby Hill Extravaganza in the NSW Southern Highlands last weekend.
Footage showed a delighted Rose wearing only a fluorescent orange mankini, helmet, boots and a cheeky smile on her face as she rode around the sand, much to the amusement of onlookers, including one man who shouted “that’s Australian”.
However, the stunt “offended” some attendees, prompting a complaint to Equestrian Australia (EA) and Sports Integrity Australia.
The three-time Olympian has withdrawn from further events while an investigation into the incident takes place.
Rose’s hopes of competing in a fourth Olympic Games in Paris and winning that elusive gold medal are now in limbo, having previously won two silvers and a bronze.
Australian equestrian legend Shane Rose saw his Olympic hopes in limbo after he was filmed riding a horse in a mankini at an event on February 11 (pictured).
Shortly after EA’s decision, Rose apologized for his actions and removed the video so it could not “escalate further.”
“If my costumes offended anyone, I am very sorry because this was never my intention, I would like to apologize to anyone I have offended,” he wrote.
‘I will no longer participate in these types of events to ensure that I do not cause similar problems in the future.
‘“I hope that the outcome of EA’s review will allow me to return to competition and not affect my campaign towards the Paris Olympics.”
Rose later deleted the statement and issued a much shorter message.
“I don’t intend for this issue to get any worse, so my previous post has been deleted,” he posted.
Rose currently has three horses qualified for the Paris Olympics and is seen as a great opportunity to compete in her fourth Games.
“I hope it doesn’t affect me if it goes the way I want,” he said. The Daily Telegraph.
‘In a few days (I hope) we will be able to move on and laugh about it.
‘I don’t think I did anything too offensive. I can understand that others may not feel the same way.’
“I am very focused on my training ahead of Paris and I am confident that the team will emerge as a competitive opportunity.”
In a statement issued on Sunday, EA said it had an obligation to respect the codes of conduct to which Rose is bound and that it is “reviewing the matter.”
‘To be clear, Shane has not been suspended or disciplined. As is usual in these circumstances for all high-performance athletes, he is away from the competition for several days while the review is carried out,’ the statement reads.
‘This process should take no more than a few days and we expect a resolution next week.
“Equestrian Australia is dedicated to supporting our athletes in their Olympic campaign and working collaboratively with them to achieve their Olympic dreams.”
Having won three medals at three previous Olympic Games, Mr Rose (pictured) cannot perform at any events until an investigation by Equestrian Australia is concluded.
After deleting the video from his Facebook, Mr Rose (pictured with his wife Nikki) apologized for his actions and to anyone he offended.
The decision has shocked the Australian equestrian community.
Many have come to Rose’s defense and called EA’s decision “reckless and over the top.”
a request about Cambio.org Opposition to EA’s decision to remove Rose has already garnered nearly 10,000 signatures.
“Shane Rose has dedicated his life to equestrian sport and the equestrian community,” the petition reads.
“He is also one of our most successful athletes.”
The petition also sought clarity on what rule Mr Rose had broken during the event, stating the outfit was “no different to what is seen on many Australian beaches”.
Rose previously competed at the 2008 Games in Beijing, 2016 in Rio and 2020 in Tokyo.
His two silver medals and one bronze were won in team competition.