The statue and a bundle of cherry trees that stood right next to it have been removed before the start of the team competition Friday. Several horses stopped on Tuesday at the sight of the sumo wrestler, who had been placed next to the 10th obstacle on the course of 14 jumps. The hurdle is just after a sharp turn, and the sumo wrestler’s back was the first thing horse and rider saw.

According to officials, designer Santiago Varela had actually planned to remove the statue before riders complained that the life-size rikishi could scare their animals.

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