The equestrian discipline in the modern pentathlon is poised to be dropped, according to a number of reports.

The UIPM (Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne) has staged a number of strategic meetings with the sport's stakeholders, with the governing body due to make a statement on Thursday.

Modern pentathlon came under the spotlight at the Tokyo Olympics for all the wrong reasons when Germany coach Kim Raisner was seen striking Saint Boy with her fist after he refused to cooperate for rider Annika Schleu.

Schleu, who was also widely criticised for her use of the whip as she tried to begin her round on her recalcitrant mount, dropped from first place to 31st overall after failing to register a score.

Competitors are given only 20 minutes to bond with an unfamiliar horse before their round and Schleu was already in tears as she came into the ring.

Earlier in the event, Gulnaz Gubaydullina had also been undone by the antics of Saint Boy.

Ireland's Natalya Coyle saw her prospects of a medal ended when her steed, Constantin, performed poorly, refusing a number of fences and incurring time faults.

Superb displays in the two fencing rounds and swimming had lifted Coyle to fourth place overall, but she plummeted to 19th place and could not recover in the final laser run, finishing 24th in the final standings.

In a statement in the aftermath of the debacle, the UIPM said: "The events of 6 August, 2021 in the Tokyo Stadium have caused distress both inside and outside the global UIPM Sports community.

"The unpredictability of athletes riding on unfamiliar drawn horses, with only 20 minutes to establish an understanding, is part of the dramatic spectacle that makes modern pentathlon unique and compelling.

"While the number of refusals and falls on 6 August was slightly above average, the Olympic Games is designed as the most challenging of all competitions.

"The experience of Annika Schleu and Gulnaz Gubaydullina (who rode first) on Saint Boy was unusual in high-level modern pentathlon, especially for riders of their proven ability.

"That said, UIPM has a duty of care to all participants in the competitions it oversees; this includes the Olympic Games and it includes horses.

"Not only will UIPM conduct a full review of the riding discipline of the women's modern pentathlon at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, it will also reinforce the importance of horse welfare and athlete safety across the entire global competition structure.

"UIPM regrets the trauma suffered by Saint Boy in this high-profile incident and has penalised the coach who violated the UIPM Competition Rules by striking the horse from outside the ring.

"Although no athlete or horse was physically injured on 6 August, the best possible safeguards must be in place to minimise risk in future.

"Changes in riding were already in the pipeline due to the new modern pentathlon format coming into force in 2022 for the Paris 2024 Olympic cycle. Horse welfare and athlete safety will be at the centre of this process."

The "Paris 2024 Olympic cycle" reference could come to pass in a literal sense, with a bicycle event being mulled over as a potential replacement for the riding class.

Kate French went on to triumph in the women's event at Tokyo 2020, with Joe Choong ensuring Britain claimed a historic double gold.