An Israeli equestrian has decided to withdraw from an International Equestrian Federation event that serves as a qualifier for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, due to its conflict with Yom Kippur on Sept. 19.
Israeli rider Dan Kramer penned a letter to the international federation earlier this month, announcing that he would not take part in the competition in North Carolina because it was scheduled for the most venerated holiday on the Jewish calendar.
“I decided not to join the other members of the Israeli national team and not to participate in the upcoming world championships in the United States because the competition is taking place on Yom Kippur, and I want to honor this day, as well as the Israeli public and Jewish Diaspora,” Kramer explained to Israel Equestrian Federation chairman Kenny Lalo.
Kramer, who suffered a leg injury in the Israel Defense Forces, returned to his childhood pastime of horseback riding as part of his physical-therapy program. He qualified for the world championships last year.
The rest of the Israeli team is reportedly divided as to Kramer’s decision, which could impact the team’s qualification for the Olympics.