An elite dressage rider gave up on her Olympic dream in Rio, caring for the health of her precious horse.
Adelinde Cornelissen has already won numerous Olympic, European and World titles as dressage rider in the past couple of years, and with the help of her prized gelding Parzival. Eventually, things did not go as planned for the Rio Olympics 2016. The eminent dressage rider stated as follows:
“I planned to train early on Tuesday morning, so I was at the stable at 6am. Saying good morning to Parzival, I saw the right side of his head was swollen; he had been kicking the walls. I took his temperature: he had a fever of over 40 degrees Celcius, but he still did not look sick.
“VETS THEY REASONED HE WAS BITTEN BY AN INSECT OR SPIDER OR SOME KIND OF CREATURE WHICH CREATES TOXICS.
“AT THE END OF THE DAY THE TEMPERATURE WAS DOWN AND I HAND-WALKED PARZIVAL A LITTLE. HE SEEMED A LOT BETTER AND THE SWELLING OF HIS HEAD WAS AT LEAST 1/3 THE SIZE OF THIS MORNING.”
Cornelissen was told by the veterinarians, after examining the horse, that she and Parzival could still compete. They went out onto the course, but something nagged Cornelissen. She did not feel comfortable shoving on the horse.
“When I entered I already felt he was giving his utmost and being the fighter he is, he never gives up… But in order to protect him, I gave up…My buddy, my friend, the horse that has given everything for me his whole life does not deserve this… So I saluted and left the arena.”
Cornelissen perhaps missed out fulfilling her Olympic dream and winning a new medal, in deciding to not risk her horse’s health. Nevertheless, she revealed empathy and true heart of a winner. By any means, she makes the world’s favorite dressage rider. We wish her and the gelding further success in the future!