One Dutch dressage rider’s Olympic dream is over after her horse suffered an unfortunate fate in Rio di Janeiro.

Dutch Dressage Rider Adelinde Cornelissen Pulls Out Of Rio Olympics After Horse Falls Sick

Adelinde Cornelissen shocked millions by quitting the Games mid-routine Wednesday after her horse Parzival contracted a fever following an insect bite.

Cornelissen, 37, guided Parzival through a few movements, then stopped, raised her hand in salute and rode off the field.

Cornelissen and Parzival, who won individual silver and team bronze together at London 2012, retired from the Individual Grand Prix Wednesday.


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It seems that would likely have been the horse’s final Olympic performance anyway, since the Dutch warmblood gelding is 19 years old.

Cornelissen took to Facebook to explain her and Parzival’s early exit from the competition.

One day prior to the event, she said her horse’s head was swollen and Parzival had developed a fever, the exact cause of which remains unknown.

“After double checking with the vets here they concluded he was bitten by an insect or spider or some sort of animal which produces toxics,” Cornelissen added.

Parzival was given fluids and had X-Rays, swabs and blood tests taken, and eventually his temperature fell.

Cornelissen stated the Dutch team had requested to alter the starting positions of the team in order to give the horse another day to recover. However, the request was denied by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the International Equestrian Federation.

On the day of the event, Parzival was judged well enough to compete by FEI vets but during the test, Cornelissen realized something was wrong.

“In the arena he felt totally empty and I decided not to continue. He did not deserve this,” she continued. “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.”

It appears that sometimes, sacrifices like this one are necessary in order to ensure the safety and well-being of someone else, even that of an animal.

Meanwhile, there was further trouble at the equestrian venue as a second stray bullet was discovered at the site in Rio.

Reports from Brazilian local media state the bullet was found at the stables, where some of the world’s most expensive horses are being kept.

When asked about the incident, the Rio 2016 Local Organizing Committee stated: “Police authorities have investigated the incident and have shown us that the incident does not affect the security of the venues.”

This is the second such incident at the Olympic equestrian venue so far this year. On Saturday, Mario Andrada, communication director for Rio 2016, confirmed that another bullet had been found in the media tent at the horse park. In that particular case, Andrada said the bullet was a stray from a nearby community.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Adelinde Cornelissen of Netherlands riding Parzival competes in the Individual Dressage on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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