Gold medal-winning dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen dropped out of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
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Four years of relentless training and passion lead of the the event, one that earns medal winners prestige and recognition.
But when it comes down to it, there’s something more important to that.
On the day of her first major test, Cornelissen noticed that her horse Parzival’s face had swollen he had been kicking the walls in agitation. Cornelissen took his temperature – over 40 degrees Celcius.
Parzival had been bitten by some kind of spider or bug – the toxins were causing him severe irritation. Cornelissen slept in the stables, checking on her horse every hour.
She asked for her event to be rescheduled, but was declined.
Although he recovered a little following day, and the vets gave the all-clear, Cornelissen pulled-out midway through her test.
“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.”
She saluted and left the arena.