Cornelissen wins gold for biggest heart
When it comes to experiencing the highs and lows of the Olympic Games, then one can only feel for the Dutch dressage star Adelinde Cornelissen.
After a distinguished career and years of sacrifice, the horsewoman has chosen to drop out following health concerns to her mount Jerich Parzival.
And to think, it all appeared to be going to plan upon arrival in Brazil only for Adelinde to find her horse unsettled and with a high fever on the 9th of August.
On that morning, the right side of the horse’s face had swollen and its body temperature had soared to over 40 degrees, even if the horse was continuing to eat and drink as per normal.
At this point the veterinary medics were called on and they discovered that the horse had suffered a form of poisoning after being stung by an insect.
The subsequent treatment brought the horse’s temperature down and the veterinary medics even ruled the performer fit for action. However, Jerich Parzival was clearly in a weakened state after the treatment.
To get back to its usual self and ensure a near full recovery, Adelinde needed time and so she presented an official request to FEI to move their fixing to a later test, but the request wasn’t granted.
With no reserve riders in the Dutch team, Adelinde was torn, and although she didn’t want to abandon her team-mates, she felt she had no choice but to put her performer first.
Adelinde in the end didn’t take to the field, and with it missed out on the chance on going for a medal with her country, but for everyone at HSJ she still wins the gold medal for biggest heart and selfless act.
Thank-you Adelinde Cornelissen for showing that the health of our beloved equine friends is still what matters most.
photo: Matthias van Bloemendaal