Dutch dressage rider Adelinde Cornelissen has responded to rumours circulating online that Parzival was suffering from a hairline fracture when she rode him in the grand prix as part of her nation’s Olympic team on Wednesday (10 August).

She began the test but the horse appeared lacklustre and Adelinde retired during the walk section. It transpired that Parzival had been bitten by some sort of bug or insect early the previous day and his face had swollen up alarmingly, causing his body to flood with toxins.

“He had a toxic fever and we had him on fluids to flush it out of his system,” said Adelinde.

Shortly afterwards, speculation online suggested that the horse may have in fact been suffering from a hairline fracture of the jaw.

Adelinde has responded to these claims.

“Just to get it off my chest,” she wrote, “no hairline fracture of any kind! I guess some people didn’t think the story was interesting enough. Anyway, I am just happy Parzi is happy and healthy again.”

She included a photograph of Parzival having a roll in one of the outdoor arenas at the venue in Rio de Janeiro.

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During investigations into the initial diagnosis of an insect bite, Parzival underwent an X-ray of his jaw area.

Adelinde, 37, was hoping to replicate hers and Parzival’s London 2012 Olympics form — where they picked up the individual silver medal behind Charlotte Dujardin (Valegro) and ahead of Laura Tomlinson, who took bronze with Mistral Hojris.

Parzival had looked fit and fresh at Rotterdam CDI in July, and Adelinde was hoping that the Rio Olympics would be the 19-year-old gelding’s retirement championships.

Full 20-page report on the dressage from Rio in H&H this week, out Thursday 18 August, including full analysis of how the medals were won and comment from Richard Davison and Peter Storr.