The first Dutch team member in the dressage at the Rio Olympics today, Adelinde Cornelissen, retired after just a handful of movements. Adelinde was riding her 19-year-old Jazz gelding Parzival, who won individual silver and team bronze at London 2012.
He had been running a fever after being bitten by something on the face, she said.
“Yesterday I came to the stables and his cheek was completely swollen and it appeared he was bitten by a spider or a mosquito or something,” said Adelinde. “His body was full of toxic fever [with a fever of] over 40.
“We manged to get his temperature down, and yesterday he was on liquids for nine hours.”
Things had looked up for the horse later on.
“In the evening it was all good, his temperature was back down; this morning also,” she said.
The Dutch team did not bring a travelling reserve with them, as all the riders who were possibles elected not to travel their horses.
“I discussed it with the team vet and we decided we’d give it [the grand prix] a try for the team result,” she added. “But he felt totally empty and I didn’t want to put him through that. He didn’t deserve that, did he?
The Dutch team is now down to three, with all scores from Edward Gal, Hans Peter Minderhoud and Diederik van Silfhout to count for their result. As the grand prix acts as the first individual qualifying round, Adelinde and Parzival cannot start in the grand prix special and their Rio journey is over.
Britain’s first team member into the arena, Spencer Wilton, scored 72.686% riding Super Nova II. Britain’s second rider, Fiona Bigwood, takes to the arena at 3.06pm local time (7.06pm in Britain) with Orthilia.
Full 20-page report on the dressage from Rio in H&H next week, out Thursday 18 August, including full analysis of how the medals were won and comment from Richard Davison and Gareth Hughes.