Cornelissen and Parzival, who won individual silver and team bronze together at London 2012, retired from the individual Grand Prix Wednesday after only a handful of movements.
And it’s likely to have been Parzival’s final Olympic performance because the Dutch warmblood gelding is 19 years old.
Cornelissen took to Facebook
and explained she pulled out of the Games over concern for Parzival’s welfare.
The day before the event, she said her horse’s head was swollen and Parzival had developed a fever, the exact cause of which is still 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 toxins,” the 37-year-old Cornelissen added.
Parzival was given fluids and had X-Rays, swabs and blood tests taken and eventually his temperature fell.”