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September 28, 2010

Cornelissen Eliminated From Dressage Competition

Adelinde Cornelissen was excused from the dressage ring during her Grand Prix test aboard Parzival after blood was spotted on his mouth. Photo by Kat Netzler.

Adelinde Cornelissen, the third rider for the Dutch team, was rung out of the ring early in her Grand Prix test this morning, Sept. 28, at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

After her halt and reinback, ground jury president Stephen Clarke noticed blood in her horse's mouth. Jerich Parzival bit the tip of his tongue during his test.

Technical Delegate Wojtek Markowski explained that Cornelissen was disqualified according to section 7 of Article 430 in the FEI dressage rules. This section covers elimination, and states at the end: Other reasons for elimination may also be the performance is against the welfare of the horse.

"It is standard practice in dressage that if there is blood coming from the horse’s mouth, then it is contrary to the horse’s welfare and results in elimination," said Markowski. "The rules are very clear; this is elimination. There is no appeal."

Cornelissen didn't realize Parzival was bleeding.

"I did my reinback, and then I heard the bell, so I didn’t know what was going on. I figured I was doing a wrong test or something. Then Mr. Clarke told me had blood on h

is mouth," she said. "When we looked at it, it was just a tiny spot on the tip of his tongue. He bit the tip of his tongue. It actually stopped bleeding on the way back. It’s kind of a shitty way to end my test."

The Dutch team even provided a photo of Parzival's tongue, (see below) which shows a tiny dark spot.

"He was in really good shape," she continued. "I don’t know the exact score, but he was really going well in the warm-up, and he was doing amazing in the ring. So it’s really shitty that we can’t show that. But on the other hand I’m quite happy that he’s OK, and I can start the training tomorrow again. It’s nothing really serious with the horse."

Listen to an interview with Cornelissen.

Cornelissen was much favored to win an individual medal, and the Dutch team was expected to win gold. Now they will have to count on the score of Hans-Peter Minderhoud on Exquis Nadine (72.25%) for their team total, and Cornelissen is completely out.

"I feel really bad about this," said Chef d'Equipe Sjef Janssen. "We have been training for years now together, and I think at this moment [Parzival] was at the best stage ever. The warm-up was unbelievable. I think it’s a tragedy because this horse would have for sure won two individual medals as well as a team medal."

Janssen said the whole team felt depressed, and there were many tears in the barn. However, the Dutch still have Moorlands Totilas to come, and they had to refocus on the star of the team.

"We still think we have a good chance to win," said Janssen. "But we’d like to do it with four people instead of three."

Markowski believed that an eliminated dressage rider would not be able to take place in the medal ceremony, but he was going to doublecheck the situation.

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