Jerich Parzival, ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen of the Netherlands, was eliminated during Tuesday morning’s team Grand Prix at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). The elimination occurred following movement number 5 of 33, the halt and rein-back, when the ground jury observed blood in the horse’s saliva.
Dr. Wojtek Markowski (POL), the competition’s technical delegate, said, “The rule is clear, and it is written to protect the welfare of the horse: blood coming from the mouth is contrary to the welfare of the horse and the horse must be eliminated for veterinary reasons.”
Dr. Markowski added that the FEI rule does not specify what amount of blood must be present; elimination is automatic if blood is visible in the horse’s mouth. There was no suggestion that any abuse of the horse had occurred.
Cornelissen said that Dr. Jan Greve, the Dutch team’s veterinarian, examined the horse immediately after he returned to the stable. “There was a tiny spot on the tip of his tongue. It had stopped bleeding on the way back to the stable,” she said.
Jerich Parzival was receiving scores of 80% when he was eliminated. Cornelissen added, “I am very disappointed. The horse was doing amazing at that moment. I am very happy that there is nothing seriously wrong with him.” Sjef Janssen, the Dutch team chef d’equipe, said, “We are very disappointed, but we understand the rule and accept the decision.”
If the Dutch team is in the top three at the end of today’s competition, Cornelissen will join them in the medal ceremony and will receive a medal.