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Gold Medal Athlete Quits Olympic Games To Save Her Horse

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“Jan Greve came right away and after double checking with the vets here they concluded he was bitten by an insect or spider or some sort of animal, which produces toxics.
To get the toxics out of his system we gave him fluids. From 6.30 to 15.45hrs we kept him on this. It helps the kidneys to clean up the toxics out of the body.

The vets at the clinic took swaps from the nose and checked the blood. The temperature dropped gradually and by 15.30 it was 38.4… We then took x-rays from the jaw and echoed the area. Just making sure. All ok.

At the end of the day the fever was down and I hand-walked Parzival a bit. He looked a lot better and the swelling of his head was at least 1/3 the size of this morning…”

“Then difficult decisions came… We requested the FEI if we could swap starting places within the team, so Parzi could get a day to recover. Competing on Thursday instead of Wednesday. But the FEI declined.

At that point I didn’t want to compete anymore… Parzival’s health is more important than anything else in this world!

I slept at the stables, checking up on Parzi every hour… I was not going to leave him alone! Of course I didn’t get any sleep…

Main thing, this morning temperature had dropped to 37.5! And the swelling again had come down a bit.”

“New difficult decisions to make.

I had decided yesterday I was not going to compete, but now the temperature was back to normal, he looked fit, was eating and drinking good, I also didn’t want to let the team down… In the back of my mind knowing we had no reserve combination here… What to do?

Between 7am and 8am we were allowed to ride in the arena.”

“I discussed with Jan Greve and Johan Rockx and decided we were going to walk and trot under saddle for 10 min and see how he was…

And so we did… We went to the arena, rode a few laps and he looked happy and fit. Coming back to the stables the temperature was still down…

Again difficult descisions… What to do? He is fit now, but you know what happened yesterday… Nobody to fill in my place if I would withdraw, letting the team down. Questions questions… What is wise? I discussed with several vets and the team coach.. The FEI vets came and checked up on him around 10am.

All gave green light to compete.. We decided I would give it a try.”

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