Former Show Jumper With Parkinson's Disease Granted Wish To Ride A Horse One Final Time

Her reaction is beautiful.

Nelly Jacobs devoted much of her life to horses, but when she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her 50s, she was forced to stop riding.

But the former show jumper, now 87, was recently granted her wish to ride a horse for one final time.


Jacobs, who lives in the Netherlands, was once a prize-winning competitor, but she now uses a wheelchair due to the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s.

The illness, which causes parts of the brain to become progressively damaged, causes involuntary shaking of the body and stiff and inflexible muscles.

Nelly Jacobs before her diagnosis.
Nelly Jacobs before her diagnosis.

To allow Jacobs to ride again, two charities, The Care Group and the Green Cross, who’ve teamed up for the project ‘Hidden Desires’, created a special carriage to sit on top of two horses.

Jacobs was gently raised onto the horses until she was comfortably lying on their backs.


After some comforting words from her son, a driver slowly steered Jacobs’ carriage around the riding arena.


A film of the special moment was captured by Beeldwerk TV and later posted on Vimeo.

The film originally appeared in Dutch, but it doesn’t take a translator to work out Jacobs loved every minute of the experience.

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