Dutch Announce WEG Short List

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Dutch gold medal team of Anky van Grunsven, Imke Schellekens-Bartels, Adelinde Cornelissen and Edward Gal at European Championships. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Dutch gold medal team of Anky van Grunsven, Imke Schellekens-Bartels, Adelinde Cornelissen and Edward Gal at European Championships. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENETH J. BRADDICK

The world’s No. 1 ranked combination of Moorlands Totilas and Edward Gal, the No. 2 combination of Jerich Parzival and Adelinde Cornelissen, No. 6 Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Hunter Douglas Sunrise and 2008 Olympian No. 19 Hans Peter Minderhoud with Exquis Nadine were named Friday to the Dutch short list for the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

While coach Sjef Janssen insisted to dressage-news.com at Falsterbo, Sweden, that the short list was not the “team,” the short listed combinations have been so dominant in recent years that, excluding injury, it would be hard to imagine any nation but Holland winning gold.

Edward and Totilas, Adelinde and Parzival and Imke and Sunrise were all members of the 2009 European Championship gold medal team while Hans Peter and Nadine were on the 2008 Olympic silver medal squad.

It will be the first time and maybe only time that Totilas and Parzival will compete outside Europe as the owners, Kees and Tosca Visser, and Edward carefully manage the competition schedule.

Totilas, the black stallion that holds the world record high scores for the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle, will, in an unusual departure from their winning procedure, compete twice in July–at the most highly regarded event in the world, the CHIO World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, next week and the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Hickstead, England, at the end of July.

Hans Peter Minderhoud and Exquis Nadine at the 2008 Olympic Games © Ken Braddick
Hans Peter Minderhoud and Exquis Nadine at the 2008 Olympic Games © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

So amazing is the 10-year-old stallion, that both Aachen and Hickstead organizers have announced weeks in advance his participation to help spur ticket sales.

Totilas may make his only North American appearance in his lifetime at WEG, and so, too, Parzival and Adelinde–they hold the Grand Prix Special world record–that many dressage fans say that to see them perform at WEG will be a once in a lifetime experience.

Adelinde and Parzival own the Grand Prix Special world record set at the Europeans championships at Widnsor last year.

Anky van Grunsven will be missing her first World championship in more than a decade.

Salinero, her 2008 Olympic gold medal mount, is still recovering from an injury to his withers that seems to have been caused in his stall but has not had a saddle on his back in months and she said that IPS Painted Black is not yet back to the highest level.

She said she was available, if necessary but joked she hoped it would not be necessary. She has been actively pursuing a second career in reining.