Parzival Warming Up for Kentucky, Comments from Riders in Aachen CDIO Grand Prix

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Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, July 15–Adelinde Cornelissen admits that she and Jerich Parzival won’t beat Moorlands Totilas but if they are prepared for the right opportunity they can win–and says look out for the No. 2 ranked combination in the world when they get to the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in two months.

Moorlands Totilas, the 10-year-old black stallion, has been ridden by Edward Gal to more victories and world record scores in competitions in which the two Dutch pairs appear.

But on two giant stages, the European Championships in Windsor, England in 2009 and the World Cup in s’-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands in March this year, the 13-year-old chestnut gelding has emerged a winner. At Windsor they won the Grand Prix Special with a score that is still a record and at the World Cup Final beat Totilas in the Grand Prix.

“If we prepare well and peak at certain times,” she told dressage-news.com after finished second to Totilas at the World Equestrian Festival CDIO Grand Prix, “we expect to do very well.”

This year, she said, he goals have been the World Cup where it worked as planned and the next time is Kentucky beginning Sept. 25.

“We are not at our peak yet,” said Adelinde, the former school teacher who turned 31 years old just a week ago.

“But watch out when we get to Kentucky.”

The USA’s Tina Konyot maintained the success she enjoyed at home on the Danish warmblood stallion Calecto V, were scored at 68.602 per cent for 14th out of 38 placings and right behind Canadian Olympian Ashley Holzer on Pop Art.

Except, she admits, for a couple of rider errors, one of which was in the piaffe/passage tour on the final centerline when Calecto broke into a canter.

Tina Konyot and Calecto V. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Tina Konyot and Calecto V. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I might have been trying for too much,” said Tina, of North Stonington, Connecticut. “He was not tense, but very relaxed; but whatever it was rider error.”

This is only the second competition in Europe for the combination, the first at Fritzens-Schindlhof CDI4* in Austria at the end of June.

Her companion, Roger Atfield, a prominent North American Thoroughbred trainer, came to Aachen in the midst of a busy racing season to support Tina.

She said U.S. coach and technical advisor Anne Gribbons “has been enormously helpful” in both Fritzens and Aachen and “made me feel very confident” that has helped.

So, too has been support from Steffen Peters who flew from his home in San Diego, California, to support Tina and Todd Flettrich who is also competing in the CDIO.

Todd’s ride on Otto produced their best international scores to date, 67.812 per cent for 17th place.

“We earned this,” said Todd who is based in Wellington, Florida. “We had a few bobbles, but we were very happy with the test and the good thing is we think we can do better, especially as we have not shown since April and we had no warm up competition.

“It was a great experience. One of the cool parts is that many people, both Americans and Europeans, who know Otto (who had been competed by American Heather Blitz before being bought by Cherry Knoll Farm for Todd to ride) say he looked superb.”

 Todd Flettrich and Otto. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Todd Flettrich and Otto. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Canada’s Belinda Trussell said that “overall I’m very pleased” with her first ever ride at Aachen when she and Anton were scored 68.024 per cent for 16th place–“especially as tense as he was.”

“He can get a little excited in new venues with a crowd like this,” she said, “and we can probably improve our scores by two to three per centage points. But he stayed with me.

“What he is proving to me is that he is such an honest horse who works for me.”

Belinda Trussell and Anton. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Belinda Trussell and Anton. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Mikala Gundersen, who is based in Wellington, Florida, but rides for Denmark, had a double mission on the stallion Leonberg–to score high enough to be able to go to the Danish championships in two weeks and go on to make the Danish team WEG and to redeem themselves from a disappointing performance here in 2009.

“I am so happy she said,” she said of the score of 66.930 per cent for 22nd place, “especially as it was our first show in Europe this year.”

“There was no major mistakes,” she said, “and we did a lot better than a year ago.

The mistakes the pair did have, she said, “were more than offset by a lot of positive things.”

Mikala Gundersen and Leonberg. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Mikala Gundersen and Leonberg. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com