Adelinde Aiming Parzival for European Champs at Home
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Adelinde Cornelissen accepts that life goes on despite the catastrophic end to her World Equestrian Games hopes with Jerich Parzival, and has turned her focus on the 2011 European Championships in Rotterdam in her homeland at the end of August.
“Kentucky is behind us. We had a holiday. We have to keep going. Now it’s good,” she told dressage-news.com after the first competition with the 13-year-old chestnut gelding following the WEG in Kentucky where the pair were disqualified after he nicked his tongue to draw blood shortly after the start of the Grand Prix that determined the team competition.
The heartbreak came after a carefully orchestrated preparation that peaked after a personal best for the pair just two months earlier at Hickstead, England.
Good it was in the first show since Kentucky–the second time in the USA that has not worked out for the pair as Parzival was injured the day before the start of the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2009 in their only other adventure across the Atlantic. Now, the horse most likely will never be seen in an American competition arena after its one-minute of the WEG Grand Prix as the next goal after the 2011 Europeans will undoubtedly be the 2012 Olympics in London.
The pair won the World Cup West European League qualifier at Stockholm in November for the third year in a row.
After a break following Kentucky, Parzival was relaxed and, Adelinde said, near the form peak that he achieved for the WEG where they were tipped to win individual silver behind team mates Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas. Although they were awarded a gold medal for having started for the Dutch team, Adelinde made it clear she did not feel she had earned it.
On present form, they will be a shoo-in to qualify for the World Cup Final in Leipzig, Germany at the end of April which will host the jumping and indoor driving World Cup Finals at the same time, the first time all three will be staged in the same venue at the same time.
Adelinde, a 31-year-old former schoolteacher, said that she and Parzival will compete in mid-December at Olympia in London, one of the most famous indoor competitions in the world, followed by Amsterdam at the end of January, then Göteborg, Sweden in February and ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
But, she said, the World Cup Final is not her goal for the year.
The main focus for the year is the European Championships.
The 2011 Europeans could be a re-match of 2009 as far as Parzival and Totilas are concerned, though if the black stallion qualifies for next year the rider will be Matthias Alexander Rath of Germany and not her team mate Edward Gal.
At the last Europeans she beat Edward and Totilas in the Grand Prix Special as she did seven months later in the Grand at the World Cup Final, the only combination to do so since the son of Gribaldi moved up to Grand Prix as a nine-year-old in 2009. And for a while, Adelinde and Parzival held the world record for the Grand Special score.
Adelinde and Parzival are second on the FEI individual world rankings, although the pair would be No. 1 as they were last year for a month if the rankings took account of ownership changes on a timely basis as Edward and Totilas are still atop the standings although the horse was sold two months ago.
The No. 2 ranking doesn’t bother Adelinde.
“I know it’s a cliché,” she said, “but you’re only as good as your last show. I don’t focus on the rankings. I hardly ever look at them; it doesn’t bother me.”
Adelinde is also competing Wunschtraum, owned by her primary sponsor, Jerich of Austria, at Lingen and Oldenburg, Germany, and Lyons, France this year. Wunschtraum is a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding that had previously been ridden by Peter Gmoser of Austria and Holga Finken of Germany.
She is ready to compete Ulissa, a nine-year-old dark bay mare by Olivi out of a Jetset D mare, at small tour and also show Tiara, a 2000 black mare by Jazz out of a Gardeoffizier mare.