World Cup Starts, Adelinde & Parzival Looking for First Global Title

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Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival in the warm-up Wednesday night. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

LEIPZIG, Germany, April 27–Adelinde Cornelissen, who has ridden Jerich Parzival to the second highest ranking in the world, has an opportunity Thursday with the Grand Prix for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final to overcome a record of mishaps that have thwarted her dreams of capturing an individual global championship.

The combination that is still second only to Dutch team mate Edward Gal and Totilas (the “Moorlands” was dropped in the FEI rankings, but the pair were kept on the rankings although the horse was sold to Germany more than seven months ago) are one of 18 horses and riders scheduled to start in the Grand Prix at 6 p.m. CET (1200 US ET) Thursday. The Freestyle that will decide the Final will be held Saturday night as one of four World Cup Finals staged at the same venue and time for the first time.

Edward Gal and Sisther de Jeu. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Of the pairs who will start in the Grand Prix, all are from Europe except for three from the United States which is back in the only annual global dressage championship after North America was totally absent in 2010 for the first time since the World Cup began 26 years ago.

The U.S. combinations are Jan Ebeling, 52, of Moorpark, California, on Rafalace; Catherine Haddad-Staller, 47, based in Vechta, Germany, on Winyamaro, and Shawna Harding, 41, of Aiken, South Carolina, on Come On III.

Ulla Salzgeber and Herzruf's Erbe. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Three of the combinations are former World Cup champions–Edward Gal of the Netherlands who was 2010 champion, Ulla Salzgeber of Germany who was champion in 2002 and 2003 on Rusty, and German Isabell Werth who was champion on Warum Nicht FRH in Las Vegas in 2007 and on Fabienne on 1992. None, however, have matched the success of Anky van Grunsven who holds the record of nine titles.

Adelinde and Parzival led the Western European League in 2007 and traveled to Las Vegas for the Final, but the horse went lame the day before competition began. The pair showed their capabilities when they became the only combination to beat Edward and Totilas, in the Grand Prix Special at the European Championships in 2009 and the Grand Prix at the 2010 World Cup Final.

But they have never won a world championship and went through the agony last year of being eliminated from the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky when Parzival bit his tongue and drew blood.

The draw for the start of the Grand Prix was held Wednesday night. The order of go:

1, Kompliment (Sergey Pusko) ; 2, Weinzauber (Robert Acs) HUN; 3, Rafalca (Jan Ebeling) USA; 4, Skovlunds Mas Guapo (Mikaela Lindh) FIN; 5, Ekwador (Katarzyna Milczarek) POL; 6, Sisther de Jeu (Edward Gal) NED; 7, Come on 111 (Shawna Harding) USA; 8, Leo Af Magnushof (Nina Hoffmann) SWE; 9, Apollo van het Vijverhof (Jeroen Devroe) BEL; 10, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER; 11, Hiscox Artemis (Richard Davison) GBR; 12, Watermill Scandic HBC (Patrik Kittel) SWE; 13, Wiyamaro (Catherine Haddad-Staller) USA; 14, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED; 15, Satchmo (Isabell Werth) GER; 16, Exquis Nadine (Hans Peter Minderhoud) NED; 17, Herzruf’s Erbe (Ulla Salzgeber) GER; 18, Digby (Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein) DEN.

Shawna Harding and Come On III with USA coach Anne Gribbons and trainer Roel Theunissen looking on. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

In the veterinary check earlier in the day, Kompliment of the Ukraine was held over twice with indications of possible unsoundness but was to be allowed an opportunity “jog” again Thursday morning.

One of the changes observed at this World Cup Final warm-up were the number of riders wearing safety helmets–instead of being a rarity at least six of the riders were observed wearing helmets, including Adelinde, Germans Ulla Salzgeber and Helen Langenhanberg and the U.S. rider, Catherine Haddad.

FEI TV will broadcast live on the following schedule:

Grand Prix, Thursday, April 28 – 15.55 GMT (11:55 a.m. US ET)

Grand Prix Freestyle Part One, Saturday April 30 – 15.55 GMT (11.55 a.m. US ET)

World Cup Dressage Freestyle Part Two, Saturday April 30 – 18.40 GMT (2:40 p.m. US ET)