Adelinde Cornelissen & Jerich Parzival Wins World Cup, 1st Individual Global Title
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LEIPZIG, Germany, April 30–Adelinde Cornelissen snapped a series of mishaps over the years and rode her Jerich Parzival to the World Cup title Saturday night to capture their first individual global championship.
The victory by The Netherlands’ top combination at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final in this eastern German city brought a wildly cheering crowd of 10,000 to their feet.
Adelinde and the 14-year-old chestnut gelding by Jazz scored 84.804 per cent in their freestyle ridden to the strains of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, with the Danish princess, Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein on her 2008 Olympic mount, Digby in second on 80.036 per cent and Germany’s two-time World Cup winner Ulla Salzgeber on Herzruf’s Erbe in third place with 78.821 per cent.
The victory in the 26th sole annual global championship for dressage ended for Adelinde and Parzival a series of mishaps in which injuries to Parzival kept the pair from the Dutch team at the 2008 Olympics, the 2007 World and, most publicized, when the appearance of blood on the horse’s mouth caused disqualification during the Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year.
And it added to Holland’s record of World Cup titles to now make it 11–nine of which were won by Anky van Grunsven, one by Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas and 2011 by Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival.
In addition to Ulla Salzgeber, two other World Cup winners were in Saturday night’s Final–two-time winner Isabell Werth of Germany and Edward Gal of the Netherlands. Edward on Sisther de Jeu finished in fourth place with 77.393 per cent while Isabell rode her 2008 Olympic gold medal mount Satchmo to fifth place with a score of 77.143. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel on Watermill Scandic H.B.C. was awarded 76.375 per cent for sixth place.
Controversy was sparked by Isabell’s score from the seven judges scored, the lowest score–73.500 percent–coming from president of the ground jury, Katrina Wüst of Germany. She defended her decision saying it was based on her view that the ride began nicely but after resistance in the extended canter the pair were behind the music and Isabell was constantly trying to catch up. But the situation got worse when Satchmo kicked out.
For Adelinde, Nathalie and Ulla there was no question about their happiness with the result that placed three women on the awards podium for the first time since the 2008 Final at ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
Asked at the post-Final news conference whether this first individual global title made up for past mishaps, she said: “I never look back. “I never look back, I think about where I’m at now – disappointment is all part of this sport because there are always ups and downs.”
Although she is now the top Dutch rider, she said she misses Totilas who beat her in the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, last year but who was sold to Germany after the WEG in Kentucky. Edward Gal who rode Totilas in 2010 was aboard Sisther de Jeu this year and finished in fourth place with 77.393 per cent.
“I have to thank him because it made me work harder and get better,” Adelinde said.
Nathalie, who gave birth to a baby boy last summer, said she was “completely speechless” that she was the runnerup, hoping before the event she would finish in the top six.
“I’m still pinching myself. I’ll probably begin to realize it’s true two week from now.”
Ulla said she proud of Herzruf’s Erbe dealing with an atmosphere that was more electric than he was used to.
“This was the first big championship for Herzi and I’m very happy and pleased with him. This is his first indoor season and he’s not used to the crowds and the atmosphere so I love him because he worked so well for me today.
“I love him… I really love him.”
Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California, and Rafalca with 72.589 per cent for 11th place was the highest scoring of the three Americans in the freestyle as he was in the Grand Prix on Thursday. Their score of 72.589 per cent is their third highest at the freestyle, other higher results at Burbank, California and Saugerties, New York.
Catherine Haddad-Staller, who is based in Germany, and her Winyamaro scored 70.161 per cent for 12th place while Shawna Harding of Aiken, South Carolina, and Come On III scored 67.625 per cent for 14th place.
“I am so thrilled,” Jan said. “I think my horse gave everything she had,” he said of the 14-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Ann Romney, Beth Meyer and his wife, Amy who were all on hand along with 9,500 other spectators in the giant hall where the competition was staged.
“The atmosphere was very electric. She was already high in the warm-up and we had to calm her down five minutes before we went in.”
There were almost no mistakes, and he said he was particularly happy with the final piaffe and passage tour.
“The score was good, especially considering the company. These are the best horses and riders in the world.”
Referring to his 2009 World Cup showing at Las Vegas where the Grand Prix was marked by spookiness, Jan said the end result demonstrated the key to success: “It is a never ending road and sometimes things can go wrong. The thing is, never give up.”
The next stop for the pair is Hagen, Germany next week for the Horses and Dreams Meets Germany competition that is the unofficial kickoff of the major European outdoor competition season.