Adelinde & Parzival Drop to No. 378 in World as Pair Near Retirement

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Parzival being ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen at the Olympic Games in London in 2012. ©  Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Parzival being ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen to team bronze and individual silver medals at the Olympic Games in London in 2012. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Nov. 2, 2015

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival plunged to No. 378 in the world in the latest International Equestrian Federation rankings released Monday, as the horse nears 19 years old and retirement from a remarkable career of nine years at top sport earning medals at Olympics, World Games, European Championships and two World Cup titles.

The FEI rankings to the end of October show the pair dropped from 27th place a month earlier, reflecting a single international competition this year–the 121st CDI Grand Prix career start–that was followed by the Netherlands’ team coach dropping the pair from the championship squad and Adelinde admitting that retirement for the big chestnut is “certain” in 2016.

The Grand Prix record for Parzival (Jazz x Ulft) and Adelinde, now 36 years old, is marked by the only combination to beat Totilas when ridden by Edward Gal at the height of the black stallion’s career–they did it twice–medals at all six championships the pair competed in, though one was devastating because of  disqualification of Parzival with blood in the mouth.

The partnership began when Adelinde, then a full-time school teacher, was asked to prepare the gelding (Jazz x Ulft) for sale after he’d been out in a field by himself so long the big chestnut was difficult to  handle.

The first international Big Tour competition was a CDI3* at Zwolle, Netherlands in February, 2007.

A month later, the combination achieved its first world ranking of 523rd out of 641 combinations on the world standings.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival at 2009 European Championships beating Totilas in the Grand Prix Special. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival at 2009 European Championships beating Totilas in the Grand Prix Special. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By mid-2009, Adelinde and Parzival had climbed to No. 3 in the world, just in time for the arrival of Totilas that caused a seismic change in dressage.

However, in the 27 competitions that Edward Gal rode Totilas in international Grand Prix from June 17, 2009 to  Sept. 30, 2010 the pair were beaten only twice, both times by Adelinde and Parzival–the Grand Prix Special at the European Championships in Windsor, England in 2009 and the Grand Prix at the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands in 2010 (Totilas went on to win the title).

The greatest heartbreak for Adelinde and Parzival came in 2010 when the horse bit his tongue in the Grand Prix at the World Games in Kentucky, drawing blood that caused automatic disqualification. Despite the loss of their second ranked combination, Totilas and Edward led Holland to its first world championship–Adelinde was awarded a gold medal as a member of the victorious team although she didn’t want it. A tearful Adelinde Cornelissen on Jerich Parzival with blood showing on the horse's mouth that led to the pair being eliminated from the World Games in 2010. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

A tearful Adelinde Cornelissen on Jerich Parzival with blood showing on the horse’s mouth that led to the pair being eliminated from the World Games in 2010. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The next year, 2011, was full of highlights.

Adelinde and Parzival won the World Cup Final in 2011, the first of back-to-back victories in the annual individual championships centered on the Freestyle.

At the European Championships at Rotterdam the pair  took top honors in the Grand Prix Special and Freestyle and placed second behind Great Britain’s Carl Hester on Uthopia in the Grand Prix.at the European Championships in Rotterdam. The Dutch couple beat Totilas then ridden by Matthias Alexander Rath of Germany

Adelinde and Parzival were No. 1 in the world.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzivalafter in 2012 winning their secnd straight World Cup Final. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzivalafter in 2012 winning their secnd straight World Cup Final. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

After their 2012 World Cup success, the pair did not compete again at CDI until the Olympics in London in summer. There, Charlotte Dujardin on Valegro awaited.

The British pair was the star at their hometown Olympics, the 100th anniversary of dressage at the Games and the first ever medals for Britain in the sport at any Olympics. But Adelinde and Parzival were superb, placing second in the Grand Prix, the Special and the Freestyle.

Championship team and individual medals–but no gold–came at the 2013 Europeans and 2014 World Games and more first place ribbons.

Parzival ridden out of the 2014 World Games after the pair's last championship competition for the Netherlands. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Parzival ridden out of the 2014 World Games after the pair’s last championship competition for the Netherlands. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Adelinde has no other horses in the latest world rankings that have grown to 765 combinations.