Parzival at 20 Years of Age to Retire at Den Bosch Indoor Brabant Next Month

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Jerich Parzival ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen on the Dutch gold medal team at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor, England. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

‘s-HERTOGENBOSCH, Netherlands, Feb. 9, 2017–Jerich Parzival, the horse that made it to the top of the world and at times plunged its rider into despair, will retire next month at the age of 20.

The remarkable career of the KWPN gelding (Jazz x Ulft) that then schoolteacher Adelinde Cornelissen trained from almost unrideable to back-to-back World Cup titles and London Olympic team silver will be honored at the 50th anniversary of Indoor Brabant Mar. 11 during the World Cup Freestyle.

During their first European Championship in Windsor, England in 2009, the pair were on the gold medal and beat out teammate Edward Gal on Totilas to win individual gold in the Grand Prix Special with a new world record of 84.042 per cent.

Despite heartbreak at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington in 2010 when Parzival was eliminated when he bit his tongue during the Grand Prix, the pair were awarded a gold medal with the rest of the Dutch squad that was also the final competition for the partnership of Edward and Totilas.

Adelinde and the big chestnut won the Grand Prix Special and the Freestyle at the 2011 Europeans in Rotterdam. The same year the pair also won the World Cup Final.

 The peak year for the pair was 2012:  the World Cup title at Indoor Brabant, individual Freestyle silver and team silver at the London Olympics. The duo also took Freestyle and team silver at the European Championships in Herning in 2013 and Freestyle and team bronze at the World Championships in Normandy in 2014.

The 2016 Olympics in Rio when Parzival was 19 years old was another disappointment when the horse was retired from the opening Grand Prix suffering what Adelinde said was a mosquito or spider bite on the face.

The partnership of Parzival and Adelinde began when she was a full-time school teacher and was asked to prepare the gelding for sale after he’d been out in a field by himself so long the big chestnut was difficult to  handle.

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.