World Cup Grand Prix Set With Adelinde & Parzival Pair to Beat

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The USA's Shawna Harding and Come On III preparing for the World Cup Final. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

S’-HERTOGENBOSCH, The Netherlands, April 18–The World Cup Final, the only annual global championship in dressage, gets underway here with the Grand Prix Friday, but most of the world’s top combinations are focused on the Olympic Games in London this summer.

Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival will be defending the title they won last year, but this time around it will be before a home crowd that can be expected to give the pair rousing support.

The other 17 horses and riders from 11 countries will be trying to stop Adelinde and the 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Jazz x Fidora x Ulft) from becoming the 12th Dutch combination to win the World Cup since it began as a musical freestyle championship in 1986. Germans have won the Cup seven times and only the United States and Switzerland have won it more than once.

Adelinde’s compatriots in the event are Hans Peter Minderhoud on Glock’s Tango and Jenny Schreven on Krawall.

Germany has a strong lineup–though without Totilas–with Helen Langehanenberg on Damon Hill NRW, two-time champion Isabell Werth on El Santo NRW and Nadine Capellmann on Girasol. Helen and Isabell and their horses are the only combinations aside from Adelinde and Parzival in the top 10 in the world rankings.

So, too, does Sweden with Patrik Kittel on the Australian-owned Toy Story and Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén on Don Auriello, the 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding that has become her top horse after a little over a year at Grand Prix.

The event is a true global competition this year with two U.S. combinations, both of whom competed at the 2011 Final in Leipzig Germany, and one Australian.

The USA’s Jan Ebeling and Rafalca, a horse part-owned by Anne Romney, wife of U.S. Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who chose the music that they will ride to, will be making their third World Cup appearance. In addition to last year’s Final, they also rode at the event in Las Vegas in 2009.

Shawna Harding and Come On III are making their second appearance at the World Cup.

Australia’s Rachel Sanna and Jaybee Alabaster have been in Europe for several weeks and plan to stay through the Australian Olympic selection events.

The prize money is substantial.

The Freestyle has total prize money of €225,000 (US$295,000) with €56,000 (US$73,500) going to the winner, while the Grand Prix has a purse of €25,000 (US$32,800)

The lineup for the Final:

Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final Dressage
AUS Australië
SANNA, Rachael Jaybee Alabaster (Final)
DEN Denemarken
JØRGENSEN, Lone FBW De Vito (Final)
FIN Finland
LINDH, Mikaela Skovlunds Más Guapo (Final)
GBR Groot Brittannië Chef d’Equipe: David Trott
DAVISON, Richard Hiscox Artemis (Final)
GER Duitsland Chef d’Equipe: Holger Schmezer
CAPELLMANN, Nadine Girasol (Final)
LANGEHANENBERG, Helen Damon Hill NRW (Final)
WERTH, Isabell Don Johnson, El Santo NRW (Final)
ITA Italië Chef d’Equipe: Andrea Paulgross
TRUPPA, Valentina Eremo del Castegno (Final)
NED Nederland Chef d’Equipe: Sjef Janssen
CORNELISSEN, Adelinde Jerich Parzival (Final)
MINDERHOUD, Hans Peter Glock’s Tango (Final)
SCHREVEN, Jenny Krawall (Final)
NOR Noorwegen
HELLJESEN, Siril Dorina (Final)
POL Poland
MILCZAREK, Katarzyna Ekwador (Final)
RAPCEWICZ, Michal Randon (Final)
SWE Zweden Chef d’Equipe: Bo Jenå
KITTEL, Patrik Toy Story (Final)
VILHELMSON-SILFVEN, Tinne Don Auriello (Final), Favourit (CDI4)
USA Verenigde Staten van Amerika Chef d’Equipe: Eva Salomon
EBELING, Jan Rafalca (Final)
HARDING, Shawna Come on III (Final)