Parzival Passes Fitness Test for Dutch Olympic Team

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Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

ERMELO, Netherlands, June 30–Parzival, ridden by Adelinde Cornelissen, passed a fitness test to confirm their place on the Netherrlands Olympic team for the London Games starting in less than a month that will be the first Olympics for the world’s No. 1 rider and horse. At a national Grand Prix Saturday, the pair achieved a score of 81.13 per cent.

The combination is confirmed on the team with seven-time Olympian Anky van Grunsven and the 18-year-old Salinero and fellow Olympic rookie Edward Gal and Undercover. The fourth combination–Holland qualified a team of three and one individual–will be between Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Toots and Patrik van der Meer and Uzzo after the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, next week.

Sjef Janssen, the Dutch coach, named the pair to the team subject to demonstrating their fitness by competing at this weekend’s national competition at the Dutch national federation headquarters.

“I was very impressed,” Sjef said after the ride, “specially in the beginning of the Grand Prix. The combination was very strong. At the end Parzival became a bit tired, so a few tiny glitches arose. I am convinced that in the coming weeks Parzival’s condition will just get stronger, so these small mistakes will not be made.”

Adelinde also was happy.

“I think we have a very good test to put down a score of 81.13 per cent,” she said. “I am now very satisfied.”

Adelinde and Parzival skipped the Rotterdam CDIO last week as she did Holland’s national championships that were the two competitions named by the Dutch federation to determine selections for the team, saying that the 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Jazz x Fidoria x Ulft) was not ready.

In April, the pair won their second straight World Cup Final but not until overcoming a scare when the horse was held overnight after the veterinary inspection before passing a second jog and thus allowed to start the competition.

The pair most famously suffered heartbreak in the 2010 world championships in Kentucky when Parzival in his opening Grand Prix ride bit his tongue causing blood to show on his mouth and was eliminated from their first World Equestrian Games.