Edward Gal and Glock's Undercover at 's-Hertgenbosch World Cup Freestyle.
Edward Gal and Glock’s Undercover at ‘s-Hertgenbosch World Cup Freestyle.


Defending double-champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival won the last leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Western European League on home ground at‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands Saturday ut Dutch colleague Edward Gal put them under intense pressure with a brilliant performance from Glock’s Undercover that brought the crowd to its feet.

In Friday’s Grand Prix Edward Gal and the 12-year-old gelding were 1.362 percentage points off Adelinde’s winning score.

But Ground Jury members Katrina Wüst of Germany and Hans Christian Matthiesen of Denmark, Francis Verbeek van Rooij of the Netherlands and Jacques van Daele of Belgium (BEL) and Adriaan Hamoen (NED) saw an even closer margin Sunday with just 0.8 per cent separating the two.

Things could now hardly be more exciting ahead of next month’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Gothenburg, Sweden, as Edward is quickly closing in on his team-mate with increasingly impressive performances, while Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW have already proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in the battle for the prestigious title.

With another nice test from Don Johnson FRH, Germany’s Isabell Werth slotted into third ahead of Denmark’s Anna Kasprzak and the expressive Donnperignon while Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic claimed fifth place.

There was a big buzz in the aftermath of the competition, and while it was Adelinde who stood top of the prize-giving line, the electricity was all emanating from Edward whose enormous grin said it all.

Saturday marked a turning point for his lovely black horse who bears more than a passing resemblance to the great stallion, Totilas, which carried him through one of the most exciting periods in the history of this sport as they set new standards until parting company after winning the World Equestrian Games in 2010. Together they changed the face of international dressage, and Edward admitted this evening, in almost a whisper, “it’s not just because he’s a black horse, it’s about the feeling… riding a horse that doesn’t want to stop and wants to give everything and more… today was a little bit like the same’ Wow’ feeling I got with Totilas back then!”

From the outset this last qualifier was full of quality, with Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj showing exactly why she was lying sixth on the Western European League rankings coming into this leg of the series as she produced a lovely opening test from Smeyers Molberg that oozed softness and harmony. And their score of 73.850 held the lead until surpassed, first by Sidsel Johansen and Schianto who notched 74.950 and then by fellow-Dane Anna Kasprzak who really raised the game just before the half-way break with a mark of 78.650 for Donnperignon.

Not even the near-perfection of the passage and piaffe produced by Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic could oust this Danish pair who remained in front until Adelinde took her turn with four to go. And despite the fact that the title-defenders are still feeling their way into a whole new floor-plan and musical score, they forged way ahead when putting 85.900 per cent on the board.

Germany’s Isabell Werth powered into the arena as the penultimate competitor and posted 79.475 to slot into runner-up spot with Don Johnson, but that wouldn’t last long.

Because Edward and Glock’s Undercover kept the crowd spellbound with a last-to-go test that clearly has room for improvement but which had that distinct whiff of a little bit of magic.

The spectators couldn’t contain themselves when he left the ring, spontaneously rising to their feet to roar their approval, and when the judges’ marks were displayed there was an intake of breath, because Edward’s score was so very close to overtaking their other great favourite.  The Dutch are spoiled for choice once again.

For Adelinde Saturday was a big one, as she still has to master the new series of movements that will, no doubt, come together to even greater effect over the coming months as both she and her lovely chestnut gelding perform her “Tribute to my Red Knight.” She uses Parzival’s extraordinary expertise in canter pirouette to full effect in this new Freestyle which, although perhaps less majestic and dramatic, flows easily and will surely make an excellent replacement for the former Tchaikkovsky-themed test that brought them so much success.

“I need to change some small things, and we are still getting used to the new test but I’m very happy because with Parzival it is all getting much lighter and more harmonious,” she said.

While Adelinde was being philosophical, Edward could hardly contain his excitement at having pushed her so closely.

“I was the most happiest rider today,” he said with a big smile at the post-competition news conference. It is partly the speed at which his partnership with Undercover is coming together that is surprising him.

He brought the 12-year-old horse with him to ‘s-Hertogenbosch this time last year just to let him experience the atmosphere of a big show and all that goes with it, but only started riding the horse in January, 2012.

“I had Totilas for four or five years before competing him like this, and I didn’t expect it would come together so soon. Our last indoor competition was at Olympia (in London) in December and he was so hot there. You need to have a hot horse to do a great test, but you have to be  able to handle it and today I had a good feeling so I could let him go and do it, he was  much more relaxed.”

Isabell Werth was well-pleased with her horse’s performance. “Johnny is always quite powerful, but he is still developing and I’m very happy with him. What Edward says is true, you have to deal with the power and the temperament, but my horse is still just 10 years old and when he plays in the right way he’s perfect.”

Frank Kemperman, Sports Director for Indoor Brabant and Chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee confirmed that the nine leading riders on the Western European League 2012/2013 leaderboard have now qualified for the Final next month.

They are, in the following order,  Kristina Sprehe of Germany; Valentina Truppa of Italy; Edward Gal , the Netherlands; Helen Langehanenberg, Germany; Isabell Werth, Germany; Patrik Kittel, Sweden; Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén, Sweden; Anna Kasprzak, Denmark, and Marcela Krinke Susmelj, Switzerland. Defending champions, Adelinde and Jerich Parzival, are automatically qualified.

“We have to wait another week or so before some of the other leagues are over so we can finalize the start-list, but I believe we can look forward to a wonderful Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Gothenburg in a few weeks’ time,” he said.

Emotions ran high once again later in the day when the official retirement ceremony for Anky van Grunsven’s 19-year-old Hanoverian, Salinero, took place.  The Dutch rider enjoyed enormous success with this horse who came after his revered predecessor, Bonfire who, together with Anky first brought Freestyle Dressage to center stage.

Anky van Grunsven and Salinero performing in their third Olympics and helping her team win a bronze medal. The pair won individual gold at the 2004 and the 2008 Olympics as well as team silver in 2004. © 2012 Ken Braddick/
Anky van Grunsven and Salinero performing in their third Olympics and helping her team win a bronze medal. The pair won individual gold at the 2004 and the 2008 Olympics as well as team silver in 2004. © 2012 Ken Braddick/

Salinero however followed faithfully in those very famous hoofprints to become a star in his own right, taking Olympic individual gold in Athens in 2004 and again at the the Beijing Games in Hong Kong four years later.  And he helped Anky become the most prolific winner of the FEI World Cup Dressage title–she won it nine times over a 13-year period between 1995 and 2008.

Salinero first came to prominence in 2003 with victory in the Dutch National Championship and was part of the Dutch bronze medal winning team at the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park last summer which brought his spectacular career to a fitting conclusion.

World Cup Dressage Standings after Round 8 at ‘s-Hertogenbosch:
1.    Kristina Sprehe GER            –    68
2.    Valentina Truppa ITA            –    67
3.    Edward Gal NED                –    66
3.    Helen Langehanenberg GER        –    66
3.    Isabell Werth GER                –    66
6.    Patrik Kittel SWE                –    63
6.    Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven         –    63
8.    Anna Kasprzak DEN            –    58
9.    Marcela Krinke Susmelj SUI        –    50
10.    Minna Telde SWE                –    49
11.    Sidsel Johansen DEN            –    46
12.    Marlies van Baalen NED            –    40
13.    Kristian von Krusentierna SWE    –    34
14.    Pia Fortmuller CAN                –    33
15.    Imke Schellekens-Bartels NED    –    32
16.    Patrick van der Meer NED        –    30
17.    Anabel Balkenhol GER            –    29
18.    Lyndal Oatley AUS                –    23
18.    Silvia Rizzo ITA                 –    23
20.    Karin Kosak AUT                –    22


Judge E: Katrina Wüst (GER) Judge H: Hans Christian Matthiesen (DEN) Judge C: Francis Verbeek-van Rooij (NED)
Judge M: Jacques van Daele (BEL) Judge B: Adriaan Hamoen (NED)
Rank CNR HORSE – Breeding
sex\color\born\sire x siredam\
EUR Judge E Judge H Judge C Judge M Judge B Percentage
1 14 Jerich Parzival – KWPN
G \ Chestnut \ 1997 \ Jazz x Ulft
14000.00 83.50 84.50 81.50 79.25 82.25 85.900
Adelinde  Cornelissen
W.P.J. Cornelissen, M.A. Cornelissen
89.00 92.00 90.00 87.00 90.00
2 16 Glock´s Undercover – KWPN
G \ Black \ 2001 \ Ferro x Donnerhall
11000.00 81.50 80.25 79.75 77.75 82.75 85.100
Edward  Gal
GHPC Holding BV
88.00 91.00 91.00 89.00 90.00
3 9 Don Johnson FRH – HANN
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Don Frederico x Warkant
8500.00 79.00 76.00 76.25 77.50 76.00 79.475
Isabell  Werth
Madeleine Winter-Schulze
85.00 79.00 84.00 84.00 78.00
4 4 Donnperignon – FWB
G \ DarkChestnut \ 1999 \ Donnerhall x Mozart II79
6350.00 77.25 77.75 75.00 76.50 75.00 78.650
Anna  Kasprzak
Kasprzak Family
85.00 80.00 81.00 79.00 80.00
5 33 Watermill Scandic H.B.C – KWPN
S \ Chestnut \ 1999 \ Solos Carex x Amiral
4000.00 71.75 73.75 74.25 74.25 77.75 77.775
Patrik  Kittel
Patrik Kittel, Fam. Greve & Fam. Sjep
82.00 78.00 81.00 82.00 83.00
6 19 Hexagon´s Wellnetta – NRPS
M \ Bay \ 2003 \ Labo x Rubiquil
3000.00 72.50 72.75 71.50 70.50 73.50 75.575
Laurens  van Lieren
L.A. van Lieren, E.C.L. Janse
82.00 77.00 79.00 77.00 80.00
7 13 Miciano – WESTF
G \ Chestnut \ 2001 \ Medici x Dialekt
2000.00 70.75 71.75 71.25 72.25 74.00 75.100
Marlies  van Baalen
J.M.J. van Baalen-Dorresteyn, J. Hinneman
81.00 76.00 77.00 77.00 80.00
8 3 Schianto – DWB
G \ DarkBay \ 1999 \ Gribaldi x Schwadroneur
1750.00 73.00 74.75 71.50 70.00 70.25 74.950
Sidsel M.  Johansen
Jorgen Rosbog
80.00 78.00 79.00 77.00 76.00
9 31 Smeyers Molberg – DWB
G \ Bay \ 2001 \ Michellino x Rambo
1650.00 71.50 72.00 71.25 71.00 71.75 73.850
Marcela  Krinke Susmelj
Irene Meyer, Marcela Krinke Susmelj
79.00 75.00 78.00 75.00 74.00
10 22 Unlimited – KWPN
G \ Chestnut \ 2001 \ Jazz x Winckenburgh
1550.00 70.50 70.50 70.50 68.75 70.50 72.775
Stephanie  Peters
B.M.A. Vonk, Stal Perlee
75.00 74.00 78.00 74.00 76.00
11 34 Biggles 1015 – SWB
S \ Bay \ 1998 \ Briar x Krevad
1450.00 71.25 70.25 69.75 70.75 68.25 72.725
Kristian  von Krusenstierna
Fam. Ingrid Lundbergpersson
79.00 75.00 74.00 77.00 72.00
12 5 Axis TSF – TRAK
S \ Black \ 1999 \ Sixtus x Angard
1350.00 67.75 69.75 69.00 70.25 70.00 72.175
Terhi  Stegars
Terhi Stegars
75.00 75.00 76.00 76.00 73.00
13 2 Orion – KWPN
G \ Chestnut \ 1996 \ Jazz x Consul
1250.00 71.25 68.00 67.50 68.25 68.25 70.025
Pia  Fortmuller
Pia Fortmuller
73.00 73.00 68.00 72.00 71.00
14 1 Vradin – KWPN
M \ Bay \ 2002 \ Gribaldi x Michelangelo
1150.00 68.50 67.00 69.00 68.50 68.50 69.650
Simon  Missiaen
Roland Missiaen
74.00 69.00 68.00 72.00 72.00
15 29 World Performance Washington – HANN
S \ Bay \ 1999 \ Wolkenstein II x Windhuk
1000.00 64.75 67.25 66.00 65.25 64.50 67.375
Luis  Principe
Luis Principe
68.00 71.00 70.00 69.00 68.00