- 1. Totilas - Gal, Edward - 83.660 % (Holland)
- 2. Parzival - Cornelissen, Adelinde - 81.277 % (Holland)
- 3. Liebling II - Hester, Carl - 72.213 % (England)
- 4. Andretti H - Bechtolsheimer, Laura - 70.766 % (England)
- 5. Cadillac - Haddad, Catherine - 69.660 % (USA)
- 6. Hiscox Artemis - Davison, Richard - 69.447 % (England)
- 7. Apollo van het Vijverhof- Devroe, Jeroen - 68.298 % (Belgium)
- 8. Fitzcerraldo - Harvey, Judith - 67.745 % (England)
- 9. Mr President - Croxford, Stephanie - 67.362 % (England)
- 10. Ovation - Laarakkers, Christa - 66.085 % (Holland)
- 11. Whitni Star - Boblet, Marc - 65.830 % (France)
- 12. Louis D'Or - Andersen, Henriette - 65.106 % (England)
- 13. Clearwater - Olst, Anne van - 64.596 % (Denmark)
Dressage favourites Edward Gal and Totilas duly obliged to win the World Cup qualifying grand prix, the first class at this year’s Olympia, London International Horse Show. The Dutch combination, team and individual gold medallists at the European Championships at Windsor, and currently the World’s number one, headed off team compatriot and rival Adelinde Cornelissen and her Dutch-bred chestnut Parzival – last year’s World Cup winners at Olympia. But it was close with the leggy chestnut at times equally comparable to Edward’s black stallion and both in a class of their own scoring over 80%. “He is still so young but he never lets me down. The audience was a little excited – which is good – but also difficult, and he was a little bit tense at the start but after the walk he began to feel really good,” said Edward who later in the evening was awarded third place in the Dutch sport personality of the year beaten by a gymnast and a speed skater.
British rider Carl Hester and Liebling, members of this year’s European silver medal team, despite the unenviable task of following Totilas into the arena, delighted the home crowd to produce their best test to date to stand third. “I thought Christmas was ruined when I saw the draw – how do you follow that,” queried Carl. “But my aim was to produce a test without mistakes and that was his first really clean test and I was delighted with the feeling he gave me.”
All thirteen starters now go forward to tomorrow night’s FEI World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle to music, sponsored by Rowan Management Ltd and supported by Horse & Hound.
Grand Prix Kur to Music
- 1. Edward Gal - Totils - 92,300% (Holland)
- 2. Adelinde Cornelissen - Parzival - 82,050% (Holland)
- 3. Carl Hester - Liebling II - 78,450% (England)
- 4. Laura Bechtolsheimer - Andretti H - 77.350% (England)
- 5. Richard Davison - Hiscox Artemis - 75,150% (England)
- 6. Catherine Haddad - Cadillac - 73,600% (USA)
- 7. Jeroen Devroe - Apollo van het Vijverhof - 72,250% (Belgium)
- 8. Christa Laarakkers - Ovation - 72,200% (Holland)
- 9. Henriette Andersen - Louis d'Or - 70,200% (England)
- 10. Stephanie Croxford - Mr President - 69,700% (England)
- 11. Marc Boblet - Whitni Star - 69,650% (France)
- 12. Judith Harvey - Fitzcerraldo - 69,000% (England)
- 13. Anne van Olst - Clearwater - 67,850% (Denmark)
It used to be Stuttgart where all the world records were broken, but those days are over. The Brits are now very eager to have the World Record breaking venue and has shifted from Windsor to London. Their last record score, only four months old, bit the dust as Edward Gal and Totilas reached new heights tonight scoring over 92%, a new record freestyle score, to win the FEI World Cup Grand Prix freestyle qualifier at Olympia.
A full house witnessed the 39-year-old rider and his nine-year-old Dutch-bred stallion, produce an immaculate and dramatic foot-perfect test of seamless transitions, rhythmic elastic gaits and off the floor paces.
“It felt like a fairytale – all I have to do is to point the way and he does it,” said Edward who maintains that Totilas is just a normal horse. “He is so easy going and hopefully he will stay that way but I do think he enjoys the attention.” British judge Stephen Clarke presided over the ground jury. “At Windsor we thought we were so lucky to witness that level of dressage and tonight it was simply amazing to see that they could produce even better,” said Stephen.
Last year’s winners Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival could only look on in admiration and despite scoring over 82% had to settle for second place. The tall leggy chestnut was however not so settled and at times became spooky producing a difficult ride at times for Adelinde. “Last night he felt really good and tonight was not the easiest but I never play for second and at least I was able to carry on riding him which wouldn’t have happened that long ago.”
The British combination of Carl Hester and Liebling took third place with a solid test to medley of Tom Jones music. “After Windsor I didn’t really think there was much more to come but to gain another 5% is just great the difference is that Edward points his horse and I push mine.”
Stephen Clarke and the judges were full of praise for the level of dressage produced at Olympia. “These riders have brought the sport to a level we have never seen before and we should congratulate them – you don’t need to be an expert to see what they are doing is brilliant.”