Defending champions, Adelinde Cornelissen and Parzival, once again stamped their authority all over the opposition when racking up their second successive victory in the World Cup Dressage Western European League qualifier at Lyon in France last tonight. The Dutch partnership scored a massive 89.375 to leave them well clear of runners-up Valentina Truppa and Eremo del Castegno
from Italy, while it was a very satisfying day for Kristina Sprehe who slotted into third with Desperados FRH.
In yesterday’s Grand Prix the 26-year old German rider endured an uncomfortable time as her 11-year old stallion bubbled over with excitement to finish well down the line in eighth place. Tonight however they produced a much more focused performance to edge ahead of Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Scandic in the final line-up.
Asked tonight if competing with Parzival is a more enjoyable enjoyable experience these days, Cornelissen, who was described as “The First Lady” during the press conference, referred to the change in the character of her 15-year old gelding. “Yes, he’s not nearly as spooky as he used to be, he doesn’t worry and he’s much more relaxed so I can work on his self-carriage and suppleness - and it’s nice that everyone is noticing the difference and that they are liking it!” she pointed out.
She gave notice of her continuing form with victory in yesterday’s Grand Prix in which her Dutch colleague, Edward Gal, lined up second with Undercover. Gal’s performance today however was only good enough for fifth place with a mark of 79.125.
Sweden’s Minna Telde set the standard in the first half of the competition with a lovely Freestyle from the eye-catching and exciting 11 year old black stallion Santana who showed a lot of elevation in extended trot for a score of 76.350. French rider, Jessica Michel, followed her into the ring, and, on her debut at World Cup level competition, the 30-year old did herself proud with an expressive test from the 11 year old mare Riwere de Hus whose easy way of going was complemented by power, particularly in the pirouettes, and lovely moments of suspension for a score of 73.350. But Sprehe and her Olympic ride, Desperados, were the show-stealers as the second tranche took their turn.
After registering a mark of 82.250, which temporarily took over the lead, the German rider explained, “yesterday was the first competition for my horse for a long time. He was breeding after competing in London, and he is a stallion so he couldn’t find his concentration yesterday. Today though, he was much more relaxed” she said.
Re-set the Parameters
Sprehe was still out in front with just three left to go, but this group would re-set the parameters, led by Cornelissen who was third-last into the arena. Parzival is oozing confidence these days, and as he breezed through the test that he now knows so well it was clear that the new signals he is getting from his rider are being better understood. After their victory in the first leg of the World Cup Dressage series in Odense two weeks ago, Cornelissen explained that her effort to lighten her riding style so that she can produce an even more pleasing picture for the panel of judges had led to some moments of confusion for the big chestnut horse. But this time the transitions were seamless, and there was little doubt about who would come out on top as their big result lit up the scoreboard.
Second-last to go, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Scandic earned 81.025 for their rhythmic test, and then it was left to Italy’s Valentina Truppa and Eremo del Castegno to lay down the final challenge. And it was good enough for runner-up position when they put 83.350 on the board.
When asked to analyse the performances of the top three finishers, Ground Jury member, Mrs Isabelle Judet from France, said Truppa’s test showed “a great sense of artistic flair”. Talking about Sprehe’s Freestyle, Mrs Judet pointed out “that for me, it was technically very nice. Maybe she could gain some more points by improving the choreography, the artistic part could maybe be more solid”.
“Her Kur is like a perfect piece of work!” Mrs Judet said of Cornelissen’s winning ride. “All the transitions were fitting very well and the music was according to the movements. It is a real masterpiece when this horse is good on a day like today” she added. Commenting on improvements that Cornelissen could make, “because it is the role of the judge to help her”, Mrs Judet pointed out that Parzival could hold his head “a little more steady” in the pirouette, and that his mouth could be more closed - “but I know you are working on this” she said to the winning rider.
Port of Call
Cornelissen’s next port of call is Stockholm, Sweden at the end of the month, but before that, the World Cup Dressage series moves to Stuttgart, Germany on 16/17 November.
The defending champion has already shown that she and her great gelding are in a class of their own again this season, and that the possibility of mirroring the horse-and-rider hat-tricks recorded by her fellow-countrywoman, Anky Van Grunsven, who steered Bonfire to victory from 1995 to 1997 and Salinero to three-time success between 2004 and 2006, is far from a distant dream. It is a very strong possibility for the 2011 and 2012 series champions.
Scores 2012 CDI-W Lyon
Eurodressage Coverage of the 2012-2013 World Cup Series