Defending champions, The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival, scored a convincing victory in the opening leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cupâ¢ Dressage 2012/2013 series at Odense, Denmark yesterday.
It was an exciting test from Cornelissen whose career highlights include back-to-back Reem Acra FEI World Cupâ¢ Dressage titles in 2011 and 2012, double gold at the 2011 European Championships, and individual silver at this summerâs Olympic Games in London, all partnering the chestnut gelding who, at 15 years of age, still sparkles.
Todayâs result was all the more remarkable for the fact that the 33 year old Dutch rider is altering her riding technique. Prompted by the words of Olympic Ground Jury President, Great Britainâs Stephen Clarke, who said after she finished behind British gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin at Greenwich Park this summer that Parzival needed to show âmore lightness and self-carriageâ in order to beat Dujardinâs ride, Valegro, Cornelissen is working on just that. And, as she pointed out today, âitâs getting better and better, and it feels really amazing!â
It was her Dutch colleague, Gal, who came closest to her winning score today riding the Danish-owned Oldenburg stallion Romanov. Gal, who took over the ride a year ago, said the horseâs concentration is improving, and, like Cornelissen, he is targeting the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cupâ¢ Dressage series at Lyon, France and the fourth leg at Stockholm in Sweden over the coming weeks.
Kasprzak and her 13 year old Donnerhall gelding Donnperignon have thrown down a strong challenge to their Danish counterparts with their excellent third-place finish at todayâs season-opener.
Cornelissen meanwhile has shown that a hat-trick of Reem Acra FEI World Cupâ¢ Dressage titles is well within her reach. Parzival is retaining his power and presence despite the changes he is being asked to make, and is quickly adapting to his softer outline. He positively swaggered through his trademark passage/piaffe routine as his test drew to a close today. He may be learning to do it a bit differently, but he will still be the one to beat when it comes to the final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.
Marlies van Baalen, 20 points
Edward Gal, 20 points
Patrick van der Meer, 8 points