Cool Cornelissen and Placid Parzival top last qualifier at Gothenburg
- 27 February 2010, 10:26
ADELINDE Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival kept their cool under intense pressure to win the last qualifying leg of the 2009/2010 FEI World Cup™ Dressage series in Gothenburg, Sweden tonight. Sweden’s Patrik Kittel produced the ride of his life with Watermill Scandic to slot into second place, but the real battle was played out between the Dutch who were vying for the two remaining places on offer to home side contenders at the Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands in four weeks time.
League leader Edward Gal was clearly always going to make the cut but Cornelissen, Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Anky Van Grunsven knew that tonight would decide which of them would join him. And in this battle of the giants it was winner Cornelissen and third-placed Schellekens-Bartels who earned their stripes while nine-time World Cup champion Van Grunsven just missed out when finishing fourth.
Isabell Werth’s exciting nine year old gelding, El Santo NRW, brought a smile to his rider’s face when showing his huge potential and was holding the lead at the halfway stage, but Schellekens-Bartels blew away the German rider’s score of 75.50% with a wonderful show from Hunter Douglas Sunrise. The charm and poise of the 16 year old mare is perfectly reflected in the beautifully choreographed musical score and this was a partnership in complete unison, and clearly relishing the challenge, as they set the new target at 79.75%. Matthias Alexander Rath and Triviant earned a good mark of 76.40%, and fellow-Germans Carola Koppelmann and Le Bo were rewarded with 75.50% for their rhythmic Carribbean-influenced performance which included a great flourish of one-time changes down the centre line before Van Grunsven took her turn with just four horses left to go.
The 13 year old stallion, Painted Black, shook his head tensely in the first halt and although highly expressive through some of the test was more than two marks behind Schellekens-Bartels when the scores were posted. This seemed to leave the reigning Olympic champion looking vulnerable with Cornelissen yet to go.
However before Van Grunsven’s team-mate came into the ring Patrick Kittel would spring a massive surprise when executing a spectacular test with Watermill Scandic. The 11 year old stallion was impressive enough when second behind Parzival in Saturday’s Grand Prix in which Van Grunsven and Painted Black finished third, but the winner was well below par in that class and tonight’s competition was a completely different story. Watermill Scandic raised his game to a whole new level, and with youth on his side looks to have a big future – his great passage and piaffe, together with the partnership’s good rapport and tremendous dynamism, put them out in front with a score of 79.80%. “A personal best in both the Grand Prix yesterday and again today in the Kur – I couldn’t be happier!” said Kittel afterwards.
His advantage wouldn’t last long however as Cornelissen followed him into the ring and Parzival, tonight, was completely composed. The sensitive gelding had been overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the Scandinavium Arena in Saturday’s competition – “he tried to turn around and run back out of the arena yesterday he was so frightened” said Cornelissen, but today it held no horrors for the big chestnut who strode in, cool as a breeze, and didn’t even seem to notice the 11,000 screaming spectators who were still celebrating Kittel’s inspiring display. With consummate ease he set about his business after the din died down and with absolute authority posted a mark of 84.40% to seal the deal.
“He was so relaxed I knew I could just get on with it” said Cornelissen afterwards. She explained that, due to the show programme, there was no opportunity to train in the arena prior to the Grand Prix so she knew she just had to ride the storm in Saturday’s competition. “He’s always like that, he looks at everything the first time and I had to use the Grand Prix as my training run but once he’s seen things then he doesn’t worry any more and he normally settles down well like he did tonight” she pointed out.
Schellekens-Bartels was surprised when Sunrise also took a dislike to things in the arena during the Grand Prix. “I had a very different ride yesterday” she said. “My mare was very afraid of the Judge at C – she’s not normally spooky so I didn’t expect that – but she was really good today” she pointed out. She was delighted with her result – “for me this is fantastic – I had to kick out Anky and I’m sorry about that but I’m happy I have made it to the final!” she said.
Kittel admitted that the roars from the crowd as he came into the ring made his horse tense but once he began the test Watermill Scandic was more relaxed. And he was delighted to find himself qualified for ‘s-Hertogenbosch. “This will be my first final” he pointed out. He had been informed by FEI Director of Dressage Trond Asmyr that he needed to get at least two more points if he was to have any chance of making it to the Final – “I did it, and I did it well – because I got 17!” he added. He’s not going to rest on his laurels though. “I’m going to keep my music – Depeche Mode is cool for me – but I will change my programme and change the line in the canter, I’m not entirely happy with it. I want to show cleaner lines to the judges” he explained.
Schellkens-Bartels has no intention of changing anything. “I don’t think there is music more fitting for my horse than the one we have now” she insisted, but Cornelissen has a bit of a surprise up her sleeve. “It should have been a secret” she said when asked if her programme and score would remain the same, “I’m not changing my programme but I am going to change my music. I won’t tell you what it is though, you’ll have to wait and see…”
The FINAL of the 2009/2010 FEI World Cup™ Dressage series takes place at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands from 25-27 March. For further information check out website www.indoorbrabant.nl or contact Press Officer Denise van der Net at +31 627 03 16 74 or email email@example.com
RESULT: 1, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED 84.40%; 2, Watermill Scandic (Patrik Kittel) Swe 79.80%; 3, Hunter Douglas Sunrise (Imke Schellekens-Bartels) Ned 79.75%; 4, IPS Painted Black (Anky Van Grunsven) Ned 77.25%; 5, Triviant (Matthias Alexander) 76.40%; 6, Le Bo (Carola Koppelmann) Ger 75.50%; 7, El Santo NRW (Isabell Werth) Ger 75.50%; 8, Favourit (Tinne Wilhelmson-Silfven) Swe 74.90%; 9, Randon (Michal Rapcewicz 73.35%; 10, Lydianus (Charlotte Haid Bondergaard) Swe 71.30%; 11, Fitou (Lone Bang Larsen) Den 70.95%; 12, Larina (Minna Telde) Swe 69.45%; 13, Normandie JB (Anette Christensson) Swe 68.00%; 14, Fryso Huys Cas (Marc Peter Spahn) Bel 67.25%; 15, Le Beau (Philippe Jorissen) Bel 67.20%.
2009/2010 FEI WORLD CUP™ DRESSAGE – STANDINGS after Round 9 at Goteborg (Swe) – (Provisional)
1. Edward Gal – 75
2. Adelinde Cornelissen – 72
3. Imke Schellekens-Bartels- 70
4. Anky van Grunsven – 60
5. Isabell Werth – 54
6. Patrik Kittel – 53
7. Jeannette Haazen – 50
8. Matthias Alexander Rath – 49
9. Carola Koppelmann – 47
10. Monica Theodorescu – 41
11. Aat Van Essen – 38
12. Jeroen Devroe – 37
12. Nathalie Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein- 37
14. Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven – 35
15. Hubertus Schmidt – 32
15. Laura Bechtolsheimer – 32
17. Hans Peter Minderhoud – 30
18. Peter Gmoser – 25
19. Catherine Haddad – 24
20. Charlotte Haid-Bondergaard- 22
20. Marc Peter Spahn – 22
Full standings at www.scg-nl.nl