Odense (DEN), 21 October 2012 – Dutch riders claimed the first two places in the opening leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 series at Odense in Denmark today where defending champions, Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival, scored a convincing victory.
Edward Gal, series champion in 2010 with Totilas, lined up second with Blue Hors Romanov while Danish riders filled the next two places. Anna Kasprzak, at 22 years of age the youngest competitor in today’s Freestyle, pipped the considerably more experienced partnership of Nathalie zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and Digby when slotting into third, while Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven and Don Auriello lined up fifth for Sweden.
It was an exciting test from Cornelissen whose career highlights include back-to-back Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage titles in 2011 and 2012, double gold at the 2011 European Championships, and individual silver at this summer’s Olympic Games in London, all partnering the chestnut gelding who, at 15 years of age, still sparkles.
Today’s 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 Britain’s Stephen Clarke, who said after she finished behind British gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin at Greenwich Park this summer that Parzival needed to show “more lightness and self-carriage” in order to beat Dujardin’s ride, Valegro, Cornelissen is working on just that. And, as she pointed out today, “It’s getting better and better, and it feels really amazing!”
In yesterday’s preliminary Grand Prix, Cornelissen and Parzival’s winning scoreline left them just over three percentage points ahead of Kasprzak and Donnperignon with Gal and Blue Hors Romanov taking third. Today however their winning margin was far greater.
The surprise package of the Freestyle was the impressive opening performance from Joachim Thomson and the 10 year old bay gelding Akeem Foldager who set a high standard when putting 75.150 on the board. Next in however, Norway’s Siril Helljesen decided to retire when her test with the 10 year old mare, Dorina, fell apart.
Denmark’s Sidsel Johansen raised the game considerably when taking the lead with a test that was bubbling with enthusiasm and a pleasure to watch. The 13 year old Schianto produced lovely extended trot during a performance that earned a mark of 77.300, but Cornelissen and Parzival put the result beyond doubt when, two horses later, they racked up a massive 88.175.
They were not perfect all the way through, experiencing what the rider describes as “some miscommunications” on both days of competition. As Cornelissen explained, “I’m doing things a little differently, so of course sometimes Parzival doesn’t clearly understand yet. He says ‘what are you doing now?’, like going from passage to canter it is slightly different and he went into walk instead of canter. It takes time to make a change, but I’m really happy with him and how much relaxation he is showing,” she explained.
It is all a long way from the tense and worried gelding who, just a few short years ago, so often lost his nerve when under the spotlight. “He’s enjoying it so much more” the rider explained.
She had been planning to give Parzival a break when the Olympics were over, “but he didn’t like it; he hated it after a week of watching the other horses going out to do things – he wants to work and he loves the attention and the crowds these days, even the prize-giving!” she added.
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 horse’s concentration is improving, and, like Cornelissen, he is targeting the second leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup 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 today’s season-opener.
Cornelissen meanwhile has shown that a hat-trick of Reem Acra FEI World Cup 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.
For further information on the first leg of the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2012/2013 series in Odense, Denmark, check out website www.jbkhorseshows.dk or contact Press Officer, Christel Droeyer, at Email email@example.com or Tel +45 292 686 26. The next leg takes place at Lyon, France on Friday 2 November 2012. For details on the French fixture, check out website www.equitalyon.com or contact Press Officer Pascal Renauldon, Email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel +33 (0) 608 759407.
Result: 1, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED 88.175; 2, Blue Hors Romanov (Edward Gal) NED 80.650; 3, Donnperignon (Anna Kasprzak) DEN 77.825; 4, Digby (Nathalie zu Sayn–Wittgenstein) DEN 77.600; 5, Don Auriello (Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven) SWE 77.375; 6, Schianto (Sidsel Johansen) DEN 77.300; 7, Dablino FRH (Anabel Balkenhol) GER 75.625; 8, Akeem Foldager (Joachim Thomson) DEN 75.150; 9, Elvia VA (Nadine Capellmann) GER 74.800; 10, Uzzo (Patrick van der Meer) NED 74.675; 11, BMC Miciano (Marlies van Ballen) NED 72.800; 12, Furst Khevenhuller (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 72.075; 13, Donnerfee (Claudia Fassaert) 66.475; 14, Ferdi (Maria von Essen) SWE 61.250; 15, Dorina (Siril Helljesen) NOR Ret. Full results at www.scgvisual.com.
Facts and Figures:
This is the third season of sponsorship by New York fashion designer, Reem Acra, who recently confirmed the extension of her support for FEI World Cup Dressage for another three-year period, bringing it up to 2016.
Today’s competition was the first of 8 qualifying rounds in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage 2011/2012 series.
The Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage series final will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden, 24-28 April 2013.
The panel of Judges today was: At E, Gustav Svalling (SWE); at H, Raphael Saleh (FRA); At C, Leif Tornblad (DEN); at M, Peter Holler (GER); at B, Hans Christian Matthiesen) DEN.
Princess Benedikte of Denmark attended today’s event.
Riders from four different leagues – Western European, Central European, North American and Asian/Pacific – compete in the FEI World Cup Dressage qualifying rounds.
FEI World Cup Dressage, the only worldwide series in this discipline, has entered its 28th season. The series, created in 1985, comprises four leagues: Western European, Central European, North American (including Canada) and Pacific (Australia, New Zealand, Asia). Each FEI World Cup Dressage qualifier consists of a Grand Prix test, which in turn is a qualification for the Freestyle to music competition, where league points are accumulated towards places in the Final. Judged on both technical and artistic merit, the FEI World Cup Dressage combines art, sport and partnership between horse and rider at the highest level and consistently proves a winning formula with audiences all over the world.
The complete rules, calendar, updated ranking and results are available here.
The Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), founded in 1921, is the international body governing equestrian sport recognised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and includes 133 National Federations. Equestrian sport has been on the Olympic programme since 1912 with three disciplines – Jumping, Dressage and Eventing. In 2012 equestrian sport will celebrate its centenary as an Olympic sport. It is one of the very few sports in which men and women compete on equal terms. It is also the only sport which involves two athletes – horse and rider. The FEI has relentlessly concerned itself with the welfare of the horse, which is paramount and must never be subordinated to competitive or commercial influences.
By Louise Parkes
Press Officer Christel Kroeyer
Tel: +45 29268626
Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Manager Media Relations
+41 78 750 61 33