The last dressage competition of the year in Mechelen was won by Olympic silver medallist Adelinde Cornelissen aboard Jerich Parzival. However it was not an easy win. The WDM Exquis Grand Prix Kur presented by Axel Johnson Group in Mechelen presenting among others the battle between the number 1 and number 3 in the FEI World Ranking was witnessed by approximately 10.000 visitors in Mechelen.
Tension was high when Helen Langehanenberg made her appearance in the ring. However it turned out this wasn't going to be her lucky day. Just after she had started her kur, the music suddenly stopped due to a technical problem. "This was very unfortunate", sports director Peter Bollen stated afterwards in the press conference, "we will absolutely make sure this will never happen again".
Helen obviously lost her concentration for a moment but instantly regained her confidence and picked up the kur where she left off. After greeting the judge at C she got a standing ovation from the crowd and a super score of 85,87%. "This was an amazing year for me anyway rewarded with Olympic team silver and runner up position in the World Cup Final. Now a win and runner up position end this amazing year. It couldn't have been better", Langehanenberg said with a smile.
Adelinde Cornelissen could not afford herself an easy ride. After the GP where she came in second she needed to prove that she and Jerich Parzival are the number 1 combination in the world. "After the Olympics I rfeceived the message that harmony could be better. So my training efforts have been on that. Now after Grand Prix in which I became second I talked to Mariette Withages and she emphasized that of course harmony is the goal to have, but it shouldn't affect the power that Jerich Parzival easily can demonstrate. So I decided in the Freestyle to give the judges what they had asked for", Adelinde stated. "Especially in Parzival's really strong points piaffe and passage he was more or less dancing now, with power and still completely in harmony. This was one of my best tests ever for sure! "
Adelinde feels she has one goal left, to hit the 90% once. "It is a small difference, but it is hard to close this gap... Apart from bribing the judges of course", she laughed. To conclude: "The only solution I see is to work hard and improve myself every day, inch by inch. And that's what's in my mind anyway!"
Adelinde's next outing with Jerich Parzival will be the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Qualifier in Amsterdam. As the reigning winner she already has placed herself for the Final because she already competed in the two obliged qualifier shows by reglement. "But I love Amsterdam and it's good for Jerich Parzival in his shape to continue competing a bit. He likes it and so do I", Adelinde said. The competition year 20913 will start for her in Drachten first, when she will scout new talents together with physical expert Tjalling van den Berg with whom she worked with at the Global Dressage Forum. Never a dull moment!
Watch the winning Freestyle of the WDM Freestyle in Mechelen here