by Fran Jurga | 26 March 2010 | The Jurga Report at Equisearch.com
Photo from fOTOGLIF; Adelinde Cornelissen of The Netherlands continues to make Edward Gal and Totilas sweat. She and her elegant gelding Jerich Parzival won the 2010 FEI World Cup Dressage Final Grand Prix on Thursday, beating Moorlands Totilas and Gal by two points. It all comes down to Saturday's musical freestyle, which will be streamed live on the web via FEI TV.
Photo from fOTOGLIF (EPA/TOUSSAINT KLUITERS) Moorlands Totilas showed tension in his performance in the Grand Prix that has been absent from most of the nine-year-old stallion's clutch performances. Was Thursday just a forgivable warmup or a portent of more tension to come on Saturday?
It was their night. Adelinde Cornelissen and the athletic chestnut Jerich Parzival topped the boards at the 2009/2010 FEI World Cup? Dressage final at the Brabanthallen in s'Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands Thursday night. as they won the Grand Prix by a convincing margin of more than two percent. On a tense evening when nerves were jangling all around her, Adelinde held her huge, heavily muscled gelding together.
Edward Gal and Moorlands Totilas did not have their usual sparkle; Totilas's perfect tail even seemed a bit unraveled. At one point, the usually meticulous stallion gave a buck across the arena rail at some imaginary demon.
In the past six months, the pair of Gal and Totilas has broken even their own records on the road to this week's final competition. They came to s'Hertogenbosch knowing that every time they enter an arena anywhere in the world they are expected to produce even more magic than the time before.
I wonder how you say "pressure" in Dutch? Totilas is also being marketed for breeding this year; it is assumed that the title of World Cup Champion will be on his resume. We'll find out on Saturday. (FEI/Kit Houghton photo)
But this time, Gal appeared to have a battle on his hands as the stallion exploded into canter and never fully settled to his task. But as tense as he was, in passage and piaffe this horse is near perfection, even on an "off-day", and his energy and elevation will always earn him a good score. Their score of 76.80% temporarily took the lead, but it would not be enough to take the win.
Adelinde and Parzival were the last pair into the arena and knew that Totilas had not done his usual perfect test, although his score had moved him into the lead. (FEI/Kit Houghton photo)
Last to go in front of the home crowd was Cornelissen. Her chestnut gelding can sometimes be so ring-shy that he cannot give his best. But the young school teacher held him together with courage, and his confidence seemed to grow all the greater as his huge movement, excellent piaffe and springy half-passes earned good scores all the way through.
It was as if horse and rider knew exactly what they had to do and they did it, but with points to spare. On Saturday, they will perform a new freestyle to the music of Tchaikovsky. A video of an interview with Adelinde (in English) about her new Freestyle music and choreography is on the FEITV web site. You might have to register with the site (it's free) to view the video.
Here's Edward Gal and Totilas in the Grand Prix. Sorry there is no video yet of Adelinde and Parzival.
Thanks to the FEI for their assistance with this article.