Defending champions Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival clinched the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage title for the second year in a row when topping the freestyle on home turf in ‘s-Hertogenbosch earlier today.

But Germany’s Helen Langehanenberg really pressurised the dominant Dutch duo with a spectacular performance that left her just one point behind in second, while Italy’s Valentina Truppa was a huge hit with the packed stadium of spectators when finishing third with Ermo del Castegno.

Helen’s stunning 12-year-old stallion, Damon Hill, was on the button all the way showing lovely piaffe, passage and pirouette to rack up high scores for a mark of 85.214.

Judge at C Fouarge said: “Helen is a very elegant rider and can easily beat Adelinde at the moment if everything goes ok.” However ground jury president, The Netherlands’ Ghislain Fouarge, suggested the German rider needed to increase the difficult of her freestyle to challenge the World Cup champion. “It should be higher,” he said. “Adelinde’s degree of difficulty is higher.”

Adelinde admitted that, having seen the German rider’s performance, she realised she had to raise her game. “I knew I had to really sharpen him (Jerich Parzival) up,” she said. And this “sharpened up” version of her extraordinary chestnut gelding went on to score 86.250.

Isabell Werth made good use of her David Bowie musical score to steer El Santo NRW through some powerful passage, extended trot and canter before finishing with a dramatic one-handed ride down the centre-line. But once again the piaffe let this partnership down, pinning their score at 79.964.

Britain’s only representative, Richard Davison and Hiscox Artemis, finished fifth on 78.571.

Poland’s Katarzyna Milczarek was eliminated from the competition after the judges spotted blood on Edwador’s flank. “It’s always sad to eliminate somebody, but no-one wants to see blood on the horse,” said Ghislain Fouarge.

Grand prix freestyle result

1, Jerich Parzival (Adelinde Cornelissen) NED 86.250;
2, Damon Hill NRW (Helen Langehanenberg) GER 85.214;
3, Eremo del Castegno (Valentina Truppa) ITA 81.232;
4, El Santo NRW (Isabell Werth) GER 79.964;
5, Hiscox Artemis (Richard Davison) GBR 78.571;
6, Glock’s Tango (Hans Peter Minderhoud) NED 76.125.

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