ADELINDE CORNELISSEN cemented her position as the new Dutch dressage superstar, winning the Olympia World Cup qualifier with 80.75%.
Parvizal, her 11-year-old chestnut gelding, was more relaxed than his rider is used to and produced a flowing, mistake-free test to rock and roll tunes.
“Right from the warm-up he was calm,” she said. “When he’s like that I can just go in and ride my test as he doesn’t get distracted.”
Adelinde was a full-time English teacher until giving up her job in March to concentrate on her megastar horse. She now trains with Sjeff Janssen, husband and coach to world number one Anky van Grunsven.
Listen to Adelinde Cornelissen interview
Fellow countryman Hans Peter Minderhoud took second place riding his Olympic team silver medallist Exquis Nadine. A crowd favourite with his Carpenters medley, the chestnut mare’s rhythmic passage never faultered. Only a little tension marred their performance.
“She is not a horse who likes competing in indoor arenas like this,” admitted Hans. “I was pleased with her, but there where moments when she was a little nervous.”
Sussex-based Kyra Kyrklund finished third on Max to a new freestyle, featuring dance music from the film American Beauty.
Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer just about kept the lid on Mistral Hojris’s enthusiasm for a personal best of 75.3%. This expressive gelding mesmerised the audience with his gorgeous piaffe/passage tour, and only had big mistakes in the walk and final halt.
Listen to Laura Bechtolsheimer interview
Richard Davison performed against the odds to take sixth place on nine-year-old Artemis with 73.25% on the horse’s grand prix freestyle debut. Fellow Brit Carl Hester was seventh on Liebling with a humourous Tom Jones kür, and Jodie Lister finished 11th on Nicky on their world cup qualifier debut.
Stay in touch with all the action from Olympia throughout the show on Horseandhound.co.uk and don’t miss H&H’s full report, pictures, analysis and detail from the world cup qualifier in the 25 December issue (on sale 23 December)