With patience and perseverance, this super- scared legend went from unrideable to a medal- winning machine who conquered the world, discovers Alice Collins
When it takes half an hour to get on a horse for the first time, most people aren’t keen to get back on it ever again. Luckily for Jerich Parzival, Adelinde Cornelissen is not most people. In 2002, Adelinde was at a loose end when Henk Koers asked her if she’d ride his five-year-old to show him to some prospective clients. Unbeknown to her, none of Parzival’s previous riders wanted anything more to do with him.
The leggy chestnut and the amateur Dutch rider learnt together and not only reached the international grand prix in 2007, but stayed there for almost a decade. He was Adelinde’s first grand prix horse and, as the linchpin of the Dutch team for years, took her career interstellar.
Initially, Parzival’s latent talents were well concealed.
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