Danish Riders Capture 5 & 6 Year Old Tests at Devon

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Ulla Petersen and Steinway at Devon. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ulla Petersen and Steinway at Devon. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

DEVON, Pennsylvania, Sept. 24–Steinway, a Sandro Hit gelding ridden by Ulla Petersen, won the FEI test for five-year-olds while Pikko Del Cerro HU with Mikala Gundersen aboard captured the six-year-old test at Dressage at Devon Thursday.

Both riders are Danish–Ulla, 31, is based in Trappe, Maryland where Steinway’s owner Nancy Holowesko lives, and Mikala, 40 (until her birthday on Saturday), is based in Wellington, Florida.

Pikko Del Cerro, a Pik L stallion, was bred and is owned by Horses Unlimited of Albuquerque, New Mexico and his victory with a score of 8.58 also won him the $2,000 (€1,365) Born in the USA Breeder Award.

“That is by far the best he has performed,” said Mikala after finishing ahead of Melissa Jackson of Bradenston, Florida and Whirlpool on 8.02 and Jessica Jo Tate of Chesapeake City, Maryland and Faberge on 7.52.

She said that Pikko was exhausted after the suitability riding class and four in hand classes that he competed in the two days before Thursday’s competition.

Pikko Del Cerro HI being ridden by Mikala Munter Gundersen at Devon. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Pikko Del Cerro HI being ridden by Mikala Munter Gundersen at Devon. © 2009 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I owe this to Sal (Salvetti, horse masseur) who worked his butt off to make Pikko feel good,” she said.

“He felt so relaxed and supple and in synch. He was so rideable.”

Ulla said that Steinway, whom she rode in the U.S. National Championships in August to finish in the ribbons, said the horse showed what a “great. great mind he has. He is amazing, he comes out every day with the same attitude: he wants to please.”

Mikala finshed second in the five-year-old test aboard Pikko del Rio HU on 7.44 with Elly Schobel of Williston, South Carolina on Lord Sisley in third place on 7.28.

In the four-year-old test, Karen Monks-Reilly of Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and Aesthete were first on 8.56, Ashley Wimmer on Somerhall was second on 7.92 and Inga Janke of Warrenton, Virginia on Suntreader third on 7.90.

Meantime, organizers of Dressage at Devon announced that they have been unable to resolve a conflict of dates in which the 2010 show is scheduled for the same dates as the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

As a result, minimum qualifying percentage scores will be eliminated. Competitors will submit their highest scores for the level they want to enter and will be ranked until the class is filled.