Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen & Leonberg Add Palm Beach Derby CDI-W Freestyle to Wins

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Mikala Gundersen and Leonberg. © 2010 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com
Mikala Gundersen and Leonberg. © 2010 Ilse Schwarz/dressage-news.com

LOXAHATCHEE, Florida, Mar. 7–Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen rode Leonberg to victory in the Palm Beach Dressage Derby Grand Prix Musical Freestyle Sunday, but she found it hard to put aside thoughts of Courtney King-Dye long enough to ride the World Cup qualifier.

Mikala, who is based in Wellington, Florida, scored 73.250 per cent with Jacqueline Brooks and Balmoral of Cedar Valley, Ontario, second on 69.750 per cent Joe Sandven and Rachmaninoff of Fletcher, North Carolina on 67.700 per cent.

Although she is Danish, Mikala declared for the World Cup North American League and finished in second place with a three-event average score of 72.15 per cent.

On the final day of competition, the somber feelings that have shrouded this show in which the 32-year-old Courtney was to ride three horses were prevalent as there was no change in the Olympic rider’s condition more than four days after her skull was fractured in an accident.

At a ceremony at the show, her longtime coach, Lendon Gray, accepted on behalf of the still unconscious Courtney the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize of $25,000.

The award to Courtney of New Milford, Connecticut, is to provide financial assistance for coaching and training to a talented, committed, qualified rider whose plan is to reach and excel at the elite, international standards of high performance dressage.

When the award was announced a month ago, Courtney said she plans to use the funds to take two horses, Hampton Green Farm’s Grandioso and Maryanna Haymon’s Don Principe, to Europe for training.

Results of the Grand Prix Freestyle:

CDI-Sunday results-1