Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen & Leonberg Win WEG Test Event Grand Prix Special
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
LEXINGTON, Kentucky, Apr. 21–Mikala Munter Gundersen and the 16-year-old stallion Leonberg won the Grand Prix Special at the World Equestrian Games Test Event Wednesday, and confirmed plans to go to Europe to compete for a place on the Danish team in hopes of returning to Kentucky for the real WEG.
Mikala, a 42-year-old mother of two children who is based in Wellington, Florida, posted a score of 70.792 per cent that made up for a sub-par performance in Tuesday’s Grand Prix when she had to change the Leonberg’s bit midway through the warm up.
Bonny Bonnello, the 59-year-old from Calgary, Alberta, turned in another outstanding ride on Pikardi to score 70.292 per cent and add to her excitement at qualifying for the Canadian funded tour of Europe for two months that will include the shows at Wiesbaden, Lingen, Rotterdam and Aachen. Pierre St. Jacques of Anthony, Florida, on his Pan American Games team gold medal horse Lucky Tiger was third and the highest finishing American with 69.333 per cent.
Mikala said her experience at Kentucky competing at the U.S. Young Horse Championships had made her excited to come back to see the changes created for the WEG.
“I couldn’t wait to come back to Kentucky,” she said, “so if I don’t make it back here (for the Danish team) in the Fall, I can get the t-shirt.”
Bonny might have finished first if she hadn’t performed an incorrect movement late in the test, an error for which each of the five judges must deduct two points from their score for that movement.
“Robert Dover will never speak to me again if I do that again,” Bonny said of the Canadian coach.
Pikardi gets better and stronger with every competition ride that she said is giving both of them more confidence as they head to Europe to compete.
She has not competed in Europe since the 1980s, when she made her first Canadian team for the 1980 alternate Olympics in Goodwood, England and the world championships in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1982. She also competed at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the world championships in Toronto in 1986.
PS: Mikala Gundersen showing off her multitasking skills–passaging Leonberg in the victory gallop while talking to Photographer 97 (Ken Braddick of dressage-news.com). Photo courtesy of Brittany Hannah.
|FEI Grand Prix Special|
|E: Seefried||H: Macartney||C: Foy||M: Bredahl||B: Zang|
|Gundersen, Mikala Munter||Leonberg||351||336||333||331||348||1699||70.792%||1|
|St Jacques, Pierre||Lucky Tiger||328||332||333||327||344||1664||69.333%||3|
|Harding, Shawna||Come On III||327||331||338||335||321||1652||68.833%||4|
|Hannigan, Jane D.||Maksymilian||326||315||317||327||332||1617||67.375%||5|
|Brooks, Jacqueline||Gran Gesto||315||318||310||308||320||1571||65.458%||0|
|Losos de Muniz, Yvonne||Optimus Prime||314||317||301||298||304||1534||63.917%||0|
|Page, Arlene F.||Alina||307||307||299||310||309||1532||63.833%||0|
|Busse, Ute||Lindor’s Finest||285||294||297||295||282||1453||60.542%||0|