Lars Petersen & Mariett Take Devon World Cup to Stay Firmly Atop North American League
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
DEVON, Pennsylvania, Sept. 29–Lars Petersen, the Danish Olympian transplanted to Florida, rode the miracle mare Mariett to their second straight World Cup victory Saturday night by taking the Dressage at Devon Grand Prix Freestyle to place the pair firmly atop the North American League standings.
Canada’s Ashley Holzer and her Olympic mount Breaking Dawn were runnerup but as the two Grand Prix mounts she has competed in CDIs over the past several weeks will be taken over by their owners the World Cup is not in her plans for now.
Lars and the Danish Warmblood mare (Come Back II x Sidney) owned by Marcia Pepper scored 76.975 per cent while Ashley and Breaking Dawn were on 76.525 per cent while Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida and her United States Olympic and World Equestran Games partner, Calecto V, were third on 72.875 per cent.
Four combinations tussled for the third spot–after Tina and Calecto came the U.S. Pan American Games team rider Cesar Parra and Van the Man on 72.725 per cent, Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen, who is also based in Florida, and My Lady in fifth of 72.500 per cent and the Canadian amateur Jill Irving on Pop Art, Ashley’s 2008 Olympic mount, posting 72.300 per cent for sixth place.
The Devon event that has drawn a standing room only crowd for years at the postage stamp sized show grounds on the upper crust Main Line Philadelphia is the third of nine World Cup qualifiers for the North American League that gets to send two combinations to the Final in Lyon, France next April. Four are scheduled for Florida and two for California over the winter.
The 48-year-old Lars is competing in the NAL because he lives in the U.S. but if he is invited to the Final it will be as an “extra” that won’t take one of the two places reserved for North Americans.
Mariett, Lars said, is getting “better and better and easier and easier” since the pair returned from a European swing in summer when they competed in the Danish Championships and rode on Denmark’s team at the Nations Cup in Rotterdam.
“I think the horse was good in Europe,” he said of the mare that lost years of competition while recovering from an accident in which an entire hoof was torn off and her return to the show ring was considered unlikely.
“After that trip she has actually developed a lot, getting sronger, better, easier, more familiar with the show ring.”
And he believes the long down time will lengthen her competition career.
The pair won the Freestyle at Saugerties, New York last week and the average of their two results–the NAL standings are based on the average of the best two scores unlike the Western and Central European Leagues where points are awarded for placings–gives them an average of 76.775.
With the World Cup not a factor for Ashley, the real competition for standings will be in Florida and California where top combinations such as Steffen Peters and Legolas, Günter Seidel and Coral Reef Wylea, Adrienne Lyle and Wizard, Jan Ebeling and Rafalca, Heather Blitz and Paragon and some newly emerging partnerships could be contenders. Tina and Calecto and Cesar and Van the Man of the United States and Jacqueline Brooks and D Niro of Canada have started building a record.