Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen & My Lady Post Personal Best for Victory at Wellington World Cup Grand Prix

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Mikala Gundersen on My Lady celebrating victory in the Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Mikala Gundersen on My Lady celebrating victory in the Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 13, 2014–Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen rode My Lady to a personal best score of 73.120 per cent Thursday to claim victory in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix, ending a string of placings behind fellow Dane Lars Petersen and Mariett who were second on 72.700 per cent.

Catherine Haddad-Staller and Mane Stream Hotmail served notice of being a pair to watch when they placed third with 71.560 per cent, their highest ever CDI Grand Prix result on any horse and 2.520 per cent more than the previous best on Hotmail after a ride that the American described as the best she has ever had in a competition arena.

But the ride by Mikala, the last in a starting lineup of 32 combinations from eight nations, set off loud cheering in the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium centerpiece arena. The score easiy surpassed the previous highest highest Grand Prix score of 71.660 per cent logged just two weeks ago at these same show grounds.

Mikala was injured last year and had eased up on the amount of riding she does at her training center near the show grounds and joked that it was just as well her husband, jumper rider Henrik Gundersen was also the distributor for the HorseGym treadmill that kep My Lady in top condition.

Two weeks ago, she felt better and returned to a busy riding schedule–“I probably shouldn’t have as I injured myself again.”

Coupled with the fact that in this winter season of 12 weeks with eight CDIs she and the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare by Michellino finished third or second behind Lars Petersen and Mariett, also based here. Lars is also atop the World Cup North American League ahead and he could be invited to the Final in Lyon, France that would likely prevent Mikala from going as she is in the second spot.

Lars Petersen and Mariett in the World Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Lars Petersen and Mariett in the World Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

“I rode like I had nothing to lose,” she told dressage-news.com. “I talked to Ernst (Hoyes, her coach) and he told me not to put pressure on myself. I rode just like I do at home. Everything I can usually do at home I was able to do in the ring.”

With My Lady, that Danish native and longtime American citizen Janne Rumbough bought more thsn two years ago for Mikala to compete, it has been “an amazing season.”

“She has been so consistent and has slowly gotten better and better,” she said. “Today it all came together.”

Miakala was fed up with placing third in seven out of her eight previous competitions, and second in the other that led to get being labeled the “Yellow Lady.” Putting the seven yellow and one red ribbon together, she figured, could come up with blue for the winner.

Lars said that Mariett who he started six times this year for three first places and three seconds, felt the effects of having the last month off. His success on the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare (Come Back II x Sidney) has kept the pair in the top 20 in the world rankings.

Catherine Haddad-Staller, who moved back to the United States after 20 years in Germany where she competed at the top echelon of the sport and was reserve for American teams at both the 2006 and 2010 World Equestrian Games, described the ride on Hotmail as “super… fantastic.”

Catherine Haddad-Staller and Mane Stream Hotmail in the World Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Catherine Haddad-Staller and Mane Stream Hotmail in the World Cup Grand Prix. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Hotmail, whom she bought in Germany in 2012 as a sales prospect, had it easy last year when Catherine was out for five months with an injury.

The 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding also by Michellino was the easiest horse she had ever ridden, she said.

The latest result of 71.560 per cent will move the pair higher than their current 11th place in the national rankings to qualify for the selection trials for the American team for the WEG in Normandy, France in August.

Catherine said that even if she did not make the squad of the top eight combinations to go to Europe to determine the final WEG team of four she planned to go to compete over the summer.

Shelly Francis and Doktor placed fourth on 71.500 per cent in the Adequan Gobal Dressage Festival World Cup rand Prix. © 2014 Krn Braddick/dressage-news.com
Shelly Francis and Doktor placed fourth on 71.500 per cent in the Adequan Gobal Dressage Festival World Cup rand Prix. © 2014 Krn Braddick/dressage-news.com

Results:

FEI Grand Prix
E: Foy – USA H: Clarke – GBR C: Markowski – POL M: Hotz – USA B: Nivelle – GER
Rider Ctzn Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Gundersen, Mikala DEN My Lady 73.600 3 72.900 2 71.300 6 73.800 1 74.000 1 73.120 1
Petersen, Lars DEN Mariett 74.900 1 74.600 1 73.000 1 72.200 2 68.800 6 72.700 2
Haddad-Staller, Catherine USA Mane Stream Hotmail 73.600 3 69.800 8 71.400 5 71.000 3 72.000 3 71.560 3
Francis, Shelly USA Doktor 74.000 2 72.800 3 70.600 7 70.600 4 69.500 4 71.500 4
Trussell, Belinda CAN Anton 72.100 5 72.400 4 72.700 3 68.200 10 69.100 5 70.900 5
Parra, Cesar USA Van the Man 69.800 7 70.600 6 73.000 1 67.600 11 72.200 2 70.640 6
Lane, Megan CAN Caravella 69.800 7 70.600 6 69.600 8 70.500 5 68.500 8 69.800 7
Wilcox, Lisa USA Denzello 68.900 10 68.800 11 68.800 10 69.700 6 68.300 9 68.900 8
Holzer, Ashley CAN Tiva Nana 67.400 16 68.400 14 72.100 4 65.800 18 68.300 9 68.400 0
Konyot, Tina USA Calecto V 68.700 11 68.800 11 67.300 14 69.700 6 67.500 12 68.400 0
Roffman, Caroline USA Her Highness O 67.500 15 68.900 10 69.300 9 68.300 9 67.300 13 68.260 0
Pavicic, Karen CAN Don Daiquiri 70.400 6 68.500 13 67.100 16 66.400 16 68.200 11 68.120 0
Francis, Shelly USA Danilo 67.300 17 66.400 19 68.800 10 68.700 8 68.600 7 67.960 0
Brooks, Jacqueline M. CAN D Niro 67.800 14 69.800 8 67.800 13 67.100 14 67.200 15 67.940 0
Graves, Laura USA Verdades 68.400 12 71.300 5 68.400 12 65.500 21 65.100 24 67.740 0
Dutta, Susan USA Currency DC 69.000 9 67.900 15 67.000 17 67.600 11 66.700 18 67.640 0
Irving, Jill CAN Pop Art 65.800 22 66.800 18 67.300 14 65.800 18 67.000 17 66.540 0
Vaughan, Joanne GEO Elmegarden’s Marquis 66.000 21 67.600 16 66.400 18 66.000 17 66.600 19 66.520 0
Kane, Devon USA Destiny 68.300 13 65.400 23 64.500 20 67.100 14 67.200 15 66.500 0
Dvorak, Tom CAN Viva’s Salieri W 65.400 23 67.500 17 65.400 19 67.300 13 65.500 21 66.220 0
Irving, Jill CAN Degas 12 66.600 18 66.000 20 64.500 20 64.400 25 67.300 13 65.760 0
Rizzo, Silvia ITA Sal 66.600 18 64.600 25 63.500 24 65.600 20 65.500 21 65.160 0
Strasser, Evi CAN Renaissance Tyme 64.600 25 65.500 22 61.500 27 64.600 24 65.200 23 64.280 0
Layne, Kelly AUS Von Primaire 66.100 20 66.000 20 59.900 28 64.800 23 64.300 26 64.220 0
Perry, Kasey USA Trostruplunds Scarlet 61.500 29 64.100 28 64.300 22 65.400 22 64.600 25 63.980 0
Petersen, Lars DEN Willano 62.600 26 64.700 24 61.700 26 63.500 26 65.800 20 63.660 0
Jesse, Kim GER Denaro 8 62.500 27 64.600 25 63.700 23 63.300 28 63.900 27 63.600 0
Creech, Diane CAN Devon L 65.300 24 64.500 27 61.900 25 62.100 29 62.900 29 63.340 0
Bukowski, Lisa CAN Santos Utopia 60.500 30 60.600 29 59.100 32 61.900 30 63.100 28 61.040 0
Rivera Galarza, Antonio MEX Wizard Banamex 60.500 30 55.400 32 59.500 30 63.500 26 60.300 30 59.840 0
Vaughan, Joanne GEO Prego 61.800 28 58.500 31 59.900 28 58.900 31 59.400 31 59.700 0
Rumbough, Janne USA Junior 60.200 32 60.000 30 59.400 31 58.100 32 55.700 32 58.680 0