Florida-Based Mikala Gundersen & My Lady Post Personal Best Score to Win Saugerties World Cup Grand Prix
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Sept. 18, 2015
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Mikala Münter Gundersen and My Lady posted a personal best score of 75.160 per cent to win the World Cup Grand Prix at Saugerties, New York Friday, kicking off a campaign by the Florida-based pair to help qualify enough individuals for a Danish team for the 2016 Olympic Games.
American Olympian Lisa Wilcox debuted the nine-year-old Galant at Big Tour to place second and rode the American-bred stallion Pikko del Cerro HU for third in the first Grand Prix for the duo in six months.
Canada’s Brittany Fraser also competed All In, her Pan American Games team silver medal partner, for the horse’s first international Grand Prix for fourth place on 68.780 per cent. She also scored 66.940 per cent on Countess for ninth places on the 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare.
For Mikala, who was disappointed with her performance at the European Championships a month ago on the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, is determined to be one of at least three Danish combinations needed to qualify as individuals and thus start a “composite” team at Rio. Denmark’s leading pair, Anna Kasprzak on Donnperignon, rode in agony with a broken breast bone after being kicked in the chest after the veterinary check at the Europeans. Denmark placed eighth.
“I think My Lady has developed much more strength during the summer in Europe,” Mikala told dressage-news.com. “She was really good coming into Aachen (Europeans) but she got overwhelmed in the arena and got a little spooked by the cameras behind letter M.
“I went back to Florida and kept doing my homework.
“I think My Lady was great today. We had some wonderful piaffe/passage work and no mistakes in the test. I pushed all the buttons as I know I need to get my score up in order for Denmark to stay high in the Olympic rankings.
“Lady loves the cooler weather here, too. She’s not really a fan of summer in Florida.”
The previous best Grand Prix result was 73.380 per cent at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida last winter for Mikala and My Lady that began their international Big Tour career almost four years ago.
Lisa Wilcox, also based in Wellington, and the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood Galant scored 70.880 per cent while on the stallion Pikko del Cerro, bred and owned by Horses Unlimited of Albuquerque, New Mexico scored 69.720 per cent for third place.
Lisa and the gelding Galant were competing at Small Tour last winter in Florida but rode a handful of national level Grand Prix over the summer in preparation for the promotion to top sport.
Galant, she told dressage-news.com, was “amazing, no mistakes. He had so much more expression. The judges liked him. He was very, very good.”
Lisa said there were “too many stupid little mstakes” on Pikko del Cerro that was “more Lisa and Cerro not having done a Grand Prix since March. I could choke hold myself for the mistakes.”
Even so, she said, Cerro was “much stronger, fresh and fit… dynamite” than he was last winter.
For Brittany Fraser, who showed All In at American national-level Grand Prix in Wellington last winter before dropping the horse back to Small Tour to successfully qualify for Canada’s Pan Am team, scored 68.780 per cent for fourth place and the highest placing of the eight Canadian pairs that started the Grand Prix.
The marks for Brittany and 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding All In ranged from a high of 72.500 per cent from Lilo Fore of the United States and a low of 66.600 per cent from Bo Jena of Sweden.
“I’m so happy with both horses,” said Brittany who turned 27 years old three weeks ago and trains with Canada’s multi-Olympian Ashley Holzer in New York .
“All In for his first CDI couldn’t have been better.”
She takes both horses to Dressage at Devon at the end of the month.
The Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos de Muñiz rode Debussy to victory on a score of 70.482 per cent in the Prix St. Georges for the nine-year-old gelding’s first win.
Yvonne rode Debussy at last winter’s Global Dressage Festival to prepare the horse for her student, Virginia Yarur Ready to compete for Chile at the Pan American Games. Virginia owns Debussy.
Yvonne said she is getting Debussy confirmed in the arena before moving the horse up to Grand Prix.