Kelly Layne & Udon P Post Personal Best to Place in Top 3 at Florida World Cup Grand Prix Special

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Kelly Layne on Udon P in the honor round for the Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Special in Wellington, Florida. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Kelly Layne on Udon P in the honor round for the Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Special in Wellington, Florida. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 27, 2016–Kelly Layne vying for a slot on Australia’s team at the summer Olympic Games posted a personal best Grand Prix Special score on Udon P to place third in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Saturday.

Based in Wellington, Kelly and the 15-year-old KWPN gelding scored 70.157 per cent that was a personal best for the pair in 2 1/2 years at Big Tour and placed the pair third behind Americans Shelly Francis on Doktor and Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet.

The score was the highest Grand Prix Special result for any Australian combination in the world since Hayley Beresford on Jaybee Alabaster recorded 72.467 per cent at Oldenburg, Germany in November, 2012, according to a search of records by dressage-news.com.

Kelly and the 18-hand Udon P, working with the Australian team coach Ton de Ridder who was in Wellington to train a Canadian couple, experienced an exciting warm-up for the Special when a Trauma Hawk helicopter airlifting a rider injured in the neighboring jumper grounds flew over the dressage arenas.

But once the pair went into the competition arena, she said, the horse she nicknames “Noodles” was obedient and the ride was “smooth and relaxed.”

For the past three months Kelly and Udon have made considerable progress as she has worked with German master Udo Lange who is in Florida for most of the winter.

Kelly, on the Australian team at the 2006 World Games, plans to compete in Global’s CDI4* next month.

“We want to see whether we can put ourselves among the top eight Australians to go to Europe to do more shows there to see if we can finish in the top four for the team to go to Rio,” she said.