Mariett, Brought Back from Career-Ending Injury to Go to World Games, Retires This Week
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 7, 2017–Mariett, the mare that made a miraculous recovery from a feared career-ending injury to be ridden by Lars Petersen for Denmark at World Games and World Cup Final, will be honored in a retirement ceremony at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Friday night.
Now 19 years old, the Danish Warmblood is the only horse to have been a double winner in the eight years since the first CDI5* was staged in the United States, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in 2009. That year it was won by Anky van Grunsven on Painted Black and the next year on her double Olympic mount Salinero.
Mariett leaves the competition stage as the most successful prize money horse so far on the Adequan Global Dressage circuit with more than $200,000 in earnings in five years on the winter circuit.
Mariett (Come Back II x Sidney) was bought by Marcia Pepper a decade ago that she competed in Florida through national levels and Small Tour into 2009.
In a freak accident that occurred in her stall at night, Mariett tore off much of a hoof that left a raw foot. Veterinarians figured the horse would not recover enough to go back into competition and feared infection. Think about putting her down, were some opinions.
No, said Marcia, give her the best treatment possible so she might recover enough to go out into a field again.
Few thought that by 2011 Mariett would have recovered enough for Lars to be working the horse in the covered arena at Legacy Farm operated by him and Melissa Taylor, his wife, in Loxahatchee, a community neighboring Wellington.
With the amount of effort that had been made to bring Mariett back, Marcia wanted Lars to ride the horse if a competition was in the future.
In February of 2012, Mariett was back in the competition arena with Lars, performing in a national level Grand Prix in West Palm Beach.
The first CDI occurred a month later.
Over the four years since returning from the injury, the pair started 72 times in CDIs. Victories included the top rated CDI5* Grand Pix Freestyles in 2013 and 2015.
The prize money earned at Global helped cover the costs of going to Europe to compete in the Danish championships and the top shows such as the CHIOs at Aachen, Germany and Rotterdam, Netherlands to claim a place on Denmark’s team at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.
The duo also were in the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2015, a year after winning a start in the annual championship at Lyon, France but having to pull out when Mariett suffered a minor injury on the way there.
Although 18 years old in 2016, Mariett was fit enough to compete on the Global circuit in Wellington, placing second in the CDI5* Freestyle and logging a victory in a World Cup Freestyle.
For Marcia and Lars, it was enough. The chance of Mariett going to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was not worth what it might require from the horse.
“Lars and myself and the ‘family’ of friends and supporters love Mariett too much to put her through the stress of going to Europe to compete for a place on Denmark’s team and, if successful, making the journey to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics Games before coming home to rest,” Marcia told dressage-news.com.
“We never thought she would see a competition arena after the accident, but she recovered to be better than ever and took us on this amazing journey over the next four years.”
The last competition was in April, 2016.
Fittingly, the retirement ceremony will be during the CDI5* “Friday Night Lights” Freestyle.