American-Based Horses & Riders at World Cup Final in Lyon, France
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April 16, 2014
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
The American-based horses and riders–Tina Konyot on Calecto V and Cesar Parra on Van the Man and Denmark’s Mikala Münter Gundersen on My Lady–were in Lyon, France Wednesday for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final this weekend.
The three combinations are among 18 horses from 11 nations, including world No. 1 Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro and No. 2 Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, that are defending their title at this 29th annual global championship.
Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida and Calecto who represented the United States at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2012 Olympic Games are making their first start in a World Cup that will be decided by the Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday. The best result for Tina and her 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Come Back II x Rastell) at qualifiers in Wellington, Florida was 77.975 per cent.
Calecto, she said, was feeling fresh, enjoying the weather in Europe that was cooler than in Florida.
Cesar Parra of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey who rode Van the Man on United States Nations Cup teams in Wellington competed in Olympics and WEG for his native Colombia, said the horse had traveled well.
He and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding (Obelisk x Landjonker) owned by Michael and Sarah Davis competed in four World Cup events in the U.S. with a top score of 74.000 per cent in Wellington a month ago.
Mikala Gundersen rides for Denmark but has lived in Wellington for the past decade and My Lady is owned by Janne Rumbough, originally Danish but now a United States citizen who lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
Mikala and the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare by Michellino ranked second in the North American League behind fellow Dane Lars Petersen on Mariett had a best result of 76.775 per cent in Wellington, Florida last month.
She drove the horse from near Hamburg, Germany to Lyon during the night to avoid the heavy Easter holiday traffic.
Robert Dover, the U.S. chef d’equipe, said of the two American pairs: “Both horses have continued throughout the winter Florida season receiving ever higher scores in the Grand Prix as well as their Freestyles and I feel confident our athletes will deliver strong performances in France.”