Lars Petersen & Mariett Win 2nd Straight Wellington World Cup Freestyle
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 23, 2015–Lars Petersen, the Florida-based Danish rider, on Saturday night won his second straight World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and skyrocketed to the top of the North American League which the pair captured a year ago.
Lars and the 17-year-old Danish Warmblood mare scored 75.325 per cent for the victory over America’s Shelly Francis of neighboring Loxahatchee on Doktor with a 74.500 per cent and and Mikala Gundersen, Danish World Games team mate of Lars, in third on 73.850 per cent.
Lars and Mariett, the mare who made a miracle recovery after tearing off her hoof, won the first 2015 Global circuit World Cup event two weeks ago. Their two scores average 76.825 per cent–the two highest scores in the North American League count for qualifying for the Final in Las Vegas in mid-April.
After the Freestyle where a crowd of 1,500 in shirt-sleeve sub tropical weather filled the outdoor spectator stands and the VIP tent whose 80 tables were sold out, Lars celebrated the birthday of Marcia Pepper, the owner of Mariett. Marcia wanted Lars to keep riding Mariett after rehabiitation from the hoof injury and the Danish Olympian, world champion and World Cup rider has become the single biggest winner in the Global Dressage Festival International arena in the four years since its creation. He also competed the mare for Denmark at last year’s World Games.
Asked how the horse was feeling at her age, Lars replied: “It’s not so much about the movements but rideability. That’s where I think she’s getting better.”
And as to why he has been so successful in the 2014 and 2015 World Cup qualifying, Lars replied:
“I’m just lucky that no one scored higher than us.”
Shelly, the only American to place in the top three in Global’s first two international events, did not show up for the news conference.
Mikala, who had finished second in the first World Cup qualifier and third on Friday so moved into second on the North American League standings with a two-score average of 73.962 per cent, said that My Lady was tense in the warm up and not focused, but transformed as soon as the music for their Freestyle started.
“She knows exactly what to do,” said Mikala who has been based with her family in Wellington for more than a decade. “We were doing the walk and the canter music started and sheimmediately began the canter without me giving her the aid.”
The two “girls” My Lady and Mariett, she said, “hang out together a lot at horse shows and have become like college girls.”
With changes in the way the start order of horses and riders is determined based in part on world rankings, some riders questioned the differences between higher scores awarded by European judges compared with lower awards from judges from the Americas.
Asked about the differences, Hans-Christian Matthiesen of Denmark, president of the ground jury, said: “The judging overall has been OK, it has been good. We have new people coming in, we see new combinations. We try to work it out.
“Overall, when I look to at it, despite some differences, I think we managed to get the right riders inthe right positions.” tam worked outfit despite some differences. think managed to get right riders in the right position.”
The national Grand Prix was won by Eliane Cordia van Reesema of Rowayton, Connecticut on Jewel’s Adelante on 70.400 per cent with Katherine Bateson-Chandler of Wellington, Florida on Alcazar second on 67.600 and Adrienne Pot on Something Special C third on 67.300 per cent.
The performance by Katherine and Alcazar was their first Grand Prix in the United States, having competed once at a national show in England last year while training with her long time coach, Carl Hester.
More to come