Mikala Gundersen & My Lady Win Saugerties World Cup Freestyle With Another Personal Best
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Sept. 19, 2015
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Mikala Münter Gundersen and My Lady won the World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday, logging a personal best score for the second day in a row as the Danish team pair has taken what the rider called “a big step up the ladder.”
The score of 79.900 per cent for Mikala, based in Wellington, Florida for the past decade, was three percentage points higher than their previous highest musical freestyle and followed victory in the Grand Prix Friday, also with their best ever result.
Lisa Wilcox, the United States Olympic and World Games team medalist and also based in Wellington, placed second on Galant with a score of 74.700 per cent in the Big Tour debut for the nine-year-old gelding.
Brittany Fraser on All In were third on 73.650 per cent in what was also a CDI Grand Prix debut show for the Canadian pair that rode at Small Tour on Canada’s silver medal team.
The previous best for Mikala and the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood mare was 76.775 per cent in March, 2014 that helped earn the duo an invitation to the World Cup Final in Lyon, France that year.
Although Saturday’s result that included scores above 80 per cent from three of the five judges was the second highest at the midway point of the 12-event World Cup North American League, Mikala said she is not looking for an invitation to the Final in Gothenberg, Sweden next March. The highest NAL score so far was 81.325 per cent posted a week ago by America’s No. 1 pair of Steffen Peters of San Diego, California and Legolas.
“I think that Lady has taken a big step up the ladder,” Mikala told dressage-news.com of the horse she owns with Danish-born Janne Rumbough, a successful amateur rider who lives in Palm Beach, Florida.
“She’s much stronger in her body than she has ever been and she’s very supple to ride. It’s by far the best Grand Prix and Freestyle I have ever ridden. I smiled through every step of my test today. It was such a wonderful feeling. My Lady heard the music and just started dancing away.”
The most immediate goal for Mikala is attaining enough high scores to help Denmark qualify at least three individual combinations to form a “composite” team for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
“My goal is Rio and we are going all in for that,” she said. “I will start saving My Lady the next year so I will not ride as many shows as I have the past couple of years.
“The most important thing for us is to keep her happy and healthy.”
For Lisa Wilcox, Galant is “more than fulfilling the hopes.”
Lisa’s goal is the Olympics for the United States that qualified at the Pan American Games with a team gold medal. Lisa rode Relevant on the American bronze medal team at the 2004 Athens Olympics.