Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén & Don Auriello Capture Wellington World Cup Freestyle to Assure Berth in Gothenburg Final
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 26, 2016–Sweden’s six-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén on Don Auriello won the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Freestyle Friday night to assure an invitation to the Final in Gothenburg next month.
Lars Petersen on Mariett also earned a high enough score at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center to clinch for Denmark a full team at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer.
Tinne and the 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding scored 79.775 per cent on exactly the same day the pair began their Grand Prix career in Florida three years ago and has since gone on to the Olympics in 2012, the World Games in 2014 and the European Championships in 2013 and 2015. The pair also were in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 World Cup Finals.
Mikala Gundersen, like Lars Petersen a Danish team rider based in Wellington, and My lady scored 77.675 per cent for second place and will be one of the combinations clinching the Olympic start for herhomeland.
Lars Petersen, who has competed for Denmark at Olympics, World Games and World Cup Finals, rode the 18-year-old Mariett to third place on 76.400 per cent in what was an all-Scandinavian awards ceremony. In addition to the riders, Antonia Ax:son Johnson, whose Lövsta Stuteri owns Don Auriello and other horses ridden by Tinne was on hand to present awards along with Anne Gribbons, the Swedish-born president of the ground jury.
Tinne said that Don Auriello will be flown home to Sweden on Mar. 6 to make final preparations for the World Cup Final.
The due is ranked No. 7 in the world and Friday night’s victory moves them up to fifth place on the World Cup Western European League standings. With only more competition in Europe, Tinne and Don Auriello are assured of being invited to the Final.
On Friday night under the lights, the horse was so ready to perform in the Freestyle that there were no problems and she could “let it flow,” though she joked that he so wanted to go that “he had no time for the first halt.”
Mikala and My Lady that were second in the Olympic rankings for Denmark behind Anna Kasprzak and Donnperignon said he goal was to have a ride similar to a CDI5* performance two weeks ago–“I did. She was really focused.”
Her music was interrupted by loud squwarks through the loudspeaker system that she said she experienced for the first time and was “disapponting.”
Anne Gribbons commented that she thought My Lady was “amazing” when the music was interrupted. The pair was directly in front of her and she found it “unbelieveable how focused” My Lady remained.
Lars Petersen, who became an American citizen earlier this month but still rides for Denmark, said that until this winter’s circuit he had not ridden Mariett for nine months so he had not been in a rhythm.
“But we’re getting better and better,” he said. “I could have been a bit sharper but she’s 18 years old and is still fresh and going.”