Melissa Taylor Completes Hat Trick on Ansgar at Wellington CDI3* Small Tour
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 31, 2018–Melissa Taylor, who finally got Ansgar to start liking her as a rider instead of biting her last fall, rode the 13-year-old Dutch gelding to complete a hat trick of victories on the final day of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival winter circuit Saturday.
Melissa and Ansgar scored 71.833 per cent to capture the CDI3* Intermediate Freestyle, after posting their first win in the Prix St. Georges in Global’s 12th week after more than 1 1/2 years of international competition. Victory in the Intermediate 1 followed two days later. The completing the hat trick with with the Freestyle.
Ansgar was bought eight years ago by Nicole Polaski, who lives in Wellington, and competed through the U.S. levels from 2011 by other riders. Melissa took over in 2016.
Initially, Melissa, married to Danish Olympian Lars Petersen and who jointly operate Legacy Farms in neighboring Loxahatchee, thought the horse was not suitable for Nicole as an adult amateur.
Nicky agreed Melissa could compete Ansgar. Lars said re-training was required to make the horse competitive.
“Last season was a (grr!)… learning curve,” Melissa said in what was her first season ever competing on Global’s international side. “He fought against me on everything. Even though it was pretty embarrassing at times, he taught me so much.”
Last summer, she took Ansgar to smaller shows and by the time of the regional championships in Florida in September, he was listening to her. The pair went to the U.S. Finals in Kentucky in November where they won the Intermediate 1 championship freestyle.
“I was shocked. I had to show him twice in one day. I thought he’d be mad and he was wonderful.
“His personality changed a lot. He started liking me instead of biting me.”
She has every ride recorded and watches closely looking for ways to improve and studies the judges’ comments.
Jennifer Baumert, who has dominated the small tour with Handsome this season, texted congratulations. “I replied, ‘Thanks for not showing up’.”
Melissa hopes to qualify for the U.S. Festival of Champions at Intermediate 1 this summer while working on the Grand Prix.