Anna Marek & Fire Fly, Mikala Münter & Salsa Hit Post Identical Scores to Win Ocala World Equestrian Center CDI3* Grand Prix Divisions

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Anna Marek and Fire Fly celebrating win in the World Equestrian Center CDI3* Grand Prix for the Freestyle. © 2022 Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com.

OCALA, Florida, Nov. 17, 2022–Anna Marek on Fire Fly and  Mikala Münter on Salsa Hit posted identical scores of 70.152% to win Hampton Green Farm CDI3* Grand Prix separate divisions at the World Equestrian Center Thursday.

Anna from Dunnellon, nearby WEC, and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding posted their third Big Tour win in only the seventh outing since the pair’s debut at Grand Prix last March. The pair will perform in the Freestyle Friday night.

Sarah Tubman of Wellington, Florida and First Apple, the 12-year-old KWPN stallion that competed in Europe over the summer, was runner-up on 69.783% in the unseasonably cold outdoor night time class.

Benjamin Ebeling also of Wellington on the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare Indeed was third on 67.326%.

Anna said that Fire Fly can “be a bit spooky sometimes,” but she was pleased with the relaxation he showed Thursday, which was clean of mistakes.

“There were a couple of things that we can do better,” she said. “He just gets a little tense and wants to do it so badly. He doesn’t want to make a mistake. Throughout the test, he relaxed, and he gave me a really good feeling.

“Every single time that we go out, he gets better and better. I’ve watched the freestyle a bajillion times on the practice video. I think that I’m going to go for it. This is my plan right now.”

Mikala Münter and Salsa Hit in the winning ride at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala, Florida. © 2022 Ken Braddick/DRESSAGE-NEWS.com-

Mikala Münter on Salsa Hit, 13-year-old British-bred Oldenburg gelding, won the Grand Prix for the Special for the first Big Tour victory for the Danish-born rider since competing under the Stars ‘n’ Stripes four years ago.

Mikala returned to riding recently after breaking her leg in a horse accident in the summer that prevented riding for three months. Based in Wellington, the former Danish team rider first competed Salsa Hit at Small Tour in 2019 and moved up to Grand Prix two years later.

Lehua Custer also of Wellington and F.J. Ramzes, 12-year-old KWPN gelding, placed second on 69.000%.

Emily Miles of La Cygne, Kansas, and Java Dulce, 11-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, were third on 66.609% in their first performance at the World Equestrian Center

Mikala said she was pleased by the maturity and poise displayed by Salsa Hit.

“A lot of times I’ve just been along, hanging behind him, and he’s been flying around the arena,” she said. “I wasn’t really in control. This was probably the best test I’ve had, control-wise. He was through, he was waiting for me; I was allowed to drive and push the buttons a little bit. I’m not used to that feeling. Hopefully, if this is his new self, then that would be wonderful, and I could push a little bit more. He loves this so much. He’s the one who is telling me how it goes.”

Results:

CDI3* Grand Prix for Freestyle

Judges: Cara Whitham Clive Halsall Raphaël Saleh Omar Zayrik Jane Weatherwax
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 70.152 USA Anna Marek Fire Fly 70.109 69.674 68.913 70.326 71.739
2. 69.783 USA Sarah Tubman First Apple 70.761 69.348 69.239 69.130 70.435
3. 67.326 USA Benjamin Ebeling Indeed 66.522 66.630 68.152 66.739 68.587
4. 64.717 USA Nora Batchelder Faro SQF 64.130 66.087 64.022 64.891 64.457
5. 63.500 USA Tyra Vernon Hadrian Interagro 64.891 64.022 61.196 63.913 63.478
6. 62.087 VEN Patricia Ferrando Honnaisseur SJ 60.761 60.870 62.935 64.891 60.978
SCR USA Jennifer Hoffmann Rondoro Noblesse

 

CDI3* Grand Prix for Special

Judges: Raphaël Saleh Jane Weatherwax Cara Whitham Clive Halsall Omar Zayrik
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse E H C M B
1. 70.152 USA Mikala Münter Salsa Hit 70.761 67.935 74.457 69.457 68.152
2. 69.000 USA Lehua Custer F.J. Ramzes 68.587 68.804 70.543 69.457 67.609
3. 66.609 USA Emily Miles Java Dulce 67.174 67.065 64.891 65.978 67.935
4. 66.435 USA Chase Shipka Gladstone Zee T 67.565 64.848 66.478 66.587 66.696
5. 65.826 USA Hope Cooper Flynn PCH 63.804 63.587 65.217 66.957 69.565
6. 62.848 USA Bryn Cahill QC Star Performer 62.826 63.587 61.304 63.696 62.826
7. 61.044 USA Jill Hardt Erivo 60.609 63.217 59.087 60.283 62.022
8. 58.948 VEN Patricia Ferrando Elvis 55.065 60.543 58.804 60.326 60.000
9. 55.957 USA Allison Gerlt Sir Lommel 53.696 56.304 59.457 55.978 54.348