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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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 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.”
CDI3* Grand Prix for Freestyle
|Judges:||Cara Whitham||Clive Halsall||Raphaël Saleh||Omar Zayrik||Jane Weatherwax|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|9.||55.957||USA||Allison Gerlt||Sir Lommel||53.696||56.304||59.457||55.978||54.348|