Wellington, Fla.—April 7
The Danish national anthem played last night for Lars Petersen and Mariett, and then it was heard again this morning when Mikala Gundersen rode My Lady to the top of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI***** Grand Prix Special.
“It was wonderful to get hear the Danish anthem again today. It made me cry,” said Gundersen, who’s based in Florida year-round. "I had many highlights. She was really with me in the ring today. She was 100 percent focused on me. Yes, we were maybe both a little tired this morning, but we pulled it together once we got in there. It’s also lovely now to know she can be on the show grounds a longer time and be really good the whole time—actually better the last day. I tried to stay out of her way and do things as correctly as I can.”
This is the horse’s second five-star Special win this season; she also topped the World Dressage Masters CDI***** Grand Prix Special in January.
“She’s a lot stronger since then, she’s a lot fitter, she’s much more supple,” said Gundersen. “At the Masters still she was a little strong for me, and now she’s not strong at all. She’s soft as butter to ride. I’ve done quite a few shows, and she’s done good and not so good, but for sure she likes a five-star. This first show and the last show were definitely her best shows.”
Gundersen took advantage of the heavy schedule of Florida CDIs this winter to help bring My Lady, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood (Michellino—Itterstern) she owns with Janne Rumbough, along. Next on the pair’s schedule is the Danish national championship in June, which is the same competition Petersen is planning for Mariett.
“I’ve used the season as preparation to go to Europe this summer,” said Gundersen. “I want to make sure I go there and am well prepared. I went to all the different show grounds this season—Jim Brandon, White Fences and here. I think we’re ready to go now. For me, it’s been great to have so many CDIs. I made a plan at the beginning of the season that I wanted to go every other weekend, and I was able to do that. This is fantastic.”
This is My Lady’s second full year at Grand Prix, and the score today was her highest in a CDI Grand Prix Special.
“I’ve ridden stallions for many years, and it’s so different to ride a mare. If you’ve come to an agreement outside of the ring, they’re going to stick with you in [the ring],” said Gundersen. “They're so giving. It’s very interesting because I’ve had so many stallions, and now I have three very good mares. They’re all very different personalities, but they all work for me in the ring. They all want to do their best. I love the mares!”
Canada’s Diane Creech rode Devon L to second in the four-horse Special.
Full results available on Fox Village.