For the second time early in the 2015 season, Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett, a 1998 Danish Warmblood mare, rose to the top of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) "Friday Night Stars" FEI Grand Prix Freestyle class presented this week by US P.R.E. Association. The duo scored a 75.325% to take the class, with Shelly Francis (USA) placing second on a 74.500% aboard Doktor, and fellow Danish rider Mikala Gundersen (DEN) and My Lady coming in third with a 73.850%. More than 1,400 people filled the stands, a record high this early in the season. Petersen and Mariett are coming fresh off of a win in the FEI Grand Prix class on Thursday, giving them two major wins at Week 3 of AGDF competition. "I was very happy with her. She is feeling great and scored very well today," stated Petersen. "I thought her changes were very good and her piaffes as well. For me, it is not so much about the movements, but the rideability and the basics. She is really starting to get better there."
My Lady also performed a lovely test, and Gundersen only hopes to see her scores improve as they aim for FEI World Cup qualifications. "She was very tense in the warm-up and was scared of everything. She was not very focused, but as soon as her music comes on she knows exactly what to do," smiled Gundersen. "She has the music memorized, and I think it is very cool that she is so in-tune with what is going on."
The atmosphere was electric, as nearly every seat was filled throughout the duration of the evening. Allyn Mann, Director of Luitpold Animal Health, shared his excitement over the continued growth of the event, of which Adequan® is the title sponsor. "Here we are in the second large event of the season and it is amazing to see the response of the community and how dressage has really taken on a whole new meaning in this environment," he commented. "We're very proud to be apart of this event, and I would like to thank Mark Bellissimo for this wonderful venue and allowing our brand to be a part of it."
Kim Boyer, President of the US P.R.E. Association, the Large Tour sponsor for Week 3 at AGDF, was delighted with the incredible turnout at the "Friday Night Stars" event. "Originally when we decided to sponsor we thought this would be a great way to really focus on a target audience and expose them to talents of the horses we breed," explained Boyer. "But never have we dreamed that this event would bring along the rest of the world so quickly and give us such an opportunity to spotlight their talents. We had an incredible week and have appreciated the opportunity to hold our events here. It has been truly special."
Judge Hans-Christian Mattiesen also expressed his gratitude and excitement for being able to be a part of the growing AGDF circuit. "I would like to congratulate everyone behind this show, it is really great. We can certainly learn a lot from this show back in Europe, the way you create this wonderful atmosphere. It is great being able to judge such a high performing class," he commented and continued to explain how a competition like AGDF will continue to positively impact the growth of the sport in the United States.
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI W, presented by US P.R.E. Association
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E, Judge H, Judge C, Judge M, Judge B, Total
1. Lars Petersen (DEN), Mariett, 1998 Danish Warmblood mare: 76.125%, 75.00%, 75.750%, 75.500%, 74.250%, 75.325%
2. Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor, 2003 Oldenburg gelding: 73.375%, 76.125%, 74.375%, 74.000%, 74.625%, 74.500%
3. Mikala Gundersen (DEN), My Lady, 2000 Danish Warmblood mare: 73.875%, 73.750%, 75.125%, 76.000%, 70.500%, 73.850%
4. Karen Pavicic (CAN), Don Daiquiri, 2002 Oldenburg gelding: 74.375%, 71.000%, 73.375%, 73.750%, 70.875%, 72.675%
5. Arlene Page (USA), Alina, 1998 Danish Warmblood mare: 70.750%, 72,875%, 73.375%, 73.125%, 71.750%, 72.375%
6. Jaqueline Brooks (CAN), DeNiro, 1999 Swedish Warmblood gelding: 73.875%, 71.875% 71.625%, 72.500%, 71.750%, 72.325%
7. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE), Benetton Dream, 2004 Hanoverian stallion: 69.875%, 70.875%, 69.250%, 72.250%, 68.750%, 70.200%
8. Kelly Lane (AUS), Udon P, 2001 Dutch Warmblood gelding: 68.875%, 71.000%, 71.875%, 66.875%, 69.000%, 69.525%