Wellington, FL - February 6, 2015 - Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett won yet another "Friday Night Stars" FEI Grand Prix Freestyle at the 2015 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), this time in the CDI 5* competition presented by Diamante Farms. Petersen and Mariett scored a 79.175% for victory. Steffen Peters (USA) and Legolas 92 placed second with a 76.200% and Mikala Gundersen (DEN) and My Lady came in third scoring a 75.725%, all riding in front of a completely packed crowd, the biggest audience in history at an AGDF event. Nearly a personal best for the duo, Petersen and Mariett produced a test that was flawless and fluid, a routine result for the pair's performances so far in 2015. "Tonight was a very good feeling. I think Mariett actually liked that the atmosphere was so big and she knows when people are watching. I thought this was one of my best freestyles on her ever," commented Petersen. CLICK HERE to watch the winning freestyle ride for Lars and Mariett! (Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.)
Legolas 92 was excited in the electric atmosphere and Peters commented on what it was like to try and keep the gelding relaxed, soft, and together, "Tonight his energy was a little bit more controlled than yesterday, which was the goal, and that is a good thing. This is good experience for him. If we qualify for the World Cup, that arena will be (even) bigger and more difficult than this one."
The pair has a breadth of international experience, competing for the United States at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in France, but the atmosphere was a factor for "Legolas" this weekend. "One thing with him being 13 is that there is certainly no lack of energy, and I doubt by the time he's 18 that will change," laughed Peters.
Judge at C, Lilo Fore, was truly excited about the entire class of Grand Prix Freestyles tonight and was eager to express to the riders how impressed the judges were with the quality of performances displayed. "I think the horses in this class were absolutely top quality and also I think some of the music which these horses now have is very exciting," she commented. "When you're sitting in the judge's stand and you're tapping your foot and going with the music, you can only imagine what the audience is doing. I think that is a really good sign and the horses we saw tonight were absolutely exceptional. When you think about the entire class, nearly everyone was above a 70% and that is a wonderful step in the right direction for the sport here."
Devon Kane and Kevin Kohmann both joined the press conference as representatives of the Week 5 CDI 5* sponsors, Diamante Farms. "You couldn't have asked for a better crowd, a better competitor list, a better venue. It really doesn't get much better than this," said Kane, who also competed in the class scoring a 70.700% aboard Destiny. "A few years ago this didn't even exist, it was just a dream. To actually have it here and have the sponsorship money driving people to want to be here and the incredible quality of competition, it is an unbelievable dream come true. Kohmann mirrored Kane's response, adding that nights like these will continue to draw more international presence at the show in the future and will only strengthen the sport here in the U.S.
Allyn Mann, Director of Luitpold Animal Health, was thrilled with the turnout and the atmosphere of the Week 5 "Friday Night Stars" event. "You always dream and you always think that these things can be wonderful, but this event has really exceeded expectations. I thought two weeks ago was amazing and then you wonder how it could get any better, and it did," he expressed.
As with the new tradition of each "Friday Night Stars" event at the 2015 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, several awards were given throughout the night to top performing pairs and to the owners of these winners. The Best Horse Owner Award for the AGDF Week 3 National competition, presented by Jill Irving, was awarded to Sarah Schmidt. The Best Horse Owner Award in the Prix St. Georges class was awarded to Mr. and Mrs. Bechtolsheimer, owners of class winner, Unique, ridden by their daughter, Laura Tomlinson for Great Britain. The Best Horse Owner Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty was awarded to Marcia Pepper for the third consecutive freestyle competition in a row. The Adequan® High Score Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle was also given to Petersen for his incredible 79.175% aboard Mariett
To learn more about the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival and for schedules and ride times, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com for more information. The FEI CDI5*/3*/1* competition will continue through Sunday February 5, 2015.
Final Results FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI5* presented by Diamante Farms
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, Come Back II x Zendi x Sidney: 79.625%, 79.625%, 79.875%, 78.875%, 78.375%, 79.175%
2. Steffen Peters (USA), Legolas 92, 2002 Westphalian gelding, Laomedon x Furstin x Florestan II: 78.000%, 73.375%, 76.750%, 76.750%, 76.125%, 76.200%
3. Mikala Gundersen (DEN), My Lady, 2000 Danish Warmblood mare, Michellino x Marion x Ritterstern: 76.875%, 73.750%, 75.625%, 76.625%, 75.750%, 75.725%
4. Jose Daniel Martin Dockx (ESP), Grandioso, 1999 P.R.E. stallion, Adelante x Grandiosa x Sevillano IX: 74.625%, 75.375%, 76.500%, 77.750%, 74.375%, 75.725%
5. Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor, 2003 Oldenburg gelding, Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I: 74.125%, 76.250%, 73.750%, 76.625%, 74.125%, 74.975%
6. Belinda Trussell (CAN) Anton, 2000 Sachsen gelding, Aneaus x Shirley x Melit: 73.250%, 75.250%, 73.125%, 72.000%, 72.625%, 73.250%
7. Christoph Koschel (GER) Tiesto, 2000 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Gribaldi x Nadie x Ferro: 72.000%, 72.250%, 73.625%, 75.500%, 71.250%, 72.925%
8. Karen Pavicic (CAN), Don Daiquiri, 2002 Oldenburg gelding, Don Cardinale x Neastate III x Rubinstein I: 73.250%, 69.875%, 70.250%, 74.375%, 74.625%, 72.475%
About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:
The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world's largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations' Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $650,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.