Lars Petersen and Naomi Take Their First Grand Prix Win at Dressage at Devon


 

Devon, PA – Lars Petersen and Naomi took their first Grand Prix win together when they won the Grand Prix for the Special at Dressage at Devon CDI-W/J/Y. It was only their second CDI Grand Prix. Their first one was two weeks earlier at the New England Dressage Association CDI-W in Saugerties, New York where they earned a second place in CDI Grand Prix competition. Petersen and Naomi, a 14-year-old KWPN mare sired by Zeoliet and owned by Janet Bell and Tom Benson, have been together for less than a year and Petersen said he is still getting to know the mare. “At Saugerties, I got to know her a little bit and now at this show, I am learning some other things a little bit.”
Photos by Sharon Packer - horsesportsphotography.com

 

 


 

The pair had some mistakes in their ride, but not enough to keep them from taking the blue ribbon with a score of 67.193. Petersen said what he most still struggles with is “the walk and the throughness in the walk and the strength. She needs to get stronger in the back. I had a pretty big mistake because she jumped in my extended trot. That was a pretty expensive fault, but, you can’t change that now.”

Naomi had a bit of a late start to her competitive career, having first been a broodmare. Over the course of her career, she has been partnered with a number of riders prior to Petersen. The mare made it to the 2008 Olympic Qualifying competition in California with Lisa Wilcox. Petersen, who rides for Denmark, is hesitant to make predictions on how far the mare can go in her career, saying that he is taking it one day at a time. “I don’t want to drive anyone crazy with that” he said of any effort to predict Naomi’s ultimate potential. For the moment, he was happy with Friday’s performance. “I’m always a happy winner. That makes it more fun.”

 


 

The only goal for Naomi that Petersen knows he has for sure is to “keep developing her.” He’ll be showing the mare during the Florida season and does plan to develop a freestyle that he can use in CDI competition should he and the Bells decide to make a run for the 2010 World Cup. “We will work on a freestyle,” Petersen said. “I like fun music, but honestly, I don’t even have any music yet. Tom Benson, the owner, he’s a musician so we’ll do it together. “

 

Finishing second in the Grand Prix for the Special with a score of 64.170, was a pair that has been together for 10 years and were reserve champions at this year’s National Grand Prix Dressage Championships in June – Pierre St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger, a 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding owned by St. Jacques.  He was quick to accept responsibility for the mistakes in their ride. “It went well until I went across the diagonal in the canter and my brakes were left at the barn. I had a hard time getting him back and there were a couple mistakes afterward because of that,” St. Jacques said. But overall, he was happy. “I was happy with him. Tiger is good, I just made some mistakes. I didn’t ride enough. I think because the footing was a little hard outside, I didn’t do enough extended canter. I was trying to save my horse and in doing so, I didn’t check the brakes and got in the ring and they didn’t work as well as I wanted them to work.”

 


 

St. Jacques called his journey with Lucky Tiger a long one in which he can now say with certainty that he knows the horse well. Still, he admits that he’s often too cautious in his first ride when showing and said Friday’s performance would have been better if he had ridden a bit more forward. “It was definitely my fault. I tend to be too conservative. I need to get over that and ride a little more aggressive. I wish there was a warm-up class. I wish I could ride a national Grand Prix and then do the CDI because then it would be better for me. I would know where the edges are and how much to push it.”

 

The next stop for St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger will be the regional competition in Florida in October at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. After that, they’ll be busy on the Florida circuit this winter. St. Jacques is optimistic for the coming winter season. “I don’t want to push him too much, but I want to get out there. This is his year. He’s getting stronger and he’s good in his brain.”




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