Mikala Gundersen Elated With Leonberg’s Win in the CDI Grand Prix for Freestyle


Mikala Gundersen was clearly elated with Leonberg’s performance during the Grand Prix for Freestyle at the Derby. The pair was the decisive victors in a class with a 68.426% that featured USET members like Michael Barisone and Jane Hannigan, who finished second and third respectively.

“It means a lot to win this class at the Derby,” explains Gundersen. “I was almost crying when I texted my mom—that was when I really realized that we had won.”

Leonberg, an RPSI stallion owned by Horses Unlimited, and Gundersen have had a successful Florida season that has included two wins at the Wellington Dressage Classic I and second place finishes in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Wellington Classic Spring Dressage Challenge CDI.

“We have been going to a lot of shows, but I feel that this is what he needs to become comfortable,” Gundersen says. “He’s just getting better and better. He trusts me and I trust him.”

Gundersen was pleased with the test, especially the one tempis and the passage. “He has these huge changes. He jumps so big I have to really focus on sitting each change,” she says with a laugh. “I am just thrilled with him and am happy and thankful to have the ride on this horse.”

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