Two Danish citizens, Lars Petersen and Mikala Gundersen travelled to Europe from South Florida to compete against the worlds best in the big international shows. They both went straight to work, competing in the Danish National Championships, June 7th-9th. Just the weather change alone must have been staggering as Florida is in summer mode with 90 degree Fahrenheit and Denmark is in the 50 degree Fahrenheit range. Both tackled their first competition with strong scores, and both take on Rotterdam this weekend. To see their Rotterdam scores live this weekend CLICK HERE
Mikala Gundersen, who rides My Lady owned by Janne Rumbough, spoke of the first show, “I am so proud of My Lady at the Danish Champs. She went so well and was very brave too. There is a lot of atmosphere at the show. Day 1 was the GP and she was tense in the arena. I didn't push her, just rode her nicely through the test. Well nice doesn’t do it over here!! You really need to push the buttons and show some real expression to get a ribbon. Good thing we can do that. So day 2, I pushed her more in the GP Special. We managed to move from 12th to 9th place with a 71.2 % and I had a blast. It was really fun and she was with me the whole time. Day 3 was the Freestyle and because it's a new freestyle I didn't ride it as well as I could have. I made a big mistake in the beginning of the test where she broke into the canter in the half pass and I got behind the music trying to show two half passes before it would change to passage music. After that I had a really good ride with great piaffe- passage and expressive changes.” She continued, “It was really fun being back in Denmark again. We were lucky with the weather and had the most beautiful surroundings at Broholm. ( www.broholm-rideklub.dk ) All the blooming flowers and green leaves on the trees just made it so pretty. I was pleased to have my family and many wonderful friends to support me throughout the show. It was such a wonderful feeling to have them all around me. Ernst Hoyos, with whom I'm training here, is also a great support at the shows. He makes sure I feel ready and focused when it's time to enter the arena. The daily training is quiet and we don't do a lot of movements, we pick out a few every day and only do those 1 or 2 times. The main focus is thoroughness and soundness. Most important in his program is that the horse stays sound for many years.” She continued, “Ernst does not compromise that to get a higher score here and now. We also spend a lot of time hand walking and grazing to keep her relaxed and happy. “And to conclude she said, “The competition is definitely more tough in Europe than in the USA because there is a larger group of top riders and horses showing at these shows. At this point I have only shown in Denmark and the quality of top horse/rider combinations was amazing. We had Anna Kasprzak and Donnperignon winning the Freestyle with 81% and the next two combinations with over 78%. Next week we will be up against the best Dutch team as well as the Swedish and British team. There are a lot of great horses with big gaits and strong movements so we will be in really tough competition.”
Lars Petersen who rides Mariett, owned by Marcia Pepper, said, “It was nice to ride in the Danish Championships again after so many years. I overrode Mariett in the GP and the mistakes were all my fault. Each day got a little better and by the freestyle I felt I had her the closest to riding her in Florida.” He continued, “In hind sight I should have come a few weeks earlier to have a warm up show but too late for that.” He concluded by saying, “But we are now ready for Rotterdam and look forward to showing there. I have to say I enjoy showing both places the US and competing in Europe.”
Be sure to follow Lars Petersen and Mikala Gundersen here at Dressage Daily. We thank them so much for the photos and all the wonderful things they share with us throughout their European Competition journey. We all send the best wishes this weekend as they take on those top ranked riders.
Rotterdam CDIO 3* Rotterdam (NED), 20-24 June 2013 starts today and goes all weekend.
Click Here to see Rotterdam Entries - Charlotte Dujardan, Carl Hester, Edward Gal and more...