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News

Lars Petersen and Mariett Top FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 4* Presented by The Dutta Corp.

RELEASE: February 8, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Lars Petersen and Mariett (SusanJStickle.com)
Lars Petersen and Mariett (SusanJStickle.com)
Wellington, Fla.
- The 2014 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) hosted a full day of fantastic competition at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday featuring CDI 4* and 3* competition presented by The Dutta Corp. and Havensafe Farm. The feature class of the day was the "Friday Night Stars" FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 4*, presented by The Dutta Corp., with a win for Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett. A FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 3* was held earlier in the day, also presented by the Dutta Corp., with a top ride for Kelly Layne (AUS) aboard Udon P. Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP) and Don Diego Ymas took another win in the FEI Prix St. Georges presented by Havensafe Farm.

AGDF 5 CDI 4*/3* competition, presented by The Dutta Corp. and Havensafe Farm, continues through February 9 at The Stadium at the PBIEC. Saturday's competition will feature the FEI Intermediaire I, sponsored by Havensafe Farm, in the morning. The afternoon session will highlight the FEI Grand Prix Special 3* and 4* classes, each sponsored by The Dutta Corp.

Denmark's Lars Petersen and Mariett, owned by Marcia M. Pepper, have been on quite a roll this week at AGDF. The pair topped Friday night's $80,000 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 4* with a score of 76.400%. Tina Konyot (USA) and Calecto V placed second with an overall score of 75.500%, and Mikala Munter Gundersen (DEN) guided Janne Rumbough's My Lady to a 72.825% to place third.

Mariett, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare by Come Back II out of Zendi, was a bit hot for Petersen in Thursday's Grand Prix class, but the rider noted that she was on her game tonight and felt great.

"I thought she was really good to ride tonight. I was very, very happy," Petersen stated. "Yesterday she was maybe not so easy to ride, but tonight she was with me. She came down a bit."

Petersen spoke about Mariett's sweet demeanor and how she enjoys performing in the impressive atmosphere under the lights at AGDF. "In the stable, she's like a dog," he described. "She's a really sweet horse, all the way around. She's a little bit more 'up' here (than at home). Otherwise it's the same. The lights, the music, the people. In some ways, that's also what makes them good, when they come in and they get up a little bit."

Tina Konyot was happy with her ride aboard Calecto V Friday night after a difficult day on Thursday with the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Come Back II out of Bahera). She explained that the pair had many frustrating mistakes in the Grand Prix, but came back better after a little reevaluation and some words of advice from U.S. Dressage Chef d'Equipe Robert Dover.

"I had so many mistakes yesterday. I was a little bit frustrated with it," Konyot admitted. "One of them I can definitely attribute to myself because I was frustrated with some of the other ones because I didn't understand why they happened. You always have to concentrate on the moment, and I lost my moment. It was a bad day yesterday. I thank God that Robert is such a huge support behind us. He said to forget about it and concentrate on what the horse can do, and he was so much better than yesterday."

"He's not quite as fit as he could be," Konyot noted. "I'm just getting back into the show program here for the winter. He needs a little bit more fitness level to him, to be a little bit sharper, but overall I was happy with him. It was a great evening. Thank you Tim Dutta for all of this wonderful support, and thank you to everyone."

Third place finisher, Mikala Munter Gundersen, enjoyed her freestyle with My Lady, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare by Michellino out of Marion.  

"She felt really good today as well," Munter Gundersen stated. "I'm really impressed with the mare. When we got her two years ago, she was terrified. We had to feed her sugar to get her in the ring. We would go and practice during the week and feed her sugar from the tent just to get her over here. Now she walks in there by herself. She loves to go in there and present herself. I'm very thrilled. I think that's the most important thing, that the horses have fun doing what they are doing. These tests are really hard, and it's just amazing to have a horse who really wants to do it."

Judge Lilo Fore spoke about the evening's fantastic performances and the level of competition that the top three exhibited.

"I was very happy tonight because all three of these top horses showed themselves today really very well," Fore stated. "Yesterday I was a tad worried there because all three had just a little mistake here and there. They were all a little hot under the collar, but I think tonight they were all really with the rider. When you look at these three horses, all three are amazingly talented. They have three wonderful gaits, they have really super minds. A really good grand prix horse has to be a bit hot because if they're not, you're not going to get through a grand prix test."

"They have to have that special desire to be a little on the explosive side," Fore continued. "If you can channel that kind of energy and you put it into the movement you need to do, put it under your seat and saddle and into your own riding, it's an amazing horse to ride. That is the kind of horse which is only able to go to the international circuit. I think they are top horses. It doesn't matter which country you're talking about. I think all of us judges agreed totally."

Tim Dutta, CEO of The Dutta Corp. was on hand for Friday night's beautiful freestyle performances and spoke about the incredible growth of the AGDF.

"We dreamt about this three and a half years ago over dinner," Dutta stated. "Dressage were stepchildren to show jumping at that time. (Equestrian Sport Productions CEO) Mark (Bellissimo) said, 'If I can find commitment from you guys, we will build the finest facility in the world and we will create a circuit second to none.' The next afternoon, we had raised the first round of funding, and seven months later, we opened."

"This is incredible," Dutta praised. "We have great sponsors. This is truly a state-of-the-art, world-class facility. I think it will truly be a global destination for dressage. I think next year we will entice the best of Europe to come for the richest prize money. I hope one day we have Spruce Meadows for dressage in Wellington, Florida. That's my dream. You have a great corporate sponsor in Adequan who believes in us, who has put a lot of money in the sport. Tonight's production was incredible."  
Allyn Mann, Director of the Animal Health Division at Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was also there for the wonderful night of freestyle performances on behalf of Adequan®, and greatly enjoyed the competition.

"This evening was just unbelievable," Mann acknowledged. "When you bring riders and horses of this caliber to this kind of a venue and look everywhere, the bleachers were full, people standing on the far side three or four deep. The VIP tent was packed. It has exceeded my expectations for what I was looking for. I can't say enough about it. It is only going to get better, and we are just really blessed to be part of it."

Final Results: FEI Grand Prix Freestyle 4*, Presented by The Dutta Corp.
Rider, Country, Horse: Judge E%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Total%

1. Lars Petersen, DEN, Mariett, 74.625%, 76.375%, 78.500%, 76.500%, 76.000%, 76.400%
2. Tina Konyot, USA, Calecto V, 76.625%, 74.875%, 75.000%, 75.875%, 75.125%, 75.500%
3. Mikala Munter Gundersen, DEN, 72.625%, 71.250%, 73.750%, 73.625%, 72.875%, 72.825%
4. Shelly Francis, USA, Doktor, 72.875%, 73.000%, 73.375%, 71.625%, 71.625%, 72.500%
5. Diane Creech, CAN, Devon 70.375%, 72.875%, 72.875%, 72.250%, 71.375%, 71.950%
6. Jacqueline M. Brooks, CAN, D Niro, 71.125%, 72.750%, 70.500%, 73.000%, 71.750%, 71.825%
7. Karen Pavicic, CAN, Don Daiquiri 69.875%, 72.125%, 71.750%, 72.750%, 70.500%, 71.400%
8. David Marcus, CAN, Chrevi's Capital, 70.000%, 71.25%, 70.375%, 70.875%, 72.000% 70.900%
9. Jill Irving, CAN, Pop Art, 69.250%, 69.750%, 69.750%, 71.750%, 67.875%, 69.675%
10. Anna Marek, USA, Unico G, 68.375%, 69.375%, 68.250%, 65.500%, 68.000%, 67.900%
11. Cesar Parra, USA, Van the Man, 66.375%, 65.625%, 70.375%, 68.125%, 68.875%, 67.875%
12. Maria Kaldewei, GER, Companero, 62.250%, 54.875%, 58.000% 60.875% 57.875% 58.775%

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