Lars Petersen and Mariett Enjoy Triumphant Return to #AdequanGDF

RELEASE: March 15, 2014
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Lars Petersen and Mariett (
Lars Petersen and Mariett (
Wellington, Fla.
- Competition for the AGDF 10 CDI W and CPEDI 3* continued on Friday at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival with the FEI Prix St. Georges and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle. Germany's Neve Myburgh topped the FEI Prix St. Georges, presented by Mike and Roz Collins, with Joanne Trout's Lexington Star earlier in the day on Friday. Lars Petersen and Marcia Pepper's Mariett clinched yet another first place prize in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI W, presented by Today's Equestrian and GF Enterprise LLC.

In addition to dressage competition, spectators were treated to entertainment from talented musicians from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. A woodwind quintet, composed of Jon Anderson, Kim Everett, Daniel Velasco, Isabel Thompson, and Carlos Felipe Vina, performed throughout the evening. Following the conclusion of the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, top Canadian rider Evi Strasser and her daughter Tanya Strasser-Shostak put on a stunning Pas de Deux performance to conclude the evening.

Para-Dressage athletes were also recognized during a special exhibition ride prior to the beginning of competition on Friday evening. Para-Dressage competitors are competing in the AGDF 10 CPEDI 3* as they strive to qualify for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games later this year.

Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare out of Zendi by Comeback II, handily won the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle with a top score of 79.950%. Second place went to American Tina Konyot and Olympic partner Calecto V for their score of 77.975% and Mikala Gundersen of Denmark finished third with My Lady on a score of 76.500%.

Ashley Holzer of Today's Equestrian, which co-sponsored the class with GF Enterprise LLC, shared her unique perspective of both sponsor and competitor, remarking that she was quite impressed with Friday evening's class.

"It was an incredible class - huge scores, great quality of horses. I feel very fortunate to be a part of something that's happening right here in Wellington," Holzer said. "We have spectators filling the stands and incredible quality, great venue, super judging. Right here in Wellington, Florida? I've been here for so many years and I would have never dreamed this in a million years, and it has come true. It's the real 'If you build it, they will come.'"

Allyn Mann of AGDF title sponsor Adequan was also thrilled with the evening's competition, especially since he hosted several members of Adequan's home office for their first visit to the event.

"I think they really enjoyed the performances tonight. They saw beautiful animals, beautiful riders, and they were just overcome by it all. I think this really helped to bring home the message to our home office that the things that we're involved in and the investments that we're making in this industry are definitely having a huge impact," Mann expressed.

Judge Janet Foy (USA) echoed Holzer and Mann's sentiments, describing the class as a joy to watch and score.

"The judges were talking at the first break, and I think when the first half is already getting 73 and 74, it's pretty exciting because...the depth and the quality has just increased an amazing amount. As a judge, it's always fun to give high scores and have clean tests and be hugely entertained and get the little goosebump feelings," Foy described.

Equestrian Sport Production Sport Director Thomas Baur also noted that the top five riders in the North American League World Cup Final standings are all currently competing at the AGDF. All five contested Friday evening's class, which boasted a field of 15 riders from four countries.

On Thursday, Petersen described Mariett as a little rusty after several weeks away from the show ring, but she made it clear on Friday evening that she is never one to sleep on. The pair were just shy of an overall score of 80, earning marks of 81.125% and 82.125% from the judges at E and H respectively, which Petersen said were their highest yet.

"She was really good to ride today. She was with me and she stayed through. If I have to be able to do it without mistakes, she has to be like that because I have so many transitions in it. I was very happy with her today," Petersen explained.

Of his test, Petersen joked that every element of their test was the highlight before adding that Mariett's best movements were the piaffe-passage tour and the difficult lines of transitions that make up their choreography.

Petersen also revealed that he had a very good feeling going into the test after the mare warmed up exceptionally well. "It's funny, I said to [my wife] Melissa before I rode in, 'If I can keep this in there, it will be good today!' It's fun when it works," Petersen shared.

After a disappointing grand prix test on Thursday, second place finisher Konyot was happy to see Calecto V back in top form on Friday evening.

"He felt very good this evening. I was terribly disappointed in my grand prix. I thought about retiring him, at the age of sixteen, but he's so strong and healthy and sound that I kind of re-evaluated everything, and I'll continue moving forward," Konyot revealed.

She continued, "Calecto was great today. He was wonderful this evening. He felt grand. It's always a pleasure to come back."

Gundersen enjoyed the winner's circle after a victory in Thursday's FEI Grand Prix, but settled for third place in the freestyle with My Lady. "She felt great in the ring. I think consistency is the main word here for this horse. I really wanted to do a lot of shows this season to get her more mature. She's 14, but she really hasn't done that many shows in her life. She's just gotten better and better and better," Gundersen described.

She continued, "When I came into the ring, it was almost like auto-pilot. She went on. She knows her job and if I make a mistake, she tries to fix it. She's such an amazing horse and really tries hard for me."

Full Results for the FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Today's Equestrian and GF Enterprises LLC
Rider, Country, Horse, Age, Breeding: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total%

1 Lars Petersen, DEN, Mariett, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Marcia M. Pepper, Zendi x Comeback II: 81.125%, 82.125%, 78.250%, 79.875%, 78.375%, 79.950%

2 Tina Konyot, USA, Calecto V, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion owned by rider, Bahera x Come Back II: 76.875%, 80.375%, 76.250%, 78.135%, 78.250%, 77.975%

3 Mikala Gundersen, DEN, My Lady, 14-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Janne Rumbough, Marion x Michellino: 76.625%, 77.875%, 74.125%, 77.625%, 76.250%, 76.500%

4 Shelly Francis, USA, Doktor, 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, Gurena x Diamond Hit: 75.750%, 78.000%, 75.250%, 72.375%, 76.625%, 75.600%

5 Catherine Haddad-Staller, USA, Mane Stream Hotmail, 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by rider, Rederna x Michellino: 75.750%, 73.875%, 72.625%, 73.500%, 75.250%, 74.200%

6 Cesar Parra, USA, Van the Man, 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Michael Davis, Lady x Obelisk: 76.250%, 75.625%, 73.000%, 72.000%, 72.750%, 73.925%

7 Caroline Roffman, USA, Her Highness O, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by rider, Wild Lady O x Hohenstein: 70.750%, 73.875%, 73.000%, 75.000%, 74.250%, 73.375%

8 Lisa Wilcox, USA, Denzello, 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Betty Wells, Romina x De Niro: 73.250%, 74.250%, 73.875%, 72.375%, 72.125%, 73.175%