Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge Kicks Off with Wins from Gunderson, Page, Wilcox, and Roffman
RELEASE: December 15, 2009
Mikala Munter Gundersen and Festivo Win Equilite Sponsored Class
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By JRPR
International dressage trainer and competitor Mikala Munter Gundersen was in the ribbons at the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge, winning the USEF Third Level Test 3 with Christine DeHerrera’s Westphalian gelding Festivo. The class was sponsored by Equilite, makers of Sore No More, Herbal Blends and Botanical Animal Flower Essences, and Gundersen took home a giant tote filled with Equilite products.
“Christine, who owns Festivo, just had a baby boy this week, so this was her present,” Gundersen said. “A blue ribbon for a baby boy, it’s perfect.”
Gundersen said she was happy with her ride and equally thrilled with the products she won from Equilite. “I can’t live without Sore No More,” she said, adding that she was really proud of Festivo. “This was his second time in Third Level and I was very happy with the ride.”
In addition to being a fan of Sore No More, which has twice been voted Product of the Year by the Horse Journal
, Gundersen said she is looking forward to trying the other Equilite products she won. “We always love to meet a Sore No More fan, but for Mikala to say she ‘can’t live without’ Sore No More is a testament to the product,” said Equilite CEO Stacey Small. “I also look forward to finding out what Mikala thinks about our other products.”Page and Ice Cup Capture Sanctuary Intermediaire I Award
Arlene “Tuny” Page and Ice Cup turned in a phenomenal high score ride at the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge, winning the FEI Intermediaire I with a score of 76.063. The Intermediaire I was sponsored by the Sanctuary Equine Sports Therapy & Rehabilitation Center and Page and her 17.2 black Danish gelding rode away with a $250 gift certificate for services at The Sanctuary.
“Ice Cup was a pleasure to ride. His self-carriage has developed tremendously in the last five months, and it is starting to carry over into the competition venue,” Page said. “Today I experienced what I really believe dressage competition should be about—the horse performs the movements with ease and good-quality anticipation and a good understanding of the mechanics involved. He really was a joy to ride.”
Page, who owns Stillpoint Farm in Wellington, was pleased with her win and with the gift certificate from The Sanctuary in Ocala. “Obviously when you have well-educated people working with state-of-the-art equipment, it becomes a fantastic opportunity. Now I am going to get my horses in there for them to look at,” Page said.
Page also sang the praises of the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge, held at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center. “It was a fantastic show and John Flanagan and Noreen O’ Sullivan and their crew did a wonderful job,” Page said. “The footing is dramatically improved and the horses are performing at their best here. The venue is fantastic and it was very festive for the holidays.”
Page also thanked The Sanctuary for sponsoring the show and said she looks forward to incorporating The Sanctuary into her training program. “Utilizing the facilities at The Sanctuary will give us the opportunity to bring the management of our horses up to a new level,” Page said.Arlene “Tuny” Page and Alina Win Sho Clothes Sponsored Intermediaire II
Arlene “Tuny” Page and her 11-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, Alina, rang in the holidays in style, winning the Intermediaire II class at the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge. Sho Clothes sponsored the class, and Page and Alina rode away with a Sho Clothes embroidered flysheet, the perfect gift for the holidays.
Page, who owns Still Point Farm Dressage in Wellington, was pleased with Alina and their ride. “She is the classic example of a developing grand prix horse. Some things look pretty secure and other things look a little green, but the good news is that even in the green things, her balance is changing for the better and she is stepping up to the plate,” Page said. “She is definitely a top sport horse because she tries every time. She is all you could ask for.”
Page said Alina might make her grand prix debut in the spring. “In the last month, Alina has really started to own the piaffe and passage and is very comfortable with them,” Page said, adding that she received an additional holiday gift during the show when Alina scored a 10 on her extended trot.
Page was pleased that her class was sponsored by Sho Clothes, an upscale dressage boutique in Wellington that specializes in the latest and most fashionable dressage apparel for show and play. “Sho Clothes provides great support to the dressage community,” Page said. “Betsy Rebar Sell and Michele Hundt are wonderful people and very responsive to our needs and tastes.”Lisa Wilcox Wins Trilogy Saddle “Best Seat” Award
Olympian and international dressage rider Lisa Wilcox rode away the winner of the Trilogy Dressage Saddle “Best Seat” award at the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge. Wilcox drew the attention of the Trilogy selection committee while riding Queba HM and Que Macho, Lusitano’s owned by Ingred Lin, to take home the “Best Seat” award.
Even though Wilcox has a long list of accomplishments to her name, she gave Trilogy Dressage Saddles a big “thank you, thank you, thank you” for being awarded the “Best Seat” award. “I’m honored to win this because you work long days on your seat and to be rewarded for it at the end of the day is pretty awesome,” Wilcox said.
Wilcox had even more to celebrate during the show when she and Queba won the Grand Prix Freestyle with a score of 74.500. Queba is currently ranked third in the nation at grand prix, and Wilcox is hoping to qualify him for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
The Trilogy “Best Seat” award was presented to Wilcox for having an effective secure seat, a well-fitting saddle that enhances the performance for horse and rider and for overall appearance on the horse. “Lisa is a beautiful rider and she fits our criteria perfectly,” said Debbie Witty, President of Trilogy Dressage Saddles. “We love recognizing rider’s with our ‘Best Seat’ award, and it is always fun to recognize a prominent rider like Lisa.”Caroline Roffman Wins Draper Equine Therapy Prix St. Georges
Caroline Roffman found herself in the holiday spirit at the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge, winning the FEI Prix St. Georges class with a score of 69.737. Roffman won the class sponsored by Draper Equine Therapy, makers of therapeutic horse and rider products featuring the innovative “smart fiber” Celliant™/Holofiber®, on Accent Aigu FRH, a horse given to her earlier in the year by Carrie Schopf.
Schopf gave the 14-year-old Hanoverian Grand Prix horse to Roffman because she felt she had taken the horse as far as she could. Roffman, who trains with Danish Olympian Lars Petersen, was told Accent was an angel at home but a devil in the show ring. Fortunately for Roffman, the two have connected and she has been competing the “hot” horse successfully.
“Caroline rode really well,” Petersen said about her ride at the Wellington Classic Holiday Challenge. “Accent is a hot horse and Caroline had to be conservative in some places, but she figured that out.”
Roffman, who lives in Wellington, was pleased to win the Draper-sponsored class. “We love sponsoring the Wellington dressage shows and it is exciting when a young rider like Caroline wins,” said Kat Wojtylak, Product Manager of Draper Equine Therapy. “Caroline has an exciting story about being given her horse, and we wish her the best of luck as she continues her career. I’m sure we will be seeing more of her in the future.”