Mikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady danced to victory in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W at Dressage At Devon.
“Today I had the usual Lady,” said Gundersen, who had had to change her preparation for the freestyle after it was rescheduled due to weather. “I had one mistake in my first line of one-tempis that I normally never make but I was trying to listen to the music instead of riding with the feel, so that’s why I just had a small mistake in that, and then she did a beautiful line of one-tempis. Then my last transition from the canter to the trot she was a little too excited and I couldn’t really find the trot gear. But we found it and she came out in a super extended trot and beautiful piaffe and passage on the centerline at the end.”
Their solid test earned them a score of 77.87 percent and the right to lead the victory gallop. It was also an important outing for Gundersen, 47, who hopes to help qualify her home country of Denmark for the upcoming Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next summer.
“I decided when I came come that Lady was still in really good shape after the European tour and it would be a good idea to go up here and do [the New England Dressage Association Fall Festival of Dressage (N.Y.)] and Devon and see if I could get my scores a little bit up so we can try to get the individual qualifications for Denmark,” she said.
Though she was riding with Rio in mind, Gundersen still took the opportunity to enjoy riding the “Burlesque” themed freestyle that suits the Danish Warmblood (Michellino – Marion, Ritterstern) so well.
“She loves the music,” said Gundersen. “When the music comes on, she knows exactly what to do and sometimes she will listen to the music too and she’s prepared for the movements.”
Lisa Wilcox rode Galant to second place with a score of 73.95 percent, and Belinda Trussell of Canada was third on Anton with a score of 72.70 percent.