Wellington, Fla.—Feb. 6
Though Mariett was too energetic for today’s Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI**** Grand Prix, Lars Petersen admitted there are worse problems.
“She really wanted to go!” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever ridden her that hot. There were little mistakes here and there because of it, but overall when they get a little older, and they still want to go like that, that’s actually a good thing.
“I didn’t do anything different leading up to this,” he added. “She was super this morning; I just rode her a little bit, and I said, ‘I’m not doing more. She’s good.’ Then she was just really hot [for the test].”
The few small mistakes—including a brief moment when Mariett stopped in the piaffe and a few harried seconds in the extended canter—didn’t stop the pair from winning the class on a 70.96 percent. Adrienne Lyle picked up second on Parry and Peggy Thomas’ Wizard with a 69.60 percent, while Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen finished second with My Lady.
It wasn’t a day of clean Grand Prix tests; Wizard stumbled badly in his first extended trot and then broke to canter in the second, and Gundersen lost count during her one tempis.
“I was really happy with parts of my test,” said Lyle. “I think we ran out of gas in the warm-up. Last time we showed it was really cold, and everyone was wearing down coats, and today it’s much warmer. I tried to pare down my warm-up time, and I think I still need to cut it in half. I thought we recovered from [the issues in the extended trot], and I thought the canter work was really nice. I’m going to cut the warm-up in half tomorrow and see if we can keep the horse feeling fresh with the humidity.”
Petersen, who’s based in Loxahatchee, Fla., but rides for Denmark, and Mariett, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood (Come Back II—Zendi, Sidney) mare owned by Marcia Pepper and Petersen, have already won one CDI class and placed second in three others here at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival facility so far this year.
“This venue is perfect,” he said. “With the whole circuit, there’s no place like this in the world. I think it’s so great. Would it be nice to be able to go and ride a CDI Grand Prix someplace else? Yes, that would be nice, but we can’t do that. But this year is really, really nice down here.”
Petersen is aiming Mariett for the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final (France), if he can qualify, and then he’ll possibly aim the mare for a spot on the Danish team at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
“When they get older, and they know everything, it’s not so much like you’re drilling things,” he said of his mare’s longevity. “If you’re smart, it doesn’t have to be harder on them to go to a show. In fact, it can be less hard. It’s about keeping them happy and supple and in good condition.”
Tomorrow Mariett and My Lady will do the freestyle while Wizard will compete in the Grand Prix Special. The four-star Special begins at 4:10 pm local time, and the four-star freestyle starts at 7 pm.
Wellnetta Helps An Unwell Bateson-Chandler
Katherine Bateson-Chandler might have the flu, but that didn’t stop her from winning the CDI*** today with Wellnetta on 68.28 percent. Wellnetta’s win meant mares swept both of today’s big tour classes.
“You have to toughen up and ride through,” Bateson-Chandler said. “I considered scratching, but I was like, nope, what if this happened at the World Equestrian Games? You’d have to get over it and ride. [Wellnetta] helped me out a lot today.”
Australia’s Kelly Layne was right behind her with Udon P (69.24%). In fact, the scores were so close that the electronic system originally had Layne ahead. She was already wearing the first-placed ribbon and cooler, and then officials told her the placings were reversed.
“Obviously some big mistakes were made, but it’s completely out of our hands,” said Layne, who is based in Wellington. “Four judges had me first, and then now four judges have Catherine first.”
“I felt terrible, because Kelly was all dressed up and ready to go,” said Bateson-Chandler. “We were so close!”
Bateson-Chandler and Wellnetta, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Hexagon’s Louisville—Ruby’s Sonetta) owned by Jane Forbes Clark, have been partnered for about six months. The mare previously competed at Grand Prix with Laurens van Lieren of the Netherlands.
“I used to ride her sire a bit,” said Bateson-Chandler, of Wellington. “I saw Wellnetta in the stable and saw the resemblance. He had such a sweet temperament, and she definitely got that from him. She’s the sweetest, snuggliest horse. I’m so happy to finally have a snuggly horse! We’ve only had a few months though, and sometimes with a mare it takes a few months for the partnership to form.”
Wellnetta and Bateson-Chandler also competed at the CDI-W here at the AGDF last weekend, finishing third in the Grand Prix Special.
“Last time it was very cold and very windy, and this weekend it’s quite hot and humid, and it’s a sharp learning curve for me with her,” said Bateson-Chandler. “She was just the same again though—tried her heart out. I thought she was more relaxed than last week, so that made me happy. There’s still room for improvement on throughness, but she goes in and tries harder in the test than at home.”
Both of today’s Grand Prix classes were large, with 18 going down centerline in the four-star Grand Prix and 16 contesting the three-star class. Full results are available on Fox Village.