Wellington, Fla.—March 28
Tina Konyot is always happy with Calecto V, but the black stallion's win in tonight’s AGDF Grand Prix Freestyle***** gave her even more reason to drop her reins and blow kisses to the crowd during the victory gallop (as Calecto level-headedly finished their lap).
“This is my highest score in the [Grand Prix freestyle] so far. It’s slowly gone up. I’ve always been up in the 70 [percent range] but I think [when I was showing] in Europe, I had like a 76 [percent] at one of the last shows,” said Konyot, who rode her 16-year-old gelding to the tune of the appropriately chosen "Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree".
Their final score was 79.25 percent. But, there was another reason why Konyot was beaming.
“I’m so happy that I can now be in front of my two special Dane friends,” she joked. “It seems the three of us like to stay together.”
Throughout the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Konyot placed closely behind Danish riders Lars Petersen and Mikala Gundersen, but this is the first time she has been victorious over both of them. The win was also a feather in the cap for Danish-bred Calecto, who bested Gundersen’s ride, My Lady, and Petersen’s Mariett, both who are also Danish Warmbloods.
“Three Danish horses [in the top three placings]. We’re very proud of that,” said Gundersen, who placed second.
She also claimed that tonight’s performance was My Lady’s top freestyle to date.
“I had some really good things in there today. For sure it’s our best test so far,” Gundersen said. “I had more collection in the canter today. I’ve been missing that a little bit in my prior tests. That’s getting much better.”
Third place went to fellow Dane Lars Petersen, who has had some impressive wins with Mariett during AGDF.
“Tonight he was some of the best to ride that he has been actually,” he commented, noting that he was riding the piaffe more forward than usual.
Konyot and Petersen have been declared definite for representing their countries in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Lyon, France on April 17-21. Gundersen plans on competing with My Lady in the Danish national championships, which is where the Danish selections for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games will be decided.