Friday, May. 24, 2024

World Dressage Masters

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On Thursday morning, Mikala Gundersen wasn’t yet dreaming that she’d win the World Dressage Masters CDI***** Grand Prix Special. On Thursday morning, Gundersen wasn't even on the start list for the event yet.
Last weekend, in the covered arena at the Jim Brandon Equestrian center, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel and Watermill Scandic HBC swept a CDI-W Grand Prix and Grand Prix freestyle. Today Kittel repeated his win in the same location, but on an even larger scale.

West Palm Beach, Fla., Jan. 28—As the first to go in the last set of riders in the freestyle at the World Dressage Masters, Steffen Peters found himself in the uncomfortable position of patiently waiting ringside to see if anyone could top his score of 83.70 percent with Ravel.

Great Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin was last in the ring, and if anyone could do it, it was going to be her mount Valegro.

West Palm Beach, Fla., Jan. 28—Adrienne Lyle was wearing an ear-to-ear grin as she finished up her Grand Prix Special test at the World Dressage Masters with Wizard, and it’s a safe bet she won’t stop smiling anytime soon.

Just 27 years old, Lyle has never ridden in a World Dressage Masters before. “I’m so thrilled with the outcome. My horse handled everything beautifully in there. It was one of the quietest, most sophisticated tests. He felt happy and relaxed in there,” she said.

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West Palm Beach, Fla., Jan. 27—Steffen Peters is never one to count a competition won before he goes down centerline, but after winning the Grand Prix test in the Palm Beach World Dressage Masters for the fourth time with Ravel, it’s safe to say it’s going to take a pretty special combination to beat him.

The original plan at the Palm Beach edition of the World Dressage Masters (Fla.) was for the top two riders in the Grand Prix on Jan. 26 to go forward from the Wellington Classic Sunshine Challenge CDI*** to the five-star competition the following day.

However, things got tricky after the results of the Grand Prix were announced. The riders in first and third place, Canada’s Ashley Holzer on Pop Art (69.91%) and Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven on Divertimento (67.08%), already had horses entered in the World Dressage Masters and weren’t eligible to ride a second mount.

Excitement is mounting for the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach, which gets under way in just one week. The World Dressage Masters presented by Axel Johnson Group is the richest dressage series in the world; over half a million dollars in prize money was awarded at four WDM competitions in 2011. The WDM Palm Beach is the only WDM event outside of Europe, and the only five star CDI in North America.

Great Britain's Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin are entered for the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach, which will take place Jan. 26-29 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The riders, both members of the gold medal-winning team at the 2011 FEI European Dressage Championships (the Netherlands), are bringing horses Wie Atlantico and Valegro, a 10-year-old (Negro—Maifleur, Gerschwin) Dutch Warmblood.

Reigning world champion dressage stallion Totilas is back in work with Matthias Rath after a minor injury, but his owners have decided it wouldn’t be in his best interest to come to Florida for the World Dressage Masters competition, which will take place Jan. 26-28 in West Palm Beach. 

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