By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WAYNE, Illinois, Aug. 23–The U.S.-bred Pikko del Cerro HU ridden by Denmark’s Mikala Gundersen won the USEF National Dressage Championship for six-year-old horses Sunday.
The stallion that was bred and is owned by Horses Unlimited of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was “freaked out” by the noise of loudspeakers and crowd activity that he backed off and his tongue may have been above the bit for some of the ride that he barely held on to the big lead built in the preliminary class that counted for 40 per cent of the score.
Cerro, as he is called, by Pik L out of a Rohdiamant mare, finished with a combined two-day score of 79 per cent, with Faberge, a gelding by Florestan out of a Brentano II mare, and ridden by Jessica Jo Tate of Chesapeake City, Maryland, placing second on 78.52 per cent and Winsor, by San Remo out of Julio Mariner mare and ridden by Nicole Bellah of Lee’s Summit, Missouri was third on 76.64 per cent.
An obviously tired Sandomere, by Sandro Hit out of a Ramiro’s Match mare, and ridden by Merrie Velden of Fresno, Californa dropped from second place after the preliminary class to sixth place Sunday.
The judges commented that Cerro was more resistant Sunday, dragging his hind toes and tight in the poll.
“It’s just bad luck that he didn’t do as well as he did on Friday” for the preliminary test, Mikala said.
She enjoys riding the horse that has so much talent but will not be able to compete him in the Developing Horse series for seven to nine-year-old horses which is restricted to Americans.
“I wish they would change the rules so I can continue to show him,” she said, then joked: I wish I was a U.S. citizen.”
Mikala, 40, who is based in Wellington, Florida, is the mother of an 11-year-old daughter and nine-year-old son. She began riding Cerro when he was aged four.
Because she spent most of the summer in Europe competing on the Horses Unlimited Leonberg, Cerro had been ridden by Lisa Wilcox, who is also based in Wellington.
“We could not have done this without Lisa,” she said.
JJ, as Jessica Jo is known, said she could not believe she had been able to move up from fifth place after the preliminary round to become reserve champion on Faberge. She previously lived near the Lamplight Equestrian Center where the championships were held so her family and friends came to watch.
JJ, 31, said she would have been thrilled to finish in the top five.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “He was so with me today. He felt so easy and supple.
“He was a little tense in the warm up, but when we came into the ring he lit up in a positive way. Everything came together on the right day.”
She said she had been riding Faberge since April when he was bought for Elizabeth Guarisco, of Middleburg, Virginia, to show herself.
“We were looking for a school master,” she said, “It turned out that although he is six years old he has a wonderful attitude. He is one of the horses who is so good and wants to please you that you could easily ruin him. So we’re very careful not to overtrain him and to give him a lot of time to just be a horse.”
|Class: 208 – Six Year Old Championship Test|
|Ride Time||Entry #||Rider||Horse||Stat/Div||Term Reason||Test||E||H||C||M||B||Total||%||Pl.||Verified|
|8:30:00 AM||135||Bellah, Nicole||Winsor||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||40.4||0||0||40.4||80.800%||1||No|
|10:03:00 AM||145||Tate, Jessica Jo||Faberge||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||40.1||0||0||40.1||80.200%||2||No|
|10:30:00 AM||147||Munster Gundersen, Mikala||Pikko del Cerro HU||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||38.5||0||0||38.5||77.000%||3||No|
|10:12:00 AM||137||Mason, Heather||Warsteiner||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||37.6||0||0||37.6||75.200%||5||No|
|9:24:00 AM||136||Miller, Amy||Waterloo SE||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||37.6||0||0||37.6||75.200%||4||No|
|9:45:00 AM||138||Moran, Jo||Walking On Sunshine||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||37||0||0||37||74.000%||6||No|
|9:54:00 AM||133||Smith, Lindsay S.||Romeo||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||36.3||0||0||36.3||72.600%||7||No|
|10:21:00 AM||139||Velden, Merrie||Sandomere||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||35.7||0||0||35.7||71.400%||8||No|
|8:39:00 AM||134||Agren, Regina||Contendion||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||35.6||0||0||35.6||71.200%||9||No|
|9:15:00 AM||144||Warlimont, Petra||Matinee SF||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||35.5||0||0||35.5||71.000%||10||No|
|8:57:00 AM||140||Smith, Nancy M||Royal Waltz||Open||No||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||33.8||0||0||33.8||67.600%||11||No|
|8:48:00 AM||142||Priest, Kathy W.||Reliance||Open||Scratch||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.000%||0||No|
|9:06:00 AM||146||Fladland, Missy||Bijoux||Open||Scratch||FEI 6 Year Old Finale Test||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.000%||0||No|