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Mikala Munter Gundersen Debuts New Freestyle Music for My Lady

Gundersen and My Lady Score 83.750% at Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Challenge

Mary Adelaide Brakenridge

Reporting from Wellington Dressage
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 :: Posted 04:29:36 PM CST


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© Mary Adelaide Brakenridge: Mikala Munter Gundersen and My LadyMikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady at the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Challenge

Wellington, FL - December 11, 2013 - Mikala Munter Gundersen is gearing up for 2014 with a new freestyle composition for My Lady, her Grand Prix partner. Arranged by Gary Patterson, the jazzy music features themes from Burlesque and Chicago.

Gundersen recently received the arrangement and gave it a trial run Dec. 8 at the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Challenge, a national show at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival venue in Wellington, FL. The pair scored 83.750% in the Grand Prix Freestyle in their first run-through with the new music.

“I can see we have a few things we need to adjust, but I think she did quite well, and I love this music,” Gundersen said.

© Mary Adelaide Brakenridge: Mikala Munter Gundersen and My LadyMikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady

She created the pattern for the freestyle in the spring in collaboration with her coach and her mother-in-law, but she found that the music selected at the time wasn’t quite the right fit for My Lady, a 13-year-old Danish Warmblood mare owned by Janne Rumbough.

“The music just didn’t suit her,” she explained. “Everyone said she was bigger than the music, so I had to find something that was really big so I wouldn’t get that problem again!”

Gundersen came upon the solution while watching a movie.

“I watched Burlesque and thought it was so fun and would be a great theme for Lady,” she said. “I loved the music, so we decided to go cabaret style for My Lady, who’s such a powerful ‘Madame.’ I wanted something recognizable and I wanted the judges and spectators to have fun. They sit there hour after hour. I thought, ‘Let’s try it, let’s go for it and make something a little bit wild and unusual.’”

© Mary Adelaide Brakenridge: Mikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady debuted their new freestyle Dec. 8 at the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Challenge, held at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival showgrounds in Wellington, FL. The pair earned a score of 83.750% for their first run-through of the new music in the national show's Grand Prix Freestyle.Mikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady

While she thinks the music may need a few more tweaks before it’s finalized, Gundersen is optimistic that she’s found the right fit. She left the ring smiling and noted that her horse seemed to enjoy the music as well.

“I could tell Lady loved it,” she said. “I think it’s going to be really good once I have it all a little more together.”

Gundersen plans to compete in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Final qualifiers at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival this winter, beginning with the two qualifiers in January.

“Because I’m a foreign rider, my chances of making it to the Final is very small, but that doesn’t matter,” Gundersen, who hails from Denmark, said. “It’s still fun to ride the qualifiers. Now that I have such a great freestyle, I’m going to play with that and have a fun season. I’ll go back to Europe in the summer, do the Danish Championships, and take it from there.”

© Mary Adelaide Brakenridge: Mikala Munter Gundersen and My LadyMikala Munter Gundersen and My Lady

To prepare for the start of season, Gundersen has a “boot camp” lined up: Ernst Hoyos, her trainer, is flying in from Germany for 10 days of intensive work with her.

“We’ll work really hard!” Gundersen said. “After that, I’ll just continue doing what we’ve been doing. I have a big exercise plan at my barn. We sell the HorseGym treadmill, and we use it a lot. Lady goes on that every day.”

Gundersen also began using a TheraPlate for My Lady after testing it out herself.

“We have all kinds of physical therapy because I want her to be so fit for season,” she explained. “She’s fitter than ever.”

While My Lady prefers cooler temperatures to the heat and humidity she encountered at the Holiday Challenge, her fitness and work ethic shone through, and Gundersen was happy with her performance.

“She loves the cooler weather, so in the heat, she was a little bit like, ‘Really?’” Gundersen laughed. “But she picked it up and she goes for it. She’s so amazing. I love her. We have so much fun.”

Read more about Gundersen’s summer travels with My Lady: Mikala Gundersen’s Dreams for My Lady

More news from the Wellington Classic Dressage Holiday Challenge: Caroline Roffman Preps for Success in 2014

© Mary Adelaide Brakenridge: A smile and a pat for My Lady at the conclusion of the testA smile and a pat for My Lady at the conclusion of the test

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