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Holiday & Horses CDI 3* Grand Prix Success for Denmark's Lars Petersen

WELLINGTON, Fla., Dec. 5--Denmark's Lars Petersen rode his 13-year-old Success to victory in the Holiday & Horses CDI 3* Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center Friday. His compatriot, Mikala Munter Gundersen placed third on Leonberg.

Petersen, a former Olympian and longtime rider for Blue Hors, posted a score of 67.125 per cent with the Blue Hors Silvermoon gray gelding offspring despite a little tension. Twelve combinations started the Grand Prix--eight for the freestyle and four for the Grand Prix Special--in perfect South Florida weather of blue skies and sunshine with the temperature reaching a high of 76 degrees (24C).

Catherine Morelli on Be Se finished second with 65.708 per cent and Mikala Munter Gundersen, who also now lives in Wellington, and Leonberg, with 64.167 per cent for third place.

They will perform Saturday night in the musical freestyle in the International Arena under lights.

Petersen bought Success as a foal in Denmark and then brought him with him when he returned to live permanently in the U.S. almost seven years ago. He lives and trains in the Wellington area.

Despite some earlier hoof problems, Petersen says they have been solved and he has been showing the 16.3-hand gelding consistently for the past 18 months.

Petersen, 43, said his goal is to qualify for the FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas next April.

To that end, the pair won World Cup qualifiers at Saugerties, N.Y. and Devon, Penn.

The pair scored high enough for qualification in 2008, but he would have had to go to Europe for an extended period.

"I felt it was more important for me to stay here and take care of my customers," he said.

Because of the balmy tropical weather, the South Florida circuit is at its peak during winter. For this winter, for example, there are six CDIs in Palm Beach from the beginning of December through to mid-March, including three World Cup qualifiers and the $125,000 CDI 5* World Dressage Masters.

However, to qualify he must finish high enough in the North American League that includes some tough contenders, including the USA's Steffen Peters and Ravel and Canada's Ashley Holzer and Pop Art.

PBIEC INFORMATION & TICKETS: http://www.equestriansport.com 561/793-5867 or http://www.equestriansport.com

THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach International Equestrian Center is home to the Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup held in the United States. The competition areas include the 360' x 280' all-weather International Arena, the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena, Mogavero Ring and Grand Hunter Field in addition to several other competition rings. The competition and warm up rings have all-weather footing. Amenities include the International Club, refreshment and shopping areas.

DIRECTIONS: From the Florida Turnpike south, take Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over US 441. Travel five miles to South Shore Blvd., turn right on South Shore and proceed one mile to Pierson Road, then turn left at the light. Spectator Entrance is first left, Equestrian Club Road.

From Interstate I-95, take Exit #49. Travel west on Forest Hills Blvd. 11 miles to South Shore Blvd. Turn left on South Shore and follow to Pierson Road. Turn right at the light on Pierson. Spectator Entrance is first left, Equestrian Club Road.

FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor courtyard and at vendor areas around the International Arena, and are open during show hours.

SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the International Arena offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry, home furnishings and more.

CAR RENTAL: Enterprise Rent-a-Car for your car rental needs. Call 1-800-593-0505 or go online to enterprise.com and use the WEF reference number 41W0087 and the PIN; win for a discount.

HOTELS: Hampton Inn and Suites Wellington

2155 Wellington Green Drive, Wellington, FL 561-472-9696

(Closest hotel, just two miles from show grounds)

Hampton Inn Lake Worth Road

8205 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, FL 561-472-5980

(New location just five miles from Wellington)

Hampton Inn West Palm Beach

Okeechobee Blvd. at Jog Rd.

2025 Vista Parkway, West Palm Beach, FL 561-682-9990

(Just 12 miles away at Emerald Dunes)

GOLF CARS: Dever, Inc., the Official & Exclusive Supplier of Golf Cars. Orders and information at http://www.deverinc.com or telephone Dever Inc.'s PBIEC office at 859-509-7265 or the home office at 800-714-2201.


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