Home Sweet Home

By Melissa Taylor, April 20, 2015

It is funny how time truly does fly.

Months of training and mapping out shows, planning with farriers and vets and than, two bells ring and all is over.

Vegas was a blast, not exactly our best show, but we still came back having learned something new--helpful training tips from Rudolf Zeilinger, making new friends, catching up with old ones and watching the best of the best meet up and play in the same sand box.

Mariett traveled home much better than she did going west. No fluids were needed when she arrived home in Florida and she is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Lars will give her some time off. Because she is an athlete in top condition, you can't just let her down completely, so she gets to have some fun. That means Mariett and I will go on hacks around the loop in White Fences (one of the bonuses of my job). She'll get to play around in our grass field and enjoy lots of hand-walks and hand-grazing.

At this point, we have no plans to take Mariett to Europe this summer. Of course, that doesn't mean our plans won't change.
As Lars always says,  "this is the plan for now, until I make a new one."

Freestyle Day

By Melissa Taylor, April 18, 2015

Melissa Taylor and her husband, Lars Petersen | Photo copyright 2015 by Nancy Jaffer
This is probably the most exciting day of World Cup for most people. Lars decided for no a.m. training. The reason is that Mariett has been super all week and we wanted to keep her energy level up.

Freestyles started at 12:15 p.m. and our ride time was 1:15 p.m. The plan was to get on at 12:40 p.m.

Mariett was super in warm-up, but then came down the tunnel and actually got a bit backed off. She went into the arena and tried her best but was a bit against Lars. Lars was ahead of his music and did his best to keep up with everything. I was so nervous, due to the fact that Lars was making up his own freestyle as he went along.

Being the control freak-type a person I am... I was a total wreck. They did the best they could and we all are still so proud of them.

We loved watching the rest of the riders and so sad for Steffen Peters, who was eliminated when a tiny spur mark on his horse's side had a touch of blood. We have all been there one way or the other and sadly these things happen.

But Charlotte and Valegro. OMG! Love, love, love !

Vegas may not have been our friend in the Thomas & Mack. But at least the roulette table at the MGM Grand casino hotel was.

Grand Prix Day

By Melissa Taylor, April 16, 2015

It was a nail-biting few minutes for Melissa Taylor, left, as she watched her husband, Lars Petersen, perform on Mariett in the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Grand Prix | Photo copyright 2015 by Nancy Jaffer
After we got the draw we were hoping for, we thought we might get some "sympathy points" having to go after Valegro, who was AWESOME, by the way. I love that pair, Valegro and Charlotte. Actually, I do think we got some sympathy points, with the mistakes Lars and Mariett had. Just not our day and sadly, our worst Grand Prix in a very long time. But this is horses ... Win some, lose some!

Lars being the positive competitor he is, says "Let's just do better in the freestyle and hopefully move up a few slots."

It is hard for me to be able to watch all the rides but I loved what I saw. I thought Laura Graves did an awesome job with her fireball. And who doesn't just love Steffen? He always pulls it off when the team needs it. Hats off to our  "American teammates."

Freestyle training day tomorrow ...

The Horses Are Getting Ready

By Melissa Taylor, April 15, 2015

Melissa Taylor, left, watches as her husband, Lars Petersen, goes by on Mariett in the dressage warm-up at the Thomas & Mack Center | Photo copyright 2015 by Nancy Jaffer
It's training day, or as the Danes decided -- dress rehearsal day, which included braiding their horses for a warm-up session in the arena at the Thomas & Mack Center.

Each country's riders got 15 minutes in the ring, but if could be split if riders want to work alone. Lars and  Mikala Munter Gundersen, who like us is based in Florida, decided they both wanted their own time, 7  and 1/2 minutes each.

With this strategy,  each horse had to walk down the tunnel and enter the arena alone, the way they will do it in tomorrow's Grand Prix.

Lars' horse, Mariett was not concerned at all with the atmosphere, so Lars decided to keep his ride short and sweet, finishing early.

Thankfully, the weather has turned in everyone's favor with cooler temps and less wind. So many people flying in yesterday during the dust storm had terrible stories of rough landings, redirected flights and extremely long delays.

Tonight is the President's Reception and Draw Party at the MGM Grand hotel. I'm looking forward to hanging out with all of our friends and relaxing a bit before show time. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.

Melissa Taylor: An Introduction

By Melissa Taylor, April 14, 2015

Blogger Melissa Taylor with her husband, FEI World Cup competitor Lars Petersen | Photo copyright 2015 by Nancy Jaffer
Our newest blogger is Melissa Taylor, a Grand Prix dressage rider herself who is married to FEI World Cup competitor Lars Petersen. Melissa is by Lars' side in Las Vegas for the finals, in which he will compete with Marriett, a freestyle star on the Florida circuit this winter. Enjoy Melissa's refreshing insights from her unique vantagepoint.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas is not the case at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Finals.

This was jog day, truly the most important day, because if you don't make it through, you don't compete. Happily, all 18 horses passed and will move on to the first day of competition on Thursday.

Lars and Mariett were second to jog . Mariett was fresh and forward and seems to enjoy the atmosphere of the indoor. It's a refreshing change for her after the long Florida season.
There was a little excitement when Painted Black, the horse of Spain's Morgan Barbançon Mestre,  decided he ran better without Morgan holding the reins. Painted Black got a little excited during his jog and tripped Morgan, before doing  a " buzz by" around the arena. He quickly was caught and both horse and rider are fine.

The order of go will be determined at tomorrow night's draw party. In the meantime, we're hoping the 50 mph winds at this venue don't blow us all back home.

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