Update-Steffen Peters Scores Highest Ever at Small Tour, Wins 1st Freestyle with Magic at Burbank CDI-W

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Steffen Peters and Weltino's Magic dancing to the music of the New Age group, "7 and 5." © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

BURBANK, California, April 3–Steffen Peters rode Weltino’s Magic to victory in their first freestyle together Sunday, a day after posting his highest ever small tour score in winning the Intermediaire I at the Festival of the Horse CDI-W.

Steffen and Weltino’s Magic rode to the music of “Whisper to Me” by the New Age group “7 and 5” to score 79.417 per cent with Jan Ebeling of Moorpark, California, and Sandrina second on 72.083 per cent and Jessica Wisdom of Ridgefield, Washington, and North Forks Cardi in third on 67.917 per cent.

On Saturday, Steffen of San Diego, California, and the nine-year-old Westfalen gelding scored 77.237 per cent with Guenter Seidel of Cradiff, California on Sundayboy second with 75.00 per cent and Steffen’s second mount, Pallas, in third place with 71.711 per cent.consolidated his place at the top of the standings for the Pan American Games selection trials.

Steffen Peters riding Weltino's Magic to the rider's highest ever score at small tour. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The Grand Prix Special was won by Shannon Peters on Odyssey with a score of 64.208 per cent with Gunter Seidel on U II second on 62.50 per cent and Barbi Breen-Gurley of Los Osos, California, third on 61.896 per cent.

Shannon Peters and Odyssey winning the Grand Prix Special at the Festival of the Horse CDI-W. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Weltino’s Magic, owned by Jen Hlavacek and who won the Prix St. Georges Friday, has three very solid gaits, Steffen said, that the judges rewarded with scores up to 9 1/2. There was, however, wide disparity in the scores with France’s Jean-Michel Roudier giving the pair a score of 80.263 per cent, Canada’s Cara Whitham scoring them 77.500 per cent and Jeanne McDonald of the U.S. 73.947 per cent.

The combination is ranked at the top of the Intermediaire I Dressage Championships standings which will decide invitations to trials to selection trials for the U.S. team for the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico in October. Heather Blitz of Folsom, Louisiana and Paragon are second in the standings.

“He is very forward  and wonderful in the bridle,” he said. “It’s a real pleasure to ride him.”

His wife, Shannon, he said, “deserves a lot of the credit” for his training.

She started the horse and rode him to reserve champion in the U.S. six-year-old championships.

“It’s been a real fun family project,” he said.

The horse may join Steffen and Ravel on a European tour over the summer with hopes of being invited to compete at small tour at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO at Aachen, Germany.

Small tour is not funded by official U.S. equestrian organizations.

Steffen joked that the change by riding for a second day in his new GPA tail coat after competing for 30 years in his “lucky” outfit was “positive.” And he was open to suggestions made by visitors to dressage-news.com to donate his old coat to the Kentucky Horse Park where he became the first American rider ever to win two individual medals at a world championship which he did last year at the World Equestrian Games.

Intermediaire I Results Saturday April 2

GPS CDI Results Saturday April 2