Steffen Peters Gets Double Wins With Ravel & Legolas in Del Mar World Cup Freestyle

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Steffen Peters and Legolas. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

DEL MAR, California, Mar. 10–Steffen Peters danced with Legolas to the choreography of a hand-me-down Coldplay Freestyle from Ravel that sparked thunderous applause from an audience packed into the Del Mar Horsepark arena Saturday night for the last World Cup event in North America this season.

It was matched only by the applause for Jan Ebeling and Rafalca who won a place in the Final for the third time on what may have been a personal best score.

The Freestyle performance by Legolas was described by Steffen as “phenomonal. It was the first since the horse was delivered to his San Diego, California, barn last Christmas eve thanks to Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki who bought the horse from Ullrich Kasselmann of Germany’s Performance Sales International as a successor to Ravel.

Although there were only two combinations in the $5,000 event–due primarily to U.S. Olympic selection criteria that does not recognize freestyle scores–the competition arena was packed with several hundred partying fans.

The result for Steffen and Legolas was 78.225 per cent while Jan and Rafalca scored 74.800 per cent.  The official results:

E: McDonald 4* H: McCartney 4* C: Svalling 5* M: Fore 4* B: Jena 4*
Rider Horse E H C M B Total % Place
Steffen Peters Legolas 92 306.5 310 308 315.5 324.5 1564.5 78.225% 1
Jan Ebeling Rafalca 306.5 300 297.5 302 290 1496 74.800% 2

The “most spectacular ride” was the way Steffen described thefreestyle, with the piaffe and passage phenomenal.

The tempi  changes that had been an issue in their first competitions were without mistake. Steffen admitted that the freestyle was simplified from when Ravel performed, Even so, he described the ride as “an amazing experience” that got better and better as the performance continued.

.In their second competition of the year, Steffen and Ravel scored 79.213 per cent in the Grand Prix for the Olympic Grand Prix SpecialSteffen of San Diego, California, and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Contango x Hautain x Democraat) owned by Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki last competed at the World Dressage Masters in Florida in January which they won for the second straight year.

Sue Blinks of Encinitas, California, rode Robin Hood for the first time in a competition in a year to take second place with 68.957 per cent and Günter Seidel of Cardiff, California, and Fandango in third place on 68.234 per cent. Sue imported the 14-yar-old Jazz gelding as a youngster when was was based Wellington, Florida, and now owns the horse in partnership with Leatherdale Farms.

Results of the Grand Prix for the Grand Prix Special.

E: McDonald 4* H: McCartney 4* C: Jena 4* M: Fore 4* B: Svalling 5*
Rider Horse E H C M B Total % Place
Steffen Peters Ravel 364.5 372.5 371 383.5 370 1861.5 79.213% 1
Susan Blinks Robin Hood 319 314 321.5 332.5 333.5 1620.5 68.957% 2
Guenter Seidel Fandango 308 315.5 324.5 327 328.5 1603.5 68.234% 3
Kathleen Raine Breanna 304 321.5 298.5 314 301.5 1539.5 65.511% 4
David Wightman Partous 300.5 305.5 297.5 305 309 1517.5 64.574% 5
David Blake Lord Albert 288 297.5 298.5 302 288.5 1474.5 62.745% 0
Lindsey Stroh Lancelot 288.5 288.5 292 294 290 1453 61.830% 0
Kimberly McGrath Winslow 282 292.5 290 290.5 294 1449 61.660% 0
Donna Richardson Mondeo 274 284 286 269.5 253 1366.5 58.149% 0