Günter Seidel & Coral Reef Wylea Win at California CDN Grand Prix in 1st Outing in USA

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Günter Seidel working Coral Reef Wylea in California. © 2012 Sean Caddell

DEL MAR, California, Feb. 10–Günter Seidel competed Coral Reef Wylea in their first Grand Prix since arriving in the United States two months ago, making a big first impression with a winning score of 72.234 per cent in the national CDS San Diego Mid-Winter event Sunday.

Günter and the 13-year-old mare also competed in the Grand Prix Saturday for first place on a score of 71.702 per cent.

“I was quite happy with both Grand Prix,” Günter told dressage-news.com. “The first day she was a bit hot, but a fairly clean test. The second day, she was more relaxed, but there were a few mistakes.

“I think by getting to know her a bit better, there are certainly things I could improve on.

“In general a VERY fun horse.”

The Westfalen (Weinberg x St. Jolie x Saluut) was bought from Klaus Balkenhol, the German Olympic gold medalist and former U.S. team coach, for the 52-year-old Günter to compete. She had previously been ridden by Anabel, Klaus’s daughter at national shows and at Grand Prix at two CDIs in Germany in 2012, Lingen in June and Aachen in July.

Wylea, previously named Winci, is owned by Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer and her Coral Reef Ranch of Rancho Santa Fe, the same Southern California community where the German-born rider has based his horses for many years. Coral Reef is also the owner of some jumpers ridden by double Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden, including Via Volo for the U.S. team at the Olympics in London this summer.

The horse arrived in California at the end of November, and Günter has tentatively scheduled their first CDI for the Mid Winter Dressage Fair 3* at Burbank at the end of this month.