Veteran Steffen Peters & Legolas, Rookie Laura Graves & Verdades Top US Championships

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Steffen Peters and Legolas and Laura Graves and Verdades celebrating success at the U.S. Championships. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters and Legolas and Laura Graves and Verdades celebrating success at the U.S. Championships. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

GLADSTONE, New Jersey, June 15, 2014–Veteran Steffen Peters and Legolas won their second straight United States Championship when they captured the Grand Prix Freestyle presented by the Dutta Corp. Sunday while 26-year-old rookie Laura Graves and Verdades were reserve champions.

Steffen of San Diego, California and the 12-year-old Westfalen gelding swept all three Grand Prix classes and will lead a squad of eight American horses to Europe to compete for four slots on the team for the World Equestrian Games in two months.

Steffen and Legolas scored 79.700 per cent in the Freestyle, a ride he said he was happy to take to Europe after a shaky start in the championships with mistakes in the Grand Prix.

At age 49, he is the championship veteran on the team with three Olympics, two World Equestrian Games, a World Cup title, seven U.S. championships, Pan American Games and the Aachen CDIO5* champion on his resume.

Laura Graves of Geneva, Florida, a tiny community near Orlando, and her 12-year-old Dutch warmblood gelding who just squeaked into the championships were awarded 78.425 per cent in the Freestyle for second place with Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Wizard third on 76.900 per cent.

Laura and “Diddy” as she calls Verdades began international Grand Prix last February on the Florida winter circuit and this was their first three-day competition. Her mother bought the horse as a weanling off a sales video.

Adrienne, 29, and Wizard, 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding, competed as individuals at the 2012 London Olympics and in Germany in the sumer of 2010.

The other five combinations to go to Europe are:

–Tina Konyot, 52, of Palm City, Florida and Calecto V, 16-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion (Come Back II x Rastell) who was on U.S. teams at the 2010 WEG in Kentucky, the 2012 Olympics and performed in their first World Cup Final this year;

–Jan Ebeling, 55, of Moorpark, California and Rafalca, 17-year-old Oldenburg mare (Argentinius x Rubinstein) that was a celebrity in London as the ownership group includes Ann Romney, wife of the Republican candidate for President of the U.S. The pair have also competed in World Cup Finals;

–Caroline Roffman, 25, of Wellington, Florida and and Her Highness O, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare (Hohenstein x Weltmeyer). Caroline competed the mare in the small tour at Aachen, Germany last year;

–Shelly Francis, 55, of Loxahatchee, Florida and Doktor, 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Diamond Hit x Renoir I) who competed in Europe last summer;

–Lisa Wilcox, 47, of Wellington and Denzello, 11-year-old Hanverian gelding (De Niro x Rohdiamant). The pair made a European swing last year. Lisa is wellknown in Europe for success on the stallion Relevant 20 years ago.

The schedule calls for all but the top two combinations to ride at Fritzens, Austria CDI4* July Fourth weekend and the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen two weeks later.

The schedule led to Jan Ebeling expressing concern over the ability of the 17-year-old Rafalca to handle such intense competition–flying from California to New Jersey for these championships of Grand Prix, Special and Freestyle, flying to Europe on Wednesday, going to Fritzens in the Austrian Alps 12 days later then at Aachen another week later.

Steffen was also champion on Rosamunde and reserve champion on Apassionata of the Intermediate division.

Steffen Peters and Rosamunde after capturing the U.S. Championships Intermediate division. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters and Rosamunde after capturing the U.S. Championships Intermediate division. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Results:

GRAND PRIX FREESTYLE

E: Bredahl- Baker – 4* USA H: Gribbons – 5* USA C: Foy – 4* USA M: Rockwell – 5* USA B: Holler – 5* GER
Championship Rider Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Champion Peters, Steffen Legolas 92 78.875 1 81.875 1 78.125 0 79.000 0 80.625 0 79.700 1
Reserve Graves, Laura Verdades 77.000 3 80.500 2 77.875 0 78.500 0 78.250 0 78.425 2
4 Lyle, Adrienne Wizard 77.250 2 79.500 3 75.875 0 75.250 0 76.625 0 76.900 3
5 Konyot, Tina M Calecto V 75.875 4 77.000 5 74.750 0 78.375 0 75.125 0 76.225 4
3 Ebeling, Jan Rafalca 75.500 5 78.625 4 73.875 0 78.875 0 73.875 0 76.150 5
7 Francis, Shelly Doktor 75.000 7 75.625 6 76.250 0 73.625 0 75.375 0 75.175 6
6 Roffman, Caroline V Her Highness O 73.125 8 72.250 11 74.250 0 73.000 0 76.250 0 73.775 7
11 Page, Arlene Alina 75.125 6 72.250 12 75.500 0 72.000 0 71.875 0 73.350 8
8 Wilcox, Lisa Denzello 73.000 9 72.500 10 74.750 0 72.875 0 72.250 0 73.075 9
10 Bateson Chandler, Katherine Wellnetta 72.375 10 73.000 9 72.250 0 73.250 0 72.875 0 72.750 10
9 Raine, Kathleen Breanna 72.125 11 74.875 8 73.250 0 73.125 0 69.750 0 72.625 11
12 Parra, Cesar Van The Man 70.875 12 75.000 7 71.500 0 72.000 0 73.000 0 72.475 12
15 Jorst, Charlotte Nintendo 69.375 13 69.500 14 70.875 0 72.500 0 71.625 0 70.775 13
16 Barisone, Michael L Ellegria 69.125 14 70.125 13 71.000 0 70.875 0 70.750 0 70.375 14
13 McCusker, Sharon Wrigley 69.000 15 67.500 16 68.875 0 68.875 0 69.375 0 68.725 15
14 Barisone, Michael L HF Victor 68.125 16 67.875 15 67.750 0 67.125 0 70.250 0 68.225 16

INTERMEDIATE FREESTYLE

E: Foy – 4* USA H: Lamping – 4* USA C: Holler – 5* GER M: Gribbons – 5* USA B: Bredahl- Baker – 4* USA
Championship Rider Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. Total Place
Champion Peters, Steffen Rosamunde 79.625 1 79.250 1 79.625 1 79.875 1 78.125 1 79.300 1
Reserve Peters, Steffen Apassionata 77.250 2 73.375 6 78.500 2 75.625 2 76.125 2 76.175 2
3 Lagoy-Weltz, Olivia Rassing’s Lonoir 76.625 3 75.625 2 77.125 3 73.375 4 75.125 3 75.575 3
 4 Herslow, Kimberly Rosmarin 74.625 4 74.375 3 76.625 5 74.000 3 74.625 4 74.850 4
 6 Perry, Kasey Goerklintgaards Dublet 73.000 8 71.750 8 77.000 4 72.250 5 73.125 6 73.425 5
 9 Hickey, Christopher Ronaldo 74.500 5 74.000 4 74.000 7 72.750 5 71.375 10 73.325 6
 7 Mason, Heather Zar 73.875 7 71.125 10 75.625 6 69.875 10 73.375 5 72.775 7
 5 Ball, Elizabeth Avanti 74.125 6 73.000 7 73.625 9 71.750 7 70.625 11 72.625 8
 8 White-O’Connor, Dawn Aristo 72.250 9 69.875 11 73.875 8 69.250 12 73.000 7 71.650 9
 10 Wagman, Nick Zenith 69.000 13 73.750 5 73.375 10 71.500 8 70.500 12 71.625 10
 15 Jorst, Charlotte Vitalis 69.500 12 71.375 9 72.250 11 69.500 11 72.250 9 70.975 11
 11 Jackson, Melissa Whirlpool 70.875 10 69.500 12 70.000 15 70.750 9 72.500 8 70.725 12
 13 Ahl-Eckhaus, Jackie Wisdom MVS 67.750 15 68.500 14 71.000 13 66.750 14 69.375 13 68.675 13
 14 Jackson, Angela Allure S 68.500 14 68.250 15 70.625 14 66.250 15 67.875 14 68.300 14
 12 Szepesi, Alix Majco Thunders Hattrick 70.000 11 66.750 16 69.750 16 67.375 13 67.250 15 68.225 15
16 Spofford, Sara Lagrima 65.750 16 68.875 13 71.500 12 65.750 16 66.750 16 67.725 16
 17 Hardin, Justin Wyatt Star 62.250 17 66.750 16 66.125 17 65.250 17 66.500 17 65.375 17