Steffen Peters Still Aiming Rosamunde for Pan American Games While Working on Grand Prix

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Steffen Peters rides Rosamunde to victory on the Fourth of July at the Schindlhof CDI4* at Fritzens, Austria, the only European competition for the pair. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters rides Rosamunde to victory at the Schindlhof CDI4* at Fritzens, Austria, the only European competition for the pair. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Rosamunde is back home in the United States after a successful European competition for the seven-year-old mare ridden by Steffen Peters, with the Pan American Games at small tour still a target for 2015 but working on the Grand Prix.

Although Steffen describes the piaffe and passage as “absolutely phenomenal” for a seven-year-old and 15 one-tempis as required for the Grand Prix have been documented on video he cautions, “I think there needs to be more proof in the pudding before going overboard.”

The mare that is nicknamed “Rosie” was bought by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang as the successor to their Ravel and Legolas. On a succession of horses, but most prominently on Ravel, he has been America’s leading rider for the past decade.

Rosamunde (Rock Forever x Fidermark) was bought last September after being trained and competed in young horse classes by the Finnish rider Henri Ruoste who is based in Krefeld, Germany.

Akiko said they took their time looking for another Big Tour prospect as one of the conditions was that the horse have the potential to be able to score 80 per cent at Grand Prix, a level that’s needed to be on a championship medals podium. Steffen and Ravel is the only American partnership to have achieved that mark at a CDI, thus placing themselves in the 80 per cent club with only 12 members in the history of the sport.

After three shows at Prix St. Georges and Intermediate 1 in Southern California in March and May, Steffen took Rosie to the American championships in Gladstone, New Jersey along with Legolas.

Steffen won the Intermediate championship, capturing the Prix St. Georges, Intermediate 1 and Intermediate Freestyle on Rosamunde and the Grand Prix title on Legolas that earned the Big Tour pair a place on the team for the World Equestrian Games starting in Normandy next week.

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

The small tour combination showed at the Schindlhof CDI4* in Fritzens, Austria with personal best scores in both classes, the St. Georges and Inter. 1.

This correspondent traveling across western Europe has been asked frequently about “Rosie,” typically with a comment, “what a phenomenal horse” from those who saw the Fritzens competition.

“It’s exciting, it’s really neat,” Steffen said. “Even though Rosie only went to Fritzens I was in a restaurant in Verden (Germany) and was asked about Rosie. There’s been lots of wonderful feedback.”

Dawn White-O’Connor, an assistant trainer for Steffen, has been riding Rosie since the horse’s return home and will continue to do so until Steffen gets back in about two weeks.

“We’re still thinking about the small tour for the Pan Ams,” he said of the continental championships to be held in Toronto next summer.

“In meantime, she can work on the Grand Prix movements. She has a fantastic mind. You can work on the piaffe and passage and the one tempis, drop the reins and she relaxes. It’s a really, really exciting horse for the future.

“Some people have told me they see a similarity in the canter and self carriage that is lot like Ravel. That’s a wonderful comparison. Even Robert (Dover) has compared her to Ravel a few times.

“If she follows in his footsteps it would be super exciting.”