Steffen Peters & Legolas Post Personal Best Grand Prix Score to Win Burbank World Cup Event

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Steffen Peters on Legolas. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters on Legolas. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

BURBANK, California, Feb. 20, 2015–Steffen Peters rode Legolas to the pair’s highest career score of 77.880 per cent to win the Mid-Winter World Cup Grand Prix Friday, a dramatic turnaround from the second lowest score just two weeks earlier in Florida.

The result was described by Steffen of San Diego, California as “super” with scores ranging from a high of 79.600 per cent from Swedish judge Magnus Ringmark to a low of 76.500 per cent from Canada’s Cara Whitham.

Kathleen Raine of Murietta, California on Breanna who also competed at the Global Dressage Festival in Florida in early February, placed second on 71.280 per cent with three-time American Olympic team medalist Günter Seidel of Cardiff, California on Zero Gravity in third on 69.660 per cent.

Most attention at the California Dreaming Productions event, however, was focused on Steffen and the 13-year-old Westfalen gelding that he has competed for the past three years as a successor to his Olympic and World Games mount, Ravel, both owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang.

The pair have been successful on both sides of the Atlantic, including being America’s national championship partnership. But the results at the $200,000 CDI5* in Wellington earlier this month with 71.220 per cent for seventh place in the Grand Prix and 76.200 per cent and reserve in the Freestyle was surprising to some observers.

“He was very relaxed, wonderful in the contact, with very regular piaffe and passage work,” Steffen told dressage-news.com after Friday’s ride at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. “The entire test was clean.

“The relaxation and the suppleness was clearly the difference between today and the Grand Prix test in Wellington. It felt like one of his best tests ever and I appreciate very much that all five judges rewarded Legolas with a 77.800 per cent.

“I think his little sister Rosie had a talk with him. She seems to be a very good motivational speaker.”

“Rosie” is Rosamunde, the eight-year-old Rhinelander mare that made her international Grand Prix debut at the CDI3* at the same Wellington competition with victories in both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Special.

Rosamunde produced a stellar record at small tour in both the United States and Europe in 2014 and Steffen likens her to Ravel on whom he competed in two Olympics, won two individual World Games medals and became only the second American to win a World Cup title.

Steffen and Legolas will compete in the Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday seeking to qualify for the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in mid-April.

Results: MidWinter-CDI-W-Grand Prix