Kristina Sprehe On Desperados Wins Munich CDI5* Freestyle, Steffen Peters & Legolas 2nd With Highest Score Outside USA
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
MUNICH, Germany, May 17, 2015–German Olympic and World Games medal-winning partnership of Kristina Sprehe and Desperados won the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle Sunday while America’s Steffen Peters on Legolas placed second.
The score of 83.275 per for Kristina and the 14-year-old black Hanoverian stallion was the highest for the pair in more than two years.
For Steffen and Legolas the award of 80.350 per cent was the first time above 80 per cent outside the United States for the duo that won the 2014 national Grand Prix championship.
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl of Germany on Unee BB who placed third just a month ago in the World Cup Final in Las Vegas were third on 79.950 per cent.
The high placing and overwhelming crowd support for Steffen of San Diego and the 13-year-old Westfalen gelding was vindication for the American pair after elimination at the World Cup Final when blood was found on the side of the horse. The apparent cause was a spook by the noise-sensitive Legolas in response to an outburst of applause.
Since then, Steffen has worked the horse without spurs and in the competition arena wears the bluntest spurs available.
The Freestyle wrapped up a successful first stop on a European tour by U.S. Big and Small Tour combinations to prepare for the Pan American Games in Toronto in two months.
Sweden’s Patrik Kittel on Watermill Scandic took fourth place on 78.250 per cent that was enough to clinch the €25,000 (US$28,600) rider bonus for the most points over the lineup of four World Dressage Master events, all in Europe.
The contingent of four American horses and riders at small tour dominated the Prix St. Georges and Intermediate 1 while among the Big Tour group Steffen logged second and third placings with Legolas and Rosamunde.
A “home” tournament at the American base about an hour from Munich has been scheduled for early next week after plans to compete at Lipica, Slovenia were scratched when the show did not schedule an Intermediate 1 that is vital for the small tour squad.
A CDI5* invitational at Aachen, Germany and a CDI4* at Achleiten, Austria the first week of June will complete the European tour to determine the team of mixed big and small tour combinations that will go to Toronto with the goal of winning Pan Am gold and the single team slot available for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.