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

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

BURBANK, California, Jan. 30, 2016–Steffen Peters racked up another personal best score on Legolas when the world’s seventh ranked partnership won the Los Angeles Winter World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday.

Steffen and the 14-year-old Westfalen gelding were awarded 84.050 per cent to top the field of five combinations and put the pair close to the highest Freestyle scores by an American combination–when Steffen rode Ravel at his peak in 2009 when the duo won the World Cup Final and the 2010 World Games individual medal performances.

Günter Seidel of Cardiff, California on Zero Gravity was second on 71.700 per cent with Michelle Reilly of Encinitas, California on Umeeko third on 71.025 per cent.

American judge Lilo Fore awarded the highest winning score of 87.500 per cent with Canada’s Cara Whitham the lowest at 81.875 per cent.

The result for Steffen of San Diego topped their previous best Freestyle score of 81.325 per cent set in Thousand Oaks, California last September and a day after posting a personal best in the Grand Prix.

Although the score and a qualifying result from 2015 put Steffen and Legolas way at the top of the North American League to earn an invitation to the Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in March the rider told dressage-news.com he won’t go because he is focused on the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“Because of the traveling schedule for the Olympic Games and the required European shows prior, we decided to skip the World Cup,” said Steffen who won team and individual gold medals at last summer’s Pan American Games that helped earn the U.S. a team start in Rio.

“It is mainly the lengthy transportation that concerns me. After you arrive in Amsterdam it is still a long distance to go to Gothenburg.” The road trip is more than 11 hours each way.

Laura Graves of Plymouth, Florida and Verdades, team mates of Steffen and Legolas at the Pan Ams and the 2014 World Games, are second on the NAL standings that is determined by the average of the two best scores.

There are two more World Cup qualifiers in Wellington, Florida and one at Burbank for the 2016 Final.

Steffen will ride Rosamunde in the Grand Prix Special Sunday. On the nine-year-old Rhinelander mare in the Grand Prix Friday, he was also awarded a personal best score.

Results:

Burbank CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle