Steffen Peters & Rosamunde Win Las Vegas World Cup Grand Prix, Dawn White-O’Connor Debuts Legolas

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Dawn White-O'Connor making her show debut on Legolas at the Las Vegas World Cup Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Dawn White-O’Connor making her show debut on Legolas at the Las Vegas World Cup Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

LAS VEGAS, Nevada, Jan. 6, 2016–Double Olympic medalist Steffen Peters on Rosamunde won the inaugural World Cup Grand Prix in the South Point indoor equestrian center but the spotlight was on Dawn White O’Connor riding Legolas in their first ever show.

“Relieved,” was Dawn’s description of her feeling after the ride on the 15-year-old Westfalen gelding that scored 68.100 per cent for second place behind Steffen and Rosamunde on 73.780 per cent.

The competition in the specially built equestrian center with stabling, warm-up rings as well as the centerpiece arena all indoors, was not only the first on Legolas for Dawn but was also the first time that Rosamunde, a Rhinelander mare who turned 10 a week ago, competed indoors.

“I honestly did not really know what to expect,” said the 27-year-old Dawn who also competed Aristo for the first time at Grand Prix in the CDI3*. “I had varied expectations. A lot of it is that he is very sensitive and my aids are different than Steffen’s and we’re still trying to figure it all out.”

“It’s good that we’ve had our first ride and now I know what he’s like in the ring. He’s definitely different in the ring… as they all are. You don’t really know what each horse is going to be like in the ring until you do it.”

And riding two horses at Grand Prix for her first time in a CDI she described as “pretty cool.”

Although Steffen followed Dawn immediately in the class of five combinations, he was “very much focused on Legolas” on his warm-up with Rosamunde–“50 per cent warming up Legolas and 50 per cent warming up Rosamunde.”

“During Dawn’s ride I kept peeking through the tunnel and from what I saw it looked pretty good. Of course there were little mistakes that are probably pretty normal. The biggest teacher at the end of the day is the show arena and Dawn will learn so much from that ride for the next shows.

“I think a decent start for Dawn and it will get better from here.”

Of his own ride on Rosamunde, he said she is very rideable with lots of energy and “a lot of work to do before the World Cup if we make it.

Steffen Peters on Rosamunde in the Las Vegas World Cup Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters on Rosamunde in the Las Vegas World Cup Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Some things were better, such as half passes where the right half pass usually was a nine and the left 7.5 or eight “now we have both half passes exactly the same quality.”

Rosamunde stood still, extended walk was better though he said he did not trust the mare enough in the piaffe and made it a little quicker than at home “but at the end of the day it was a clean test. Three judges liked it a lot, two judges not as much and that’s part of the business.”

Akiko Yamazaki, the owner of both horses that she bought as the successors to her Ravel, declared that the 27-year-old Dawn who has worked for Steffen for the past decade, did “a great job” for her first competition ride on Legolas.

“He’s not a push button horse,” said Akiko who flew in from California for the Grand Prix. “I think she did a great job today. It is easy to focus on the mistakes but I think it is important to focus on what happened after the mistakes. Even after the mistakes in the two-tempis she nailed the ones. It shows her strength as a rider.”

The relationship between Dawn will continue, Akiko said, “for as long as he shows the motivation to work. He’s a very fit and healthy horse. We hope she can gain as much experience as possible on him.

Steffen on Wizard Banamex scored 70.216 per cent to win the CDI3* Grand Prix Special for the second straight victory on the 15-year-old Danish Warmblood. The horse, owned by Maria de Lourdes Ariza of Mexico, has been with Steffen less than a month.

Steffen Peters and Wizard Banamex on their way to winning the CDI3* Grand Prix Special. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters and Wizard Banamex on their way to winning the CDI3* Grand Prix Special. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Correction: A photo of Steffen Peters in an earlier version of this report incorrectly identified the horse he was riding.  We regret the error.

Results:

CDI-W Grand Prix

Judges: E-Isobel Wessels GBR H-Michael Osinski USA C-Peter Engel GER M-Natalie Lamping USA B-Lee Tubman CAN
Horse 
Rider 
Total 
Place 

Rosamunde

Steffen Peters

75.400% (1) 74.600% (1) 75.500% (1) 71.600% (1) 71.800% (1)
1

Legolas 92

Dawn White-O’Connor

69.300% (2) 67.200% (3) 66.900% (3) 69.500% (2) 67.600% (2)
2

Ikaros

David Blake

68.000% (3) 70.700% (2) 67.300% (2) 67.500% (3) 66.900% (3)
3

Zuperman

Kathleen Raine

64.400% (4) 64.900% (4) 63.000% (4) 65.900% (4) 63.500% (4)
4

Vindicator

Barbi Breen-Gurley

60.500% (5) 62.900% (5) 63.000% (4) 64.400% (5) 61.200% (5)
5

CDI3* Grand Prix Special

Judges: E-Peter Engel GER H-Lee Tubman CAN C-Michael Osinski USA M-Isobel Wessels GBR B-Natalie Lamping USA
Horse 
Rider 
Total
Place 

Wizard Banamex

Steffen Peters

72.353% (1) 67.255% (1) 69.510% (2) 69.902% (2) 72.059% (1)
 1.

Breanna

Kathleen Raine

67.059% (2) 66.176% (2) 69.706% (1) 70.392% (1) 70.392% (2)
 2.

Aristo

Dawn White-O’Connor

65.098% (3) 62.647% (3) 67.059% (3) 63.824% (3) 66.961% (3)
 3.

Uiver

Terri Rocovich

62.706% (4) 60.157% (4) 62.804% (5) 63.392% (4) 63.490% (4)
 4.

Rondo

Anne Howard

59.314% (5) 59.804% (5) 62.941% (4) 62.451% (5) 62.157% (5)
 5.

2.