Dawn White-O’Connor & Legolas Win Temecula World Cup Grand Prix, USA Olympic Horse to be Retired in April

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Dawn White-O’Connor riding Legolas in the Temecula, California World Cup Grand Prix. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

TEMECULA, California, Jan. 5, 2018–Legolas, the United States Olympic team bronze medal horse, won the Adequan West Coast Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Friday, one of the final competitions before being officially retired in April.

Dawn White-O’Connor who took over the ride a year ago after five years of competition with Steffen Peters scored 66.913 per cent in the Grand Prix with only one other combination, Charlotte Jorst on Kastel’s Akeem Foldager that was awarded 66.783 per cent.

There were big disparities in the judges’ marks for both horses.

Stephen Clarke of Great Britain awarded 70.000 per cent for Legolas with Lee Tubman of Canada and Janet Foy of the U.S. at 67.174 per cent, Michael Osinski of the U.S. at 66.413 per cent and Adrian Hamoen of the Netherlands at 63.804 per cent.

For Akeem, the scores ranged from a high of 69.891 per cent from Janet Foy, 68.152 from Stephen Clarke, 67.065 per cent from Michael Osinski and 66.957 from Lee Tubman with Adrian Hamoen at 61.848 per cent.

Legolas, a Westfalen gelding now 14 years old, will be retired at the World Cup event in Del Mar, California April 26-29, owner Akiko Yamazaki confirmed to dressage-news.com.

“Dawn will have three more opportunities to ride Legolas before then,” said Akiko who was at this inaugural event in the lineup of four West Coast Dressage Festival events launched in Southern California. “As long as Legolas is fit and willing our plan is for Dawn to ride the horse for the next few shows.”

Akiko and her husband, Jerry Yang, bought Legolas as a successor to Ravel, the horse that Steffen competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the 2010 World Equestrian Games where they won two individual bronze medals, the 2009 World Cup to become only the second American to claim the title.

The first year of competition for Legolas was in California but in 2013 competed in Florida, placing third in the CDI5* then went to Germany to ride at Hagen and Aachen.

In 2014, Steffen and Legolas led the U.S. team to fourth place at the World Equestrian Games.

The pair led the U.S. team to gold at the 2015 Pan American Games and took Freestyle gold.

Steffen and Legolas were on the United States team that won bronze at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the first Olympic medal for American dressage since the 2004 Athens Games.

Steffen Peters and Legolas in the 2016 Olympic Grand Prix. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Steffen has two other competition horses owned by Akiko and Jerry, Rosamunde and Suppenkasper.