Steffen Peters Debuts New Freestyle for Suppenkasper to Win Del Mar World Cup, Farewells Legolas
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DEL MAR, California, April 28, 2018–Steffen Peters debuted a new musical freestyle on Suppenkasper to easily win the World Cup Saturday night that kicked off a year-long series of competitions leading to the final in Gothenburg, Sweden next April.
Steffen and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding that began their international partnership four months ago scored 77.800 per cent for the victory, their seventh in eight starts this year, placing third in the Grand Prix Friday to Steffen on Rosamunde and Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo. It was also only their second freestyle.
The music has a Spanish flavor, from Despacito to Enrice Iglesias.
“We had a fantastic crowd,” said Steffen of nearby San Diego, “he handled the atmosphere beautifully.”
This show ushered in a new format for North America in which the highest average of three competitions–and not two in previous years–decides the the two combinations to go to the final of the annual world championship.
Nick Wagman of neighboring Rancho Santa Fe rode Don John to second place on a score of 72.975 per cent in the first freestyle for the 10-year-old KWPN gelding. Günter Seidel of nearby Cardiff on Crush on You was third on 68.825 per cent.
The performance by Steffen and Suppenkasper was as much about confirming the potential of the horse developed by German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg and sold to the United States last summer.
A squad of about eight American combinations will be named on Monday to go to Europe to compete in premier shows vying for one of the four team slots for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September. For Steffen, the first choice is Rosamunde that won the Grand Prix Friday and is a seasoned campaigner on both sides of the Atlantic.
The night, however, was as much belonging to Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang, owners of Four Winds Farm, who farewelled Legolas from top sport.
Four Winds is the owner of Ravel, Legolas, Rosamunde and Suppenkasper.
Legolas, Steffen’s mount at Big Tour for six years in which the pair won Olympic team bronze, Pan American Games team and individual gold, an unprecedented three United States championships and a host of other awards, was retired from Big Tour competition after the freestyle.
The impact Akiko and Jerry have had on American dressage has been huge.