Legolas Retiring After Olympic, Championship Medal Performances–Photo Gallery of Career Highlights

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April 28, 2018

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Legolas retires at Del Mar, California Saturday night after a career in which the Westfalen gelding was ridden by Steffen Peters to 2016 Olympic team bronze, 2015 Pan American Games double gold, in the 2014 World Equestrian Games and an unprecedented three United States championships.

From the first international competition by the partnership in January, 2012 until their finale at the Olympics in 2016, Legolas and Steffen competed 68 times in CDIs on three continents, logging 35 victories.

Legolas was bought by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang’s Four Winds Farm as a successor to Ravel that Steffen had ridden for them in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the 2010 World Equestrian Games and the 2009 World Cup.

Dawn White-O’Connor, an assistant to Steffen and the long-time caretaker of Legolas around the world, competed the gelding for a year before his retirement.

Some highlights of the career of Legolas.

For Legolas and Steffen Peters, 2016 was a banner year. The pair were on the U.S. teams that won Nations Cup silver in Europe’s premier events, at both the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany and at Rotterdam, Netherlands ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where America had not been on the medals podium since 2004. The team of Laura Graves on Verdades, Steffen on Legolas, Allison Brock on Rosevelt and Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet earned bronze, capping the career of Legolas. The Olympics was the last competition in which Legolas was competed by Steffen. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

At the 2016 Olympics, Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang of Four Winds Farm that owns Legolas as it does Ravel, as well as Rosamunde and Suppenkasper that are successors to the Westfalen gelding. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

 

For Steffen Peters and Legolas, 2015 was a year of highs and a low. The highlights were leading the United States to team gold at the Pan American Games in Toronto then winning the Freestyle gold. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters and Legolas led the USA to team gold at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. Other team combinations were Laura Graves and Verdades, Kimberly Herslow on Rosmarin and Sabine Schut-Kery on Sanceo. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Heartbreak…at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in 2015, the same arena where Steffen Peters rode Ravel to win the title. The crowd was so enthusiastic in their applause for Steffen and Legolas that it spooked the Westfalen gelding and, apparently, was nicked by a spur that drew blood leading to elimination. The provisional score of 80.286 per cent in the Freestyle would have been enough to place the pair fourth but that position went to Laura Graves and Verdades, instead. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Steffen Peters and Legolas at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France where the pair led the United States to fourth place out of 24 nations in the team competition. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Steffen Peters and Legolas in 2014 celebrated the pair’s third straight United States title, sharing the limelight with newcomers, Laura Graves and Verdades, reserve champion. The two combinations became team mates at the biggest championships for the next two years. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

The first international competition for Legolas was Horses & Dreams at Hagen, Germany in 2013, 18 months after beginning the partnership. Legolas had been found at Hof Kasselmann that hosts the show. Steffen and Legolas were runner-up to Andreas Helgstrand on Akeem Foldager, both combinations in the honor round. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Steffen Peters and Legolas in 2012 on their way to the first of an unprecedented three straight national championships. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

 

Steffen Peters riding Legolas in California in 2012, the first competition season for the Westfalen gelding, then 10 years old, that was bought by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang as the successor to Ravel that was ridden by Steffen at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com