Steffen Peters & Ravel to Skip World Cup This Year

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Steffen Peters on Ravel holding aloft the 2009 World Cup in Las Vegas. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Steffen Peters, who rode Ravel to win the World Cup Final in 2009, confirmed Friday he will skip the event for this year so as to compete in the World Dressage Masters CDI5* in Florida.

Steffen of San Diego, California, disclosed his plans in outlining his schedule for the first part of 2011 in which there are no international championships at the Grand Prix level for riders from the Western Hemisphere.

Steffen said that he will compete the 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Contango in the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI1* at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California, Feb. 24-27.

Then, they will fly to Florida for the third annual World Dressage Masters, but this year being held at the Jim Brandon Center in West Palm Beach on the outskirts of Wellington where the two previous CDI5* competitions were held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The pair competed at both the €100,000 (US$130,000) WDM in both 2009 and 2010. Anky van Grunsven of the Netherlands also competed both years, and was the winner, and Germany’s Isabell Werth also participated last year.

The Florida WDM is the same weekend as The Dressage Affaire at Del Mar, California, one of two World Cup qualifying events scheduled for the West Coast in the North American League that includes Canada and the United States.

The two CDI-Ws were scheduled for this year when none were held on the West Coast in 2010.

Palm Beach County in Florida has three World Cup qualifiers scheduled for the winter, one which was held a week ago, the second to be held Feb. 11-13 and the third Mar. 3-6, one week before WDM, the only CDI5* on the calendar for the Western Hemisphere in 2011. A CDI3* will be held simultaneously with the Masters, making a total of a record six CDIs for Palm Beach during the winter circuit.

“Doing the CDI-Ws in between would be simply too many shows in a row,” Steffen told dressage-news.com.

He is only the second American to capture the annual global dressage championship. In 2003, Debbie McDonald on Brentina became the first American to win the World Cup Final.

The pair also became the first U.S. combination to win two individual medals at a world championship, which they did at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010.

Two places are reserved for North America in the World Cup Final, scheduled for Leipzig, Germany along with the World Cup Finals in Jumping and Driving at the end of April.

Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida, who with Calecto V was team mate of Steffen’s at last year’s WEG, told dressage-news.com that she, too, is not aiming for the World Cup Final. She and Calecto finished second in last week’s GCDA Opener CDI-W in West Palm Beach behind Sweden’s Tinne Wilhelmson-Silfvén on Favourit.