Steffen Peters & Ravel Sweep Del Mar National CDI3*

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Guenter Seidel and U II. © 2011 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

DEL MAR, California, April 30–Steffen Peters and Ravel won the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Del Mar National CDI3* Saturday in what he described as “the best ever” freestyle by the gelding.

Guenter Seidel on U II was the runnerup in advance of heading to Europe for training with former U.S. coach Klaus Balkenhol, similar to last year’s program but that ended in the American Olympian being injured and out of the saddle for six months.

The partnership of Steffen of San Diego, California, and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding by Contango which won two individual medals at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year scored 80.050 per cent.

“Ravel was great,” Steffen said. “We had one short change in the Grand Prix, and it was a bit conservative.

“The freestyle was his best ever. No mistakes and very expressive.”

Like many top American riders with an eye toward the Olympics in London in 2012, Europe is on the calendar and this year includes the World Equestrian Festival CHIO at Aachen, Germany.

Guenter of Cardiff, California, and the 10-year-old KWPN gelding by Jazz who was the U.S. Developing Horse champion scored 74.00 per cent with Shannon Peters and Odyssey third on 69.20 per cent.

The scores for Guenter and U II in both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle were personal bests since the pair began competing at international level Grand Prix just over a year ago.

$5000 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle r
E: Colliander – Finland H: Macartney – Canada C: Alonso de Quinzanos – Mexico M: McDonald – USA B: Weatherwax – USA
Rider Ctzn Horse E % H % C % M % B % T % Pl.
Peters, Steffen USA Ravel 79.000% 80.750% 79.750% 79.500% 81.250% 80.050% 1
Seidel, Guenter USA U II 73.000% 74.500% 76.250% 73.000% 73.750% 74.100% 2
Peters, Shannon USA Odyssey 65.750% 70.500% 69.750% 70.500% 69.500% 69.200% 3
Ball, Elizabeth USA Orion 65.500% 66.750% 65.000% 67.000% 65.500% 65.950% 4
Marienau, Beatrice USA Reve de Neige 59.000% 62.750% 60.000% 63.250% 61.000% 61.200% 5
Raine, Kathleen USA Breanna 57.500% 62.500% 58.000% 56.750% 57.250% 58.400% 6