Steffen Peters Gets New Grand Prix Mount from Akiko Yamazaki

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Legolas ridden by Ullrich Kasselman. Courtesy of P.S.I.

 

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Legolas 92, a nine-year-old Westfalien gelding, has been bought by Akiko Yamazaki as the next top international mount for Steffen Peters.

Legolas by Laomoden out of a Florestan II mare, was bought from Ulrich Kasselman who with Paul Schockemöhle owns Performance Sales International of Hagen, Germany, who also trained the horse up to Grand Prix. The glittering annual PSI auction of dressage and jumping horses will be held this coming weekend.

Legolas was bred by John Kissing and ridden by Insa Hansen in five-year-old competition.

The horse is scheduled to ship from Germany for the United States later this week and should be at Steffen’s farm in San Diego, California, a week from Saturday.

Steffen, in confirming the sale to dressage-news.com, said that U.S. team dressage coach Anne Gribbons first showed him a video of Legolas last September but because of the Pan American Games in Mexico the following month he could not get to Germany until Thanksgiving.

“Akiko bought him as a backup horse for Ravel,” Steffen said of the KWPN gelding (Contango x Hautain x Democraat) who will be 14 years old in 2012 when he and Steffen are expected to lead the U.S. dressage team at the London Olympics.

“We’re both very excited about the possibilities,” he said.

“For me, though, it’s a bit like feeling on top of the world winning a national championship and then you end up at the Olympics and it’s, ‘Oh, shoot. Now I’ve got to deliver.'”

He said he does not expect to compete Legolas for three or four months, but that will depend on how well they work together.

Steffen’s focus for Ravel is the World Dressage Masters CDI5* in Florida in January and to qualify for the World Cup Final in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands, in mid-April before preparing for the Olympics

Ravel was bought by Akiko in 2006 and was the top finishing U.S. horse at the 2008 Beijing Games–fourth in the individual competition. The pair became only the second American combination to win the World Cup Final, which they did in 2009, was the first American duo to sweep the CDIO at Aachen. Germany, later the same year, and captured two individual bronze medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Kentucky.

Their competition schedule in 2011 was light–one show in Florida, one in California and the CDIO at Aachen.

Akiko has a deep commitment to American dressage beyond sponsorship of Steffen and Ravel. With DG Bar Ranch, she owns Ravel’s first foal that topped the KWPN North American inspections this year, made a grant to the U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation that enabled a major expansion of the nation’s Dressage Developing Program as well as being a successful amateur rider at FEI.