Steffen Peters & Legolas to Compete at 2 Florida CDI5*s, Top German Shows in 2013

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Steffen Peters and Legolas, U.S. Grand Prix Champions for 2012. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Steffen Peters will skip the 2013 World Cup circuit with Legolas but compete in California, at two CDI5* events in Florida as well as a homecoming to Horses & Dreams at Hagen, Germany to kick off the first European swing for America’s top horse and rider combination.

The partnership that is not yet a year old but won the National Grand Prix Championship in their first attempt this summer, has also scheduled Wiesbaden on the European tour before ending up at Aachen, Germany, the scene of an historic victory for U.S. dressage when Steffen and Ravel won the CDIO championship in 2009.

“We will be testing the international circuit,” Steffen told dressage-news.com, “competing against the best in the world.”

This winter was too soon, he said, to pursue one of the two places reserved for North America in the World Cup Final to be held at Göteborg, Sweden, next April.

Steffen of San Diego, California, and the 10-year-old Westfalen gelding (Laomedon x Furstin x Florestan II) is the top rated combination in the U.S. and ranked 22nd in the world, taking over from Ravel whose competition career ended at the Olympics in London this summer.

Akiko Yamazaki bought Legolas a year ago from Ulrich Kasselmann, who trained the horse to Grand Prix at his center in Hagen where he also organizes the Horses & Dreams show.

Legolas was bought as the successor to her Ravel that placed fourth individually at the 2008 Beijing Games and won the World Cup at Las Vegas in 2009. The pair competed at all four World Dressage Masters events in Palm Beach, victorious in 2011 and 2012.

Since arriving in the U.S. last Christmas, Legolas has shown in eight classes at four CDIs in California between February and April this year, winning all of them with their highest score in the Grand Prix of 76.574 per cent.

Steffen said the 2013 schedule–in which there are no international championships involving the United States aside from World Cup–will be:

–World Dressage Masters Palm Beach CDI5*, Florida Jan. 24-27;
–Dressage Affaire CDI-W, Del Mar, California Mar. 7-10;
–CDI5*, Wellington, Florida April 4-7;
–Horses & Dreams CDI4*, Hagen, Germany April 17-21;
–Internationale Wiesbadener PfingstTurnier CDI4*, Wiesbaden, Germany May 17-20, and
–World Equestrian Festival CDI4*/CDIO5*, Aachen, Germany June 25-30.

The international schedule for Steffen and Legolas in 2013 comes after the lowest point in U.S. Olympic competition for all three disciplines that failed to medal for the first time since 1956.

Dressage also faces an overhaul after the resignation of Anne Gribbons as U.S. Technical Advisor amidst recriminations over the country’s performance although the nation did not have the horsepower to be competitive in London.

The World Equestrian Games in Normandy in 2014 is the next global team championship.