Steffen Peters Gets 6-Year-Old Mare Rosamunde from Akiko Yamazaki to Succeed Legolas
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Rosamunde 20, a six-year-old Rhinelander mare, has been bought by Akiko Yamazaki for Steffen Peters to train and compete as a successor for Legolas, the leading United States team horse.
Rosamunde, or “Rosie,” as the mare is nicknamed is a dark bay 16.3-hand (170cm) horse that is in quarantine in Los Angeles after being flown from Germany for what Akiko described as “a nice birthday present” for Steffen. He turned 49 years old Wednesday.
“I’m super excited to get another chance to produce another horse,” said Steffen who is based in San Diego, California and competed for Akiko the KWPN gelding Ravel at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, won two individual medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and was the 2009 World Cup champion before being retired late last year. Legolas, an 11-year-old Westfalen gelding, was bought by Akiko almost two years ago and is the prime American prospect for the WEG in Normandy in 2014.
Rosamunde by Rock Forever out of a Fidermark mare had been trained and competed in young horse classes by the Finnish rider Henri Ruoste who is based in Krefeld, Germany.
“Our requirement was that the horse have the potential for 80 per cent,” Akiko told dressage-news.com, “which is now required to be on the medal podium. So we were very selective and took our time.
“While Rosie is very young, she seems to have the potential to fulfill this requirement with three outstanding gaits, an amazing ability for collection, and the suppleness which is the signature of Steffen’s riding.”
Steffen said that “Rosie” will tell him what goals are attainable but small tour for “the 2015 Pan American Games and then the Olympics in Rio in 2016 are nice to think about.”
Akiko and Steffen were first told about the horse by her good friend Henrik Brinkmann, the son of the previous owner of her mare, De La Noche, during the Nations Cup at the Word Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany in June. Steffen and Legolas qualified for the CDIO Grand Prix Freestyle so was unable to try the horse owned by Joachim Arl, who is the business partner of Henri Ruoste.
Joachim provided x-rays before Steffen had a chance to return to Germany a month later to ride Rosie.
“Henri had done a wonderful job,” he said. “Rosie had wonderful basics, a remarkable talent for piaffe, and pirouettes and canter that are really nice. I had a wonderful feeling.”
Neither Akiko nor Steffen disclosed the purchase price, but there was a special condition.
Lavinia Arl, Joachim’s 15-year-old daughter who competed in the 2012 and 2013 European Pony Championships for Belgium, gets to train with Steffen in San Diego.