Steffen Peters & Rosamunde Do It Again, But Assistant Trainer On Aristo is the Star

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Dawn White-O'Connr on Aristo in their first CDI event. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Dawn White-O’Connr on Aristo in their first CDI event. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, California, Mar. 23, 2014–As expected, Steffen Peters managed an on the edge seven-year-old Rosamunde to win their first CDI Intermediate 1, but the young woman who has taken care of his horses at Olympics and other shows around the world was a star in her first international event.

Dawn White-O’Connor got the ride on Aristo at the last minute as Steffen was limited to two mounts in the CDI small tour and was already commmitted to Rosamunde and Apassionata.

So the 24-year-old was entered in her first international competition since riding in the North American Junior Championships in 2006 to ride the nine-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Carla Anne Hayes.

The pair placed second on a score of 70.614 per cent behind the award of 74.518 per cent for Steffen and Rosamunde in the field of 21 combinations. Elizabeth Ball of Cardiff, California was third on Avanti.

“He was really good yesterday and really good today,” Dawn said. “There were so many people in the class I did not think I would end up that high today.”

The Intermediate 1 was the highlight of the Capistrano International World Cup event Sunday.

Rosamunde ridden by Steffen Peters performing pirouette. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Rosamunde ridden by Steffen Peters performing pirouette. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

The Grand Prix Special was won by Michelle Reilley of Del Mar, California on Umeeko with 68.647 per cent. Lientje Schüler of San Diego on Mike Tyson L was second on 65.608 per cent and April Atwell of Topango and Pavarottie third on 63.235 per cent.

Dawn moved from Colorado where she knew Shannon, Steffen’s wife, seven years ago to work for the Peters in San Diego.

One of her first assignments was to go with Lombardy that Steffen competed at the national championships in Gladstone, New Jersey in 2007. Lombardy won the title and a trip to Europe but because Dawn was not 18 could not travel across the Atlantic with the horse. She turned 18 the day they returned so could accompany Lombardy home.

Since then, she has traveled with the horses to Florida, New Jersey and Europe as well as with Ravel to the Olympics in London in 2012.

“It was a lot of good experiences to see riding at such a high level so many times,” said Dawn who is now an assistant trainer, “to be around Steffen to see how it’s done.”

Dawn’s ride, Steffen said, was “a huge accomplishment–if Dawn would have beaten me taday I would have really liked it.”

Steffen described her as having “ice in her veins” and was so good at her job his operation would fall apart without her.

He said Rosamunde, who was bought as the propsective successor to Legolas, was “very much fired up” Sunday.

“Hopefully it stays under control like this,” he said. “If she sees some real big venues she might not be in such control.”

Steffen Peters and Rosamunde. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters and Rosamunde. © 2014 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Steffen said he was surprised how well Rosamunde performed with “clean wonderful pirouettes” that for a horse to do at this stage was “simply amazing.”

However, he will guard against pushing her too hard–“it can easily backfire.”

Results:

Grand Prix Special
2014-Capistrano-CDI-Grand_Prix_Special

Intermediate 1
2014-Capistrano-CDI-Intermediate 1