Steffen Peters & Legolas 3rd in Munich CDI5*, on Rosamunde 2nd in CDI3* Special
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
MUNICH, Germany, May 15, 2015–Steffen Peters rode Legolas to third place in the World Dressage Masters CDI5* Grand Prix Friday, the first competition for the horse since the World Cup Final last month, and placed second on the improving Rosamunde in the CDI3* Grand Prix Special.
“Not bad in this quality of company in Germany,” Steffen said after the competitions on a dreary, chilly day at this 1972 Olympic equestrian venue where the United States started its entire squad of four Small Tour and four Big Tour horses vying for selection for the Pan American Games team.
The ride by Steffen of San Diego, California on Rosamunde that was awarded 70.608 per cent and second place behind German Olympic rider Dorthee Schneider on St. Emilion created buzz because of the mare’s age–just eight–among riders and trainers as well as the crowd that was affected by wet and chilly weather.
The horse was typically described as “amazing” and, in the view of other riders and trainers, likely to become a star in top sport.
Both Legolas and Rosamunde are owned by Akiko Yamazaki, as was Ravel that Steffen rode to become of the elite horses in the world, ranked as high as No. 2 on the International Equestrian Federation(FEI) standings.
The performance on Legolas, a 13-year-old Westfalen gelding, placed third in the headline event on a score of 73.620 per cent. It was the first competition since the World Cup Final where the pair were eliminated after the Freestyle when a small amount of blood was seen on the side of the horse. The wound was likely caused when the noise-sensitive horse reacted to a sudden outburst of applause at the end of the ride.
Since then, Steffen, known around the world for soft aids, has ridden the horse in training without spurs and adopted leg strengthening exercises that sometimes cause cramps that have kept him awake nights.
He and Legolas was the only American pair in the 5*.
But in the 3* Grand Prix Special, Kathleen Raine of Murietta, California on Breanna placed fourth on 68.019 per cent with Allison Brock of Wellington, Florida on Rosevelt fifth on 67.333 per cent and Kasey Perry of Orangevale, California on Scarlet in seventh place on 67.098 per cent.
“I’m excited by the response from Legolas to no spurs,” Steffen saiud.
“This is the third Grand Prix competition in a row where we’ve produced a clean test.”
Some of the riders and horses on the European tour squad will travel to at least one other of three competitions over the next month before entries need to be named for the team for the Pan Ams.
Legolas, at this stage, is considered by Steffen to be the most likely candidate for the team over Rosamunde based on scores.
If that becomes the case, Steffen and Legolas will be joined by Laura Graves and Verdades who were excused from the European schedule because of their World Cup committment. Only teams in the Pan Ams with a Grand Prix combination can qualify for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, with Canada and the United States considered the only nations to be candidates.
Two small tour combinations will probably be named from the four pairs on this same European tour.