Suppenkasper Bought for Steffen Peters to Compete as American Team Prospect for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
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July 24, 2017
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK.
Suppenkasper, a nine-year-old Dutch-bred Grand Prix gelding, has been bought for Steffen Peters to compete as an American team prospect along with the mare Rosamunde for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang, who also own Rosamunde, bought Suppenkasper that has been competed successfully at Big Tour by German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg “to maximize our chance of making the team by having two shots with two horses,” Akiko told dressage-news.com, as they have for the past three Olympics.
Suppenkasper (Spielberg x Krack C) is a KWPN bay gelding bred in the Netherlands by F.van de Poel, originally named Danny Boy and has been owned by Dr. David Lichtenberg, a veterinarian who is Helen’s husband.
He made his Grand Prix debut ridden by Helen in Compiègne, France in May, winning both the CDI3* Grand Prix with a score of 72.520 per cent and the Special on 74.294 per cent. At the CDI4* in Cappeln, Germany 10 days ago, Helen and Suppenkasper won the Grand Prix on 70.580 per cent and the Grand Prix Freestyle with 75.975 per cent.
Steffen, 52 years old and based in San Diego, California has been America’s top rider for much of the past two decades since competing on his first U.S. Olympic team with Udon in 1996. He rode Ravel in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Games and Legolas in the 2016 Rio Olympics, winning team bronze in 1996 and 2016.
He has also won team bronze at the 2006 World Games, two individual bronze medals at the 2010 Lexington WEG and competed at the 2014 championships. In 2009, he became only the second American to win the World Cup title and is one of only two Americans to capture the prestigious Deutsche Bank Prize at Aachen in its 52-year history. He has been the U.S. Grand Prix champion a record eight times.
“Our goal as a team has been to be part of Team USA in World Championships and Olympic Games,” Akiko said.
“We have had two Grand Prix horses for Steffen for Beijing (Ravel and Lombardi), London (Ravel and Legolas), and Rio (Legolas and “Rosie”-Rosamunde).
“Given the importance of Tokyo for my family, we wanted to maximize our chance of making the team by having two shots with two horses.
“My mother, who is a Japanese citizen went to watch the Tokyo Olympics (1964) as a young rider. The love of horses and the Olympic dream started then for my family. We are very fortunate to have Steffen and an amazing team that surround him and the horses on this great journey.”
Legolas, the 2016 Olympic and 2014 World Games mount for Steffen, is now competed by his long-time assistant Dawn White-O’Connor whose last competition was at Cappeln.
Rosamunde, the Rhinelander mare now 10 years old that he began competing at CDI Grand Prix in early 2015 and was in this year’s World Cup Final in Omaha, is on a break from competition in preparation for the World Games in Tryon, North Carolina in 2018 and the Tokyo Games in 2020.
Steffen told dressage-news.com: “I saw Suppenkasper for the first time in Aachen last year in the small tour and loved his big expressive gaits. I was even more impressed how beautifully and soft Helen rode this relatively big horse.
“I went to see him again in person at the German championships in Balve this year. Helen and Suppenkasper did a wonderful job, particularly in the Grand Prix Special. After Balve I had a chance to ride Suppenkasper numerous times and, needless to say, it clicked on the first day. Between Balve and Cappeln I drove lots days, three hours one way from Belgium to ride Suppenkasper and also simply observe Helen’s training.
“Akiko liked the videos I sent her, and told me that she would like to see him in person at the show in Cappeln, where Dawn showed Legolas as well.
“I’m very Thankful for my friend Ulf Möller, who very professionally got us in touch with Helen and her husband David, and helped everybody involved, to purchase a very special horse.
“I wish I could put in words, my appreciation and gratitude toward Akiko and Jerry, who are giving me another amazing opportunity to take Suppenkasper as far as possible.”