Steffen Peters & Suppenkasper Post Personal Best Score to Win Del Mar National World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle

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Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

April 27, 2019

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Steffen Peters rode Suppenkasper to a personal best score to win the Del Mar National World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle in Southern California Saturday night for the eighth straight victory this year and a head start to earn an invitation to the world championship Final in Las Vegas a year from now.

Steffen and the 11-year-old KWPN gelding scored 80.990% for the win, the highest score for the four-time Olympic rider in more than three years, on the now retired Legolas. The previous best for Steffen and Suppenkasper, ranked No. 36 in the world, was 79.750% set two weeks ago in the first 2029/2020 World Cup event in the Northern Hemisphere.

Suppenkasper was bought by Four Winds Farm of Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang as a prospect for the Olympics in Tokyo July 25-Aug. 9 next year.

“I’m so happy and proud of Mopsie,” Steffen said of Suppenkasper using the nickname inherited from Helen Langehanenberg, the previous owner. “He was so much more rideable and relaxed tonight. We were the entire freestyle in sync with the music.

“Mopsie improved at every single show since January. This is exactly the feeling I would like to take to Europe–Luxembourg first and hopefully, Aachen afterwards.”

Steffen gave a “huge thank you” to Akiko and Jerry “who let me ride such an incredible horse.”

And he gave an “equal big thank you to my amazing wife, Shannon, who has been coaching me since we started Mopsie’s journey.”

Steffen, 54 years old of nearby San Diego and the most successful United States dressage rider this century, now has two qualifying scores in the World Cup North American league in his campaign for Las Vegas where in 2009 he became only the second American to win the World Cup Final. He did so on Ravel, six years after the achievement by Debbie McDonald and Brentina.

The three best qualifying scores out of a maximum of six competitions are required for a horse and rider combination to qualify for one of two spots set aside for the North American League, though a third place can be earned as has occurred in the two most recent Finals with three American riders starting.

Nick Wagman of Rancho Santa Fe on Don John placed second on 71.865% with Missy Gilliland on Samaritano IX third on 69.050%.

Earlier, the U.S. wrapped up qualifying competitions for a Pan American Games team short list with Jennifer Hoffmann and Rondoro Noblesse winning the CDI1* Intermediate 1 for a double victory at the Del Mar National.

Jennifer, based in Rancho Santa Fe after eight years in Europe, scored 70.784% that could put them in contention for one of eight pairs on a short list but not enough to change the top Small  Tour rankings.

Results:

CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle
E: Geikie – USA H: Waddell – BRA C: Schwennesen – AUS M: Osinski – USA B: Alonso De Quinzanos – MEX
Rider Nation Horse E H C M B Total Pl.
Peters, Steffen USA Suppenkasper 79.875 84.500 78.325 79.625 82.625 80.990 1
Wagman, Nick USA Zenith 68.750 76.000 71.950 72.125 70.500 71.865 2
Gilliland, Missy USA Samaritano IX 67.125 70.875 68.750 68.500 70.000 69.050 3
Rocovich, Terri USA Uiver 67.750 70.375 70.575 68.250 67.125 68.815 4