Steffen Peters & Suppenkasper in Early Lead in USA Olympic Team Selection Standings, Anna Buffini & Newly Acquired Davinia la Bouce

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Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper at Thermal, California. © 2020 ESI

Nov. 17, 2020

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper got a head start for a place on America’s team at the delayed Tokyo Olympics going to the top of new standings based on results from the first international competition for the four-time Olympian since the coronavirus lockdown.

Steffen and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding scored 76.149% that was just 0.149% off the average of 76.298% of five Grand Prix Special scores that had them in second place in their campaign for one of three places on the team before the Games were postponed.

New to senior championship standings is Anna Buffini after her first CDI with FRH Davinia la Douce that have the pair second in the rankings on 70.319% attained at the the Thermal, California event where Steffen and Suppenkasper competed.

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino were at the top of last winter’s standings on 80.170% that counts Grand Prix Special scores as the Grand Prix will be a qualifier at the Games for the top eight nations to go to the Special to decide team medals.

After two CDIs since U.S. qualifying started afresh last month, Steffen is atop the standings. But with the Wellington, Florida circuit starting in December then seven CDIs over the winter, the focus will be on Global. The December event includes a World Cup while the winter lineup includes a top rated CDI5*, two CDI4*s, another three World Cups and a Nations Cup.

Plans for the top group of Olympic prospects to go to Europe after the winter circuit and ahead of the Olympics are up in the air due to the continuing pandemic.

Steffen is competing Suppenkasper or “Mopsie,” the nickname inherited from German Olympian Helen Langehanenberg who rode the horse before it was bought by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang as a prospect for Tokyo, at the second of the Thermal shows this week. Akiko and Jerry owned Ravel that Steffen showed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and Legolas at the 2016 Games.

Steffen told dressage-news.com he is scheduled to fly to Florida early in 2021.

He is not planning as many shows as the 11 starts in Wellington last winter, all of which the duo won, but plans to compete in the CDI5*.

The World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden on the calendar for April is not on the schedule for the 2009 champion, he said, because of the trans-Atlantic flight followed by the lengthy highway travel from Amsterdam.

Anna Buffini and FRH Davinia la Douce. © 2020 Terri Miller

The 27-year-old Anna of San Diego, California, said she was “blown away” by the performance of Davinia in competition just a few weeks after acquiring the horse from Germany’s Anabel Balkenhol.

“She tries so hard and listens to me every step of the way,” said Anna of the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare on which she has had only about a total of 31 rides so far.

Anna was an American youth division champion on Sundayboy that she retired in 2017 and worked for a Big Tour career on Wilton. However, the horse was too difficult.

“Six weeks ago I was horseless with no hope for 2021,” said Anna, “so just riding in the Grand Prix again is a dream itself, whatever happens after that is a bonus.”

Günter Seidel, the three-time Olympian for the U.S. with whom she works, “is very encouraged with the results after just a month of training together. It would be impossible for me to show her so soon without his coaching.”

Anna often texts Anabel photos and videos and “always she gives great insights and helpful tips for riding and taking care of her.”

Anna said she hopes to compete in Florida next winter but at this stage is not thinking much beyond then.