Peters Duo Rocks Del Mar DressageBy Kelly Sanchez May 18, 2011
The venerable Del Mar National is a favorite show for Southern California equestrians and spectators alike, and this year’s Dressage Week did not disappoint, as some of the state’s top horses and riders turned out for both the CDI 3* Y/J and Open classes. Olympian Steffen Peters and Ravel continued their winning ways, claiming the win in both the $5,000 FEI Grand Prix and the $5,000 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle (with 75.447 percent and 80.050 percent, respectively). In both classes, Guenter Seidel and U II were second (with 70.511 percent in the Grand Prix and 74.100 percent in the Freestyle), and Shannon Peters and Odyssey were third (with 66.213 percent in the Grand Prix and 69.200 percent in the Freestyle).
Riding Weltino’s Magic, Steffen Peters also swept the Pan American Games–qualifying classes, winning the $1,500 FEI Prix St. Georges, the $1,500 FEI Intermediaire I and the $2,500 FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle.
The error-free Freestyle by Peters and Ravel marked what will likely be the last performance of the routine to their current score, which features songs like The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” and Coldplay’s “Viva la Vida.” Peters, of San Diego, is putting the finishing touches on a new score in collaboration with Terry Ciotti Gallo. Peters also confirmed his plans to travel to Europe this summer to compete at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO in Aachen, Germany, with the 13-year-old Ravel, who is owned by Akiko Yamazaki’s Four Winds Farm (the pair swept the CDIO classes at Aachen in 2009), as well as his small-tour mount Weltino’s Magic, a 9-year-old Westfalen gelding owned by Jen Hlavacek.
Seidel said that Del Mar was his last show before he heads to Europe for several months of showing and training. The Cardiff resident and U II went to Germany last June with the intention of giving the now-10-year-old Dutch gelding owned by Richard and Jane Brown some seasoning at the European shows, but he fractured his pelvis in a riding accident, which kept him out of the saddle for six months. Of their performance at Del Mar, Seidel said, “There were no major glitches; he was very, very good.”
Seidel also fared well with the Browns’ 12-year-old Dutch gelding Sundayboy, who was second in both the Intermediaire I and the Prix St. Georges. Seidel said he’ll skip this fall’s Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, (which are held at the small tour for dressage) and concentrate on preparing Sundayboy for a possible berth on the U.S. team at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Shannon Peters was especially pleased with the performance of the 15-year-old Dutch gelding Odyssey, who has blossomed under her steady hand, but she acknowledged that the atmosphere in the Del Mar Arena can be tricky. “I decided to show Odyssey in the Open Grand Prix on Thursday to get him into the arena, which was a new venue for him,” she said. “It can certainly be electrifying to many horses! I was pleasantly surprised that from the first day he handled it very well. We seem to be gaining on his positive experiences.” She said they are aiming for the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, NJ, in September.
The annual Evening of Musical Freestyles on April 30 proved to be an especially big hit with dressage fans when, after the conclusion of the Freestyles, Steffen and Shannon Peters, Seidel, Elizabeth Ball, Kathleen Raine and David Wightman performed a quadrille on stick horses to the music of Tone Loc’s “Wild Thing.” Dressage manager Regina Antonioli and Seidel had come up with the idea, and the routine was choreographed by Ball. Said Antonioli, “The riders’ ability to step back and have fun with each another showed real generosity and camaraderie.”
On May 1, Sue Blinks and Robin Hood won the $2,000 FEI Grand Prix Special with a 66.167 percent. David Blake and Catapult were second with 65.104 percent, and David Wightman and Partous were third, with 61.500 percent. Meanwhile, in the Young Horse classes, Lientje Schueler and Regalo won the $250 USEF Four-Year-Old division, with an 81.000 percent; Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo took the five-year-old division with 82.800 percent; and Mark Carter and Bellino took the six-year-old class, with 78.200 percent.
- Peters, Ravel No. 2 at Aachen
- Peters, Ravel new national champs
- Steffen Peters Rules the World
- Freestyle win for Seidel and U II in Austria
- Peters, Ravel WDM Champs
- Ebeling, Rafalca to World Cup
- Affaire to Remember
- Dressage Gets in Olympic Groove
- Olympic Dressage Shapes Up
- Hat Trick for U.S. Dressage at Pan Ams
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