March 23, 2015–Steffen Peters successfully punched his ticket to return to the site of his 2009 World Cup glory by winning the CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle with Legolas 92 in an exciting conclusion to California Dreaming Productions’ Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, held March 19 – 22 in San Juan Capistrano, Cal.
Peters’ new personal-best score of 80.925% aboard Four Winds Farm’s Westphalian gelding (Laomedon x Fuerstin by Florestan II) was good enough to keep the pair atop the North American League rankings for next month’s Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas, where they are expected to join 2014 World Equestrian Games team mates Laura Graves and Verdades to face some of the world’s best dressage horses and riders in pursuit of the World Cup title. But earning the winning score over fellow Olympian Guenter Seidel (who earned 77.100% with James and Charlotte Mashburn’s KWPN gelding Zero Gravity [Royal Hit x Naica by Contango]) wasn’t easy as Legolas was overly enthusiastic about the loud music, resulting in a ride that ground jury members described as “carefully and expertly ridden”.
“It was like somebody put a firecracker under his saddle and it kept going off,” said Peters of his mount. “That’s Legolas. With the music today there was a lot of fire, and usually when that happens the test is over. But he settled down, and interestingly the walk tour was one of the best ever. I appreciate so much that he never says ‘no;’ he may get super energetic, but there’s not a mean bone in his body where he says ‘forget it, I’m out of here’. He still tries, and it may take patience but I appreciate what he did today.”