California Dressage Spotlight

by Lita Dove for DressageDaily

Steffen and Shannon Peters Continue Their Winning Ways

The husband-and-wife team placed first and second at the USET Intermediaire Championship at Gladstone, NJ, and kept their wining ways starting 2007 in victory at L.A. Winter Dressage.

Sponsor Akiko Yamazaki bought Lombardi II a few years ago, for herself to ride, but the gave the ride to Steffen. The Holsteiner gelding ( 1991 , by Locato) produced convincing wins in the Grand Prixs at the LA Winter Dressage: 74.375 in one class, tying teammate Guenter Seidel's score on his WEG horse, Aragon, and receiving a 72.917 in another Grand Prix, winning the Open Division for the Markel High Point Series Award. "I think he is stronger and more fit now, more secure in the arena," says Steffen.

Steffen, riding Lila Kommerstad's Marlando , an 8 year old Dutch gelding by Balzflug, earned a 74.00 from the judges. On the 7 year old stallion, Peggy Furth's Lord Chalk Hill (DWB by Lord Sinclair), Steffen got a 71.5 ,placing second to himself. Shannon, on Annie Hewitt's Dutch gelding Luxor (1993, by Ferro) got a 70 for third.


USEF Coach Klaus Balkenhol Visits California

Shannon and Steffen both worked extensively with team coach Klaus Balkenhol on his recent visit to California. "Klaus had not seen Luxor in a while, and felt that our decision to aim for the Pan American Games and then start showing Grand Prix in the fall suited the horse ," says Shannon. "Luxor is a big horse, and he needed the time to develop the power and strength for the extensions."

Shannon's young horse, Flor de Selva, a 2000 Florestan gelding purchased at PSI by Laurelyn Browning, won his Second Level classes at the show and will show Third Level at Dressage Affaire in March."This is such a sensitive horse," says Shannon. "He tries 110% all the time."

Steffen's WEG horse, Floriano, ( Florestan, 1990, owned by Laurelyn Browning) "does not owe anyone anything. He had a wonderful year, 2006. He is in full work now and enjoying it. So long as he wants to produce this kind of work, he will show--we will let him tell us." The decision to try out for World Cup will be made closer to the League Finals.



by Lita Dove for DressageDaily

Pan American Games in the Game Plan for Steffen and Shannon Peters

Steffen and Shannon will both try out for the Pan American Games team. "Going down centerline," says Steffen, "it is all pure competition. We are both out to win. But out of the ring, the 'support team' kicks in and we are there for each other all the way."

Steffen will take Marlando to the qualifier competitions, "providing he stays as relaxed as he is right now. He is a hot horse, but he is in very good form, and then Pan Am is a realistic goal."

Lord Chalk Hill "is only seven," and this show was his first Prix St. Georges. "Last year," notes Steffen," he showed Third Level. But the flying changes came, and the pirouettes did not seem hard for him, so we figured--give it a try! And he really does not seem stressed. He has an amazing temperament and focus. Still, he is young, so he will not do the High Performance classes now, probably add some Intermediaire One towards the end of the show season."

Not at the show but on everyone's mind is Steffen's newest horse, Ravel, (Contango x Democraat). The horse was known as TC Ravel when Dutch team rider Edward Gal was showing him small tour. "Every ride, when I finish, I want to call Akiko Yamazaki and say thank you. Again!" Steffen laughs."Klaus was really happy with his development, and the plan is to show Ravel Grand Prix at Dressage Affaire, and just take it one step at a time."