Custom Saddles were once again the saddle to be riding in at the US Festival of Champions in Gladstone, New Jersey. Custom’s MVRs, or Most Valuable Riders, proved they deserved the title by dominating in a variety of divisions, from Grand Prix to the Young Riders Team Test.
The man of the hour and most decorated of the MVRs was once again Steffen Peters, who had solid wins on his three mounts in the Grand Prix and small tour. He and Legolas 92 swept the Grand Prix division, finishing up on an overall score of 76.036% to take the National Championship and earn a spot on the US Dressage Team for the upcoming World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.
He also delivered a one-two punch in the small tour, finishing first and second on the two mares Apassionata and Rosamunde, to secure the Reserve Champion and National Champion position in the Intermediare-I. The now 3-time Grand Prix US National Champion will be on his way to Normandy this fall to vie for a medal, and all in his Custom saddle.
At the conclusion of Saturday’s Grand Prix Special competition, Steffen and Kathleen Raine, another of Custom’s MVRs competing at Gladstone, were presented with the USEF Gold Medal of Distinction. The medal, which was presented for the first time, during the Festival of Champions, recognizes riders who have earned Team or Individual medals, or who have accumulated top placings, both in the United States and abroad.
Two other MVRs made it into the top 8 riders in the Grand Prix division. Tina Konyot and Calecto V finished fifth on a 76.868, and Caroline Roffman and Her Highness O finished sixth on a 72.760, securing for themselves a spot to compete in Europe and a chance at making it onto the team for the World Equestrian Team.
And Peters wasn’t the only MVR finishing in the top of the pack. Young Riders Anna Buffini and Cassidy Gallman ended first and second in the Young Rider Team Test. Buffini rode her 15-year old Dutch warmblood Sundayboy put in a Custom Icon Coda, and put in a consistent test highlighted by strong canter work that earned her the Championship with an overall average of 73.408%. Cassidy Gallman and rode Joan Cvengros’ 14-year-old Hannoverian gelding Grand Makana in their Custom Icon Coda to finish on a score of 68.579% for Reserve Champion.
“Custom is extremely proud of their MVRs and their performances at the Festival of Champions,” said Cary Wallace, president of Custom Saddlery. “We know that to compete on this level you have to have a saddle that delivers both exceptional fit and performance, and that is what we strive to provide to all of our customers. We are thrilled to have Steffen on the US Dressage Team and wish him and all of the other US riders the best of luck in Europe!”
Custom’s long history of support to the dressage community has resulted in various sponsorship such as recognizing “Most Valuable Riders” throughout the prestigious Florida winter circuit including the Adequan Global Dressage Festival and Gold Coast Dressage series. Based in Aiken, South Carolina, Custom Saddlery provides countless ways to customize a saddle specifically for an individual horse and rider’s needs and preferences. Saddle fitting services and accessories are also available. For more information about Custom Saddlery, visit http://mysaddle.com/en or call 1-800-235-3865.