Akiko Yamazaki, a Japanese Grand Prix rider and Steffen Peters' sponsor, went on a shopping spree in Europe and acquired three FEI level horses to enable her own ambitions as a competition rider. The charming Yamazaki acquired Grand Prix horses De La Noche and Matrix this month and small tour horse Tristan on a trip in November 2009.
De La Noche is a 10-year old Hanoverian mare (by Del Piero x Davignon) which has been competed by Norbert Lochthowe in the 2009 Medien Cup qualifiers and this year in the German Professional Dressage Riders Championship in Hagen. The black mare was owned by Christine Hoff, who discovered her as a foal at the Hanoverian Foal Auction in Verden. Hoff competed the mare up to Prix St Georges and then gave the ride to Lochhowe, who normally is an S-level show jumping rider. De La Noche arrived in California on Wednesday and is currently in quarantine.
The other Grand Prix horse Akiko bought was the Danish owned Matrix. Former Young rider Marie Dige Sogaard trained and competed the black unregistered gelding from novice to Grand Prix level and is now working for the German based Danish coach Jorgen Rask.
"Matrix is a paperless horse, but he is beautiful and obviously talented and intelligent enough to become a GP horse," Yamazaki quipped.
In November Yamazaki purchased a new small tour horse, the 10-year old liver chestnut Tristan (by Jazz x Houston). The Dutch warmblood gelding was discovered as a foal by Dutchman Remi Kulik. Steffen Peters showed Tristan in his first competition in the U.S.A in February, scoring 67.8% in the Prix St Georges.
"We call him the Brad Pitt of horses because he is so good-looking," Akiko joked. "He is a Jazz and can be all that Jazz babies are known for, but I absolutely love him because he is so fun to ride and is one of the most intelligent horses I have ever owned."
Aboard the now 18-year old Kranak (by Burggraaf) Yamazaki competed in her first Grand Prix in January 2009. Though she is a dedicated rider who wants to learn, she actually has no high performance level ambitions of representing her birth country Japan at international Championships.
"I am still very green myself in the Grand Prix," Yamazaki told Eurodressage. "My hope is that I can gain good experience in the next several years competing De La Noche and Matrix at the GP. Shannon and Steffen Peters are my coaches so I am in great hands!"
Text © Eurodressage / Photos © Sherry Ross, Rodrigo Vazquez, Astrid Appels