Dressage Couples Dominate Top Five Places in Del Mar’s Grand Prix Dressage CDI

Steffen Peters and Ravel and Shannon Peters and Odyssey meet in the FEI arena as one finishes a Grand Prix, and the other begins. credit: Kelly Sanchez
Steffen Peters and Ravel and Shannon Peters and Odyssey meet in the FEI arena as one finishes a Grand Prix, and the other begins. credit: Kelly Sanchez

The family theme continued into Friday’s Grand Prix CDI class during Del Mar’s Dressage Week. Four of the top five places were won by two famous dressage couples: Steffen and Shannon Peters and David Wightman and Kathleen Raine. Steffen Peters won the class with Akiko Yamazaki's Ravel with a 75.447%. Disrupting the “couple dominance” was Guenter Seidel who with Jane and Dick Brown’s UII placed second with 70.511%. Third place went to Shannon Peters on Yamazaki's Odyssey with a score of 66.2135. Fourth place went to Kathleen Raine and Breanna with a 65.043%, while her husband David Wightman took fifth on his Partous with a 64.979%. www.foxvillage.com.

Shannon Peters and Odyessy credit: Christina Beal
Shannon Peters and Odyessy credit: Christina Beal

Both couples ride and train together on a daily basis and also compete at the same shows. What is unique at this particular show is that all four riders have horses competing at the same time in a Grand Prix CDI class. Professional FEI riders are seasoned enough to wait until a horse is ready to show it in a Grand Prix CDI. There are infinite variables in getting horses to this level. The stars aligned over Del Mar to allow all four riders a Grand Prix mount this year.

Shannon Peters and Kathleen Raine supported by Husbands in Grand Prix Pursuits.

Kathlen Raine and Breanna credit: Christina Beal
Kathlen Raine and Breanna credit: Christina Beal

Both Shannon Peters and Kathleen Raine are supported by their husbands’ helping at home and at shows. Shannon stated that Steffen and she have “put our heads together to determine what works best for Odyssey. He has been a difficult horse, and Steffen has helped me tremendously to get him through the season.” Though the pair had a few mistakes in the Grand Prix CDI, Shannon was happy with Odyssey’s overall show here.” He had his best ever ride in the open class on Thursday winning the class with a 71%, but was overly exuberant in the jog and had to redo it 3 times. I am happy now because he is starting to look to me when he is nervous and not try to just leave.”

David Wightman also has a strong investment in his wife Kathleen Raine’s success on Breanna. “David picked out Breanna at the auction in Germany so really believes in her ability to do this well.” Showing has been a part of their 21 years together. They met when they were teenagers and both working at Hilda Gurney’s farm in Moorpark. “This is our life. David warms me up at the shows, and I warm him up. We both work with Christine Taurig, so if our ride times are too close to help one another; she is there to help us as well.”

Seidel Credits Taurig for Her Help in the Grand Prix During Dressage Week

Christine Taurig, DressageDaily's Mary Phelps, and Guenter Seidel
Christine Taurig, DressageDaily's Mary Phelps, and Guenter Seidel

Guenter Seidel rode an obedient UII by Jazz to place second of 70.511% in the Grand Prix CDI behind Steffen Peters and Ravel. Seidel is especially happy that he has the support of fellow Olympian and friend, Christine Taurig both in training at home and in competing at shows. Seidel echoes the others when he states, “You really cannot do this alone. Christine and I ride together daily and help one another. At the shows, she makes time for me. She is great to be here.”

Seidel was happy with his Grand Prix ride because of UII’s obedience. “At in our last show in LA, I let him be a little less on the aids. Here he has been through, consistent and obedient.” Seidel continues to feel better after his serious injury last year in Germany, but stated that “Each show is different. It is up and down with recovery.” Next month Seidel will be taking both Sundayboy, with whom he placed second in the PSG CDI Friday, and UII to compete in Europe this summer for two months. “Our goal is to compete at Aachen. I expect some déjà vu when we get to Klaus’s where the accident occurred.” However, Seidel will take all the precautions when he gets there. He will show UII in the European Grand Prix CDI’s and see how Sundayboy progresses to determine which classes he will compete in there as well.

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