The Dressage Affaire CDI in Del Mar California marked the return of dressage Olympian rider Guenter Seidel. In the CDI Grand Prix, Guenter's partner U II, a Jazz gelding owned by his longtime patrons, Jane and Dick Brown Seidel finished third, but in the Grand Prix Freestyle, Seidel edged out Grand Prix winner Jan Ebeling and Ann Romney’s Rafalca (by Breitling) to wrap the winning banner around a tearful Jane Brown. Guenter acknowledged that it has been a hard and painful road back to recovery after the pelvis fracture last year, but also says that he feels the accident "has given me more patience with the horses, made me want to depend more on feel and not just the power." Giving credit where credit is due, Seidel said his assistant Sarah Christy kept the horses going for him during his recovery.
He admits he still has some pain when he rides, but his daily jaunts to the beach to surf with fellow high performance rider David Blake have also been therapeutic and helpful in keeping up his upper body strength. Seidel was interviewed for local television as well as being featured in the local paper. The Dressage Affaire CDI in Seidel’s back yard was the perfect venue for his comeback, where the audience who filled the stands on Sunday cheered his ride and return. UII was focused and showed power and a quality passage and piaffe for the first time out since May, with more to grow as he and his partner continue to develop strength and power.