San Juan Capistrano, CA - Even though Steffen Peters' young star Rosamunde performed a Grand Prix Freestyle for the first time on Saturday, she looked like a seasoned veteran on her way to earning the unanimous win under all five FEI judges with an impressive final score of 77.750% at California Dreaming Productions' Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U-25 in San Juan Capistrano, Cal. Utilizing stablemate Legolas 92's recognizable David Bowie/Coldplay/U-2 music and demanding choreography, the Rheinlander mare affectionately known as "Rosie" (Rock Forever x First Lady by Fidermark, owned by Four Winds Farm) proved she was up to the challenge, including successful execution of double pirouettes, piaffe fans, and tricky transitions - all at just eight years old.
In her inaugural freestyle effort, her score was just three points less than Legolas' performance the previous week at the Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W, which earned Peters a ticket to the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Las Vegas as the top-ranked competitor in the North American League. Finishing in second with 71.450% was Jan Ebeling aboard another up-and-coming star in FRH Rassolini (Hanoverian stallion [Rubioso N x Sweetheart by Silvano] owned by Vantage Equestrian Group LLC).
Peters noted that his intention in using the freestyle was not to make the performance a game of "who rode it best" between his two talented mounts. "I chose to use Legolas' freestyle because I wanted to have another practice run before the World Cup in a competition setting - you can practice it at home but it's just not the same," explained Peters. "It's still a bit difficult for Rosie, but she embraced it and was so beautifully with me the entire time. She wasn't tired at all from these last two weeks of competing - she was as happy as ever, and I actually had to hold her back in the extensions a bit and say, 'not yet'. We had a little mistake in the one-tempis, but the two-tempis were improved even from Thursday's Grand Prix and her pirouettes were amazing, reminding me again of Ravel. [FEI judge] Gary Rockwell said to me after the class that he wasn't sure he'd ever seen a horse do half-passes as easily as Rosie, and that's exactly how she feels. You simply point her in the direction you need to go, and she just offers it. It's a wonderful feeling. Like I've said before, gravity is just a suggestion to her."
Peters noted that next on the calendar for Rosie is to join stablemate Legolas in Las Vegas, where her growing number of fans can look forward to a seeing her participate in a special dressage performance during the World Cup Finals.
See video of the winning ride on CDP Live!
See complete competition results here.
Complete results from the Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U-25 as well as live-streaming video archives are available on the California Dreaming Productions website, http://www.californiadreamingproductions.com.
About California Dreaming Productions
Formed by a partnership between long-time show organizer Glenda McElroy of Burbank, CA and Grand Prix riders and trainers David and Alisa Wilson of Chino Hills, CA, the goal of California Dreaming Productions (CDP) is to bring a fresh face to international-level dressage competition on the West Coast. For more information about CDP shows and events, visit our website www.californiadreamingproductions.com or contact Glenda McElroy, email@example.com, or David and Alisa Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.