Burbank, CA - The West Coast 2015 CDI season got off to a hotly-contested start on Friday as top riders and horses from the U.S. and Canada sought valuable qualifying scores for this year's Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final and the Pan American Games at California Dreaming Productions' Mid-Winter Dressage CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, being held February 20 - 22 in Burbank, Cal. Despite the tough competition, both Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery rose to the occasion to win the first day's tests in their respective large and small tour divisions. "We saw some nice up-and-coming horses with lots of potential today," said CDI judge Jeanne McDonald (4* USA), but she was most impressed with Steffen Peters and Legolas 92's domination of the Grand Prix Test. "That was the best I've ever seen Legolas - it was special," said McDonald of Four Winds Farm's Westfalen gelding (Laomedon x Fuerstin by Florestan II), whose commanding performance earned multiple marks of 10 on their way to earning a personal best Grand Prix score of 77.880% over fellow Californians Kathleen Raine and Breanna (Brentano II x World Queen by Weltmeyer) with 71.280%.
"Our ride today felt wonderful and I was thinking to myself, 'boy this is one of his best goes ever', and I hoped the score would reflect that," noted Peters. After a somewhat disappointing Grand Prix performance last month in Florida, Peters returned home to California to restore the pair's confidence - and the strategy worked. "He was so beautiful to ride and soft in my hands, and when he's like that I know I can really go for it. It was a wonderful ride," Peters explained. "We've competed here at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center for many years, and there's so many wonderful memories here. It's a special place and it's good to be home."
A record-setting number of CDI entries made for non-stop action all day in the Los Angeles Equestrian Center's covered Equidome while riders, owners, trainers and fans enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere of the competitor lounge, VIP area, and hospitality services. "This CDI is significantly bigger than last year, and in fact is the largest CDI I've ever had - right up to the jog we still had quite a few riders on the waiting list hoping to get in," noted co-organizer Glenda McElroy. "We're just thrilled to see such support for our shows." Also back by popular demand was "CDP Live", a live video-streaming feature which allowed viewers from around the world to watch all of the CDI action as it happened in conjunction with expert commentary by FEI 5* (ret) judge Axel Steiner.
Complete results are available on the California Dreaming Productions website. Live video streaming of CDI classes with expert commentary by FEI judge Axel Steiner resumes at 8:00am PST on CDP Live, www.californiadreamingproductions.com/live-stream-test/.
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 is to bring a fresh face to international-level dressage competition on the West Coast. Additional show information is available on the new California Dreaming Productions website, as well as regular updates posted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/californiadreamingproductions. For more information, contact Glenda McElroy, firstname.lastname@example.org, or David and Alisa Wilson, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.