Steffen Peters (USA) and Legolas 92 were victorious in the FEI Grand Prix 5*, held Friday during the Wellington CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms. The Wellington 5* is the first of the final two weeks of competition for the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), hosted at The Stadium of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL. Peters and Legolas 92 finished first with a remarkable 75.085%. Second place went to Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett with a score of 73.787%. Ashley Holzer (CAN) and Breaking Dawn finished third with a score of 73.362%. Judges for the class were: Peter Holler at E, Raphael Saleh at H, Lilo Fore at C, Stephen Clarke at M, and Anne Gribbons at B. Peters, of San Diego, CA, was thrilled with Legolas' performance as the eleven-year-old gelding appears to be coming into his own. "We haven't done too many clean tests and today was one of them. We got the one tempis. That's the second test in a row that he did his one tempis and that's exciting. I'm very happy," Peters commented. "The movements-piaffe, passage, pirouettes, flying changes-that's certainly gotten better. What was always missing to me, a little bit, was the overall relaxation and the suppleness. Legolas is getting so much more rideable and so much more fun to ride."
Lars Petersen was also pleased with the greater quality of movement Mariett exhibited Friday afternoon. "I'm very happy, she is getting better. My issue was always the fluidness and she's really becoming way better in that." Despite the dreary weather, Holzer was proud of her relatively inexperienced mount, Breaking Dawn, for rising to the occasion in today's rainy weather. "He's not a very advanced Grand Prix Horse. He's not done this a ton. To feel him come into a different situation that was a tricky situation for him, and to have him behave and try hard, is always a good feeling," Holzer described. "It's wonderful to win money and wonderful to give back [to the owners], but there is nothing better [as a rider] than feeling your horse in the ring happy to do his job. I think it's what we work for," Holzer continued. While all three riders agreed whole-heartedly with Holzer's sentiment, the more than $100,000 in prize money that will be awarded at the CDI 5* is not to be discounted. The FEI Grand Prix class handed out $12,000 in prize money and Saturday night's FEI Freestyle 5* will award a whopping $84,000. "I think it's wonderful for the owners to get a small return on their investment," Peters commented. "It's a substantial amount of money, no doubt, and it's wonderful that we can support our owners this way."
Danilo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Patricia Stempel, has already had a successful campaign in the Prix St. Georges this season. "He's done really well," Francis commented. "He's won almost every class he's been in so far. This is only his second CDI."
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