The 2009 Festival of the Horse kicked off Friday March 27th at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank, California. This show is a qualifier for the 2009 USEF National Championships. The show drew several top dressage riders who competed under Olympic “O” judge Cara Whitham (CAN), FEI “I” judge Natalie Lamping (USA), and FEI “C” judge Sarah Geikie (USA).
The first phase of the USEF Intermediaire-1 qualifying class, the Prix St. George, was held Friday afternoon. Veteran Olympic rider, Steffen Peters topped the class of 15 riders, finishing in both the first and second place position. He finished in first place with a score of 71.404 percent aboard Sancette, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding (Sandro Hit x Contender) owned by Gwen Blake. Peters was very pleased with Sancette’s performance. “He was very solid in the PSG,” said Peters who has only been riding the gelding for about 6 weeks. “He is a really nice horse and is still very young.” Peters will ride Sancette in the Intermediarie-1 on Saturday.
Peters finished in second place riding Montango. Montango is a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood by Contango, owned by Mary and James Keenan from Rancho Santa Fe, CA. The Festival of the Horse was only the pair’s first show together since finishing in second place at the 2008 I-1 Championship class at the Festival of Champions. Peters and Montango received a score of 70.088 percent.
Finishing in third place was
. Rifradin is a Dutch Warmblood mare by Gribaldi, owned by Leatherdale Farm.
Festival of the Horse Not a CDI for 2009
The Festival of the Horse, usually a CDI-WYJ, was not granted that status this year by the FEI. Jennifer Killinger, horse show secretary for Cornerstone Dressage Events, commented that, “We were initially granted to be a CDI-W but the FEI took it away because this show is too close to the World Cup Finals.” Killinger went on to say, “We moved this CDI up to our February show which is normally not a CDI.” However, the March show, The Festival of the Horse, will be a CDI again next year.