Burbank, CA - The much-anticipated inaugural West Coast qualifying competition for this year's Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final came to a resounding conclusion on the final day of California Dreaming Productions' Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W/Y/J/U-25 in Burbank as U.S. Dressage Team veterans Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 earned an impressive score of 80.825% for their popular U-2 themed Grand Prix Freestyle. This remarkable score is not only a personal best for the pair, but it also firmly cements them as favorites to lead the American contingent to Las Vegas. Finishing in second was Peters' 2012 Olympic team mate Jan Ebeling aboard Vantage Equestrian Group LLC's impressive Hanoverian stallion FRH Rassolini (Rubioso N x Sweetheart by Silvano) with 75.050%.
"We had an exciting ride today and I'm so pleased," said Peters, who explained that he specifically asked announcer Brian O'Connor to raise the volume in the Equidome, which almost created a problem mid-test. "When we did the sound check, I didn't want to take it easy because that's not going to be the reality in Las Vegas. So the music was definitely louder, and at the end of the arena just before the one tempi's, Legolas reacted to it. But even though we had that bobble, he recovered and still did the line of one's, and I'm particularly happy about that. This is his fifth test in a row where he hasn't made a mistake in the changes, and that's huge improvement for him."
In both the CDI Grand Prix and the Freestyle, Peters and Four Winds Farm's Westfalen gelding (Laomedon x Fuerstin by Florestan II) enjoyed a record-setting homecoming to California this weekend. Having gained fresh confidence in looking towards the World Cup in April, their big score in the freestyle rockets them to the top of the North American League standings. In addition, Peters hinted that a surprise may be in store for the World Cup audience. "We have one more qualifier in a few weeks in San Juan Capistrano, and then it looks pretty good for Las Vegas," he said. "In general we're sticking with our freestyle, but there's a 'super secret second version' that we've never used because we were waiting for the right venue for it, and I think Vegas is it. We use the same music but a bit different choreography, and it has a good sense of humor to it and is very exciting. And that's all I'm willing to give away right now," he laughed.
Complete results from Mid-Winter Dressage are available on the California Dreaming Productions website. The next competitions will be the Capistrano Dressage International CDI-W/Y/J/U-25 on March 20 - 22 and the Festival of the Horse CDI 3*/Y/J/U-25 on March 26 - 28, both to be held at the beautiful Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
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 California Dreaming Productions Facebook page. For more information, contact Glenda McElroy, firstname.lastname@example.org, or David and Alisa Wilson, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.