The 2013 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp came to a conclusion on Saturday with the final four champions crowned. In The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship, Steffen Peters claimed his seventh title in the division under the lights, while earlier in the day Kim Herslow and Rosmarin claimed their first National Title in The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship. Barbara "Bebe" Davis won the AGCO/USEF Junior Dressage National Championship title in her first attempt at the annual competition, while Alison Redston and Tony 47 led the victory gallop in the USEF Pony Rider Dressage National Championship. The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship Grand Prix competition came to a conclusion under the lights of the Rolex Stadium as the eight competitors rode their Freestyle tests to earn the remaining 15% of their championship score.
Peters (San Diego, Calif.) scored a repeat victory with Four Winds Farm's Legolas 92, as he cruised to an unprecedented seventh National Title in the Grand Prix division. The Olympic veteran pulled out all the stops with the 11-year-old Westphalian gelding as he produced strong piaffe and passage, as well as improved one-time changes. The talented combination concluded their Freestyle with an impressive pirouette in piaffe directly into halt on the centerline as they scored 79.450%.
"This was the best freestyle for sure. He felt great in the warm-up and I just hoped I could do that in the ring," said Peters of Legolas 92. "Right-off from the first step he felt as supple as in the warm-up. He stayed right with the music. I couldn't be happier."
The pair finished on a championship total of 76.476%.
Looking toward the future and preparation for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Peters will rely on advice from Chef d'Equipe/Technical Advisor Robert Dover in planning for the future months.
"I have not thought about it," said Peters. "California, Florida, we'll think about it and I'm sure Robert will weigh-in on that."
Earning second place in the Freestyle and Reserve Champion honors overall was Guenter Seidel (Cardiff, Calif.) and Coral Reef Wylea. Coral Reef Ranch's 13-year-old Westphalian mare earned a 76.450% in the Freestyle to finish on a championship score of 72.404%.
Despite a mistake in the two-time changes, Seidel was extremely pleased with the mare and believes she improved from Friday night's Grand Prix Special.
"I thought she was great; there was the obvious mistake in the twos but it worked out great. In general, I thought she was better than the night before. Definitely, she felt good."
Earning third place in the championship was Kathleen Raine (Murrieta, Calif.) and her own, Jennifer Mason, and David Wightman's 13-year-old Hanoverian mare Breanna. The pair finished the Freestyle with a score of 70.225% and earned a championship score of 71.213%.