Burbank, California – At Cornerstone Event Management's Festival of the Horse, Debbie McDonald, Steffen Peters and Guenter Seidel collected some of the bigger wins. McDonald and Brentina took the blue in the CDI Grand Prix Special, Peters and Montango nabbed first in the CDI Intermediaire I and Seidel and the very impressive U II collected the blue ribbon in the USEF/Qualifier Developing Horse competition.
For McDonald, the win on the heels of her second-place finish in Friday's CDI Grand Prix was a sign that Brentina is fit enough to handle back-to-back days of competition. "At the end of the ride today, and even in the awards she was still fired up. It's a great feeling, although I'm sure inside she's tired but she's got such a big heart," McDonald said.
The 17-year-old Hanoverian mare sired by Brentano II and owned by Peggy and Perry Thomas of Hailey, Idaho, scored a 72.88 percent to take first place in the Grand Prix Special. Second went to Leslie Morse and Tip Top 962 with a score of 68.00 percent and third to Mette Rosencrantz and Basqueville with a score of 64.52. McDonald was clearly pleased that Brentina once again earned scores in the 70s after her second time out after more than a year out of competition.
"It was very great to feel that it was even better than yesterday and I know that she's not yet in her 100 percent form," McDonald said. Commenting on her chances of making the 2008 U.S. Olympic Dressage Team with Brentina, she said that "it's clear that there's a possibility now, that if the two of us can stay healthy it's possible to make it to the trials. When your horse is 17, you know that there are only so many rides left and each one means so much. I'm thankful for each I get now."