Wellington, FL- The 2010 Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games Dressage Team USA will be reunited again when double bronze medallist Steffen Peters travels from California with Akiko Yamazaki's gelding Ravel for the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach March 9-11. Florida based teammates Tina Konyot, Todd Flettrich and Catherine Bateson-Chandler join four additional North American riders who have been invited including Canadian Holzer the second highest placed North American at the WEG, finishing eighth in the Freestyle on the popular Pop Art. The World Dressage Masters the richest and most prestigious dressage series in the world begins the 2011 Tour in America.
All riders are familiar faces at the Masters, which is the richest and most prestigious dressage series in the world. Peters won the Grand Prix and was third in the Freestyle at the 2009 WDM Palm Beach, and Holzer finished right behind him, second and fourth. In 2010, Peters won the Grand Prix for the second time at the WDM Palm Beach and was second in the freestyle, while Holzer placed fourth in both classes.
"I'm hoping three's the charm," says Peters about his third appearance at the 2011 WDM Palm Beach. "Ravel is actually doing better than he was at WEG, according to my trainer Shannon Peters. I'm really looking forward to the Masters."
Peters says that the World Dressage Masters is the only opportunity for North American riders to compete on home soil against Europe's best, apart from when a major championship is occasionally held in North America. "This is the only chance we have for the European riders to come to us. If the World Dressage Masters can keep on inviting European riders annually, it has a huge benefit for the US, and helps to keep the momentum we have seen develop in dressage in this country."
Based on the USEF Grand Prix Rankings, the following American riders have been invited to compete at the WDM Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach:
Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA)
Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA)- the only American dressage rider to win individual medals at the World Equestrian Games, Peters is currently fourth on the FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking. A two-time Olympian, he became the first American to win the World Cup Dressage Final on American soil in Las Vegas, NV in 2009. Steffen Peters and Ravel owned by Akiko Yamazaki were also the winners of the Grand Prix in Aachen Germany in 2009, helping to earn them the prestigeous title of USEF Equestrian of the Year and Ravel USEF Horse of the Year. Peters and Ravel will be travelling across the United States for a rare appearance on the East Coast.
(North Stonington, CT) - Konyot was the second highest placed American team member at the 2010 WEG. They pair won the 2010 USEF National Dressage Grand Prix Championship at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, New Jersey. She also competed at the 2010 WDM Palm Beach. The 2011 season started strong for Konyot and her Danish Warmblood stallion Calecto V. The pair won the Grand Prix at the Gold Coast Dressage CDI-W in January, and won both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the Wellington Classic Dressage CDI-W three weeks later.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, FL)
Katherine Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, FL)- Chandler was a member of the US Dressage Team at the 2010 WEG riding Jane Forbes Clark's Nartan. She has had multiple wins at the Small Tour and Grand Prix level with several horses over the past five years. In 2009 Bateson-Chandler were the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Prix St Georges/Intermediaire Champions with Jane Forbes Clark's Dea II. Bateson-Chandler for years was the protege of Robert Dover who she worked for managing his stable operation before venturing on her own into the High performance arena of International Dressage. United just a few short months with her WEG mount Nartan, Bateson-Chandler and the expressive bay gelding by Jazz made the connection with an impressive team debut in Kentucky.
Todd Flettrich (Coatesville, PA)
Todd Flettrich (Coatesville, PA)- a past individual gold medalist at the NAYRC, Flettrich was a member of the US Dressage Team at the 2010 WEG on Margaret Duprey's Otto. Purchased in 2009, Flettrich made tremendous headway with otto in the High Performance ranks moving into team position after his second place at the National Dressage Championships 2010. This success earned Flettrich and Otto a trip to CHIO Aachen, Germany in order to tune up for the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games. Longtime trainer and dressage professional, Flettrich is based on the east coast in Pennsylvania and Florida.
Pierre St. Jacques (Anthony, FL)
Pierre St. Jacques (Anthony, FL)- At the 2003 Pan American Games, St. Jacques was a member of the gold medal-winning US Dressage Team. An alternate for the 2010 US WEG Dressage team, he placed fourth in the Grand Prix Special at the 2010 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach. St. Jacques and Lucky Tiger had the distinct priviledge of performing the test rides at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games, impressing the international judges' panel.
Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) - Ebeling helped the US team win gold at the 2003 Pan American Games, where he was the highest placed individual, fifth overall. He competed at the 2009 WDM Palm Beach and was an alternate for the 2010 WEG dressage team. Ebeling
The following Canadian riders have been invited to to compete at the WDM Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach: Ashley Holzer (Toronto, ON)
Ashley Holzer (Toronto, ON)- Holzer is the most successful Canadian dressage rider of the past twenty years. She was a member of Canada's bronze medalist 1988 Olympic Dressage Team which won the only dressage medal Canada has ever achieved at an Olympic Games. She has been a member of Canada's team at World and Olympic championships continuously since 2002. Holzer was the Equine Canada Equestrian Athlete of the Year for 2009. Ashely and the popular Pop Art finished eighth in the world after their entertaining freestyle at the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games. Holzer who winters in Wellington, Florida, has a large training operation with many students and horses in training.
Evi Strasser (Ste-Adele, QC)
Evi Strasser (Ste-Adele, QC)- a veteran of Canadian Olympic and WEG teams, Strasser is ranked fourth on the Nürnberger WDM Rider Ranking 2010-2011. She has made multiple appearances at WDM competitions in both Europe and Florida.
Coming to America from Europe vying for the prize money and to meet head to head with their North American competition are Tinne Vilhemsson-Silfven of Sweden, Anne Van Olst (DEN), Michal Rapcewicz (POL), Valentina Truppa (ITA) ,Anja Ploenzke (GER) and Christa Laarakkers (NED).
WDM Palm Beach has awarded a wild card for a third Canadian rider to compete at the 2011 WDM Palm Beach. In addition, the two top placed riders from the Grand Prix test at the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge II CDI3* that is taking place concurrently with the WDM Palm Beach, will be invited to compete in the WDM Palm Beach.
World Dressage Masters Palm Beach Fast Facts:
What: North America's only CDI5*, and part of the richest dressage series in the world. Up to twenty of the world's top dressage stars will compete for 100,000 Euros in prize money at the WDM Palm Beach.
Wednesday March 9th, 1:00 pm:CDI5* horse inspection
Thursday March 10th, 1:00 pm:CDI5* Grand Prix
Friday, March 11th, 1:00 pm:CDI5*Grand Prix Special
Friday, March 11th, 6:00 pm: CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle
Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
Okeeheelee Park South
7500 Forest Hill Blvd,
West Palm Beach, FL 33413
Producer: Wellington Classic Dressage
Noreen O'Sullivan 561-714-9026 or John Flanagan 561-714-9058.
WDM Palm Beach Presenting Sponsor: International Polo Club Palm Beach
Additional WDM Palm Beach Sponsor: Akiko Yamazaki
WDM Presenting Partner: Axel Johnson Group
WDM Official partners: Team EXQUIS, Moorland Investments and Moorland Stables, Nürnberger Versicherungsgruppe
WDM Official supplier: Jerich International
WDM series 2011: 425,000 Euros in prize money awarded at four individual events:
Palm Beach (USA)
Ticket pricing and information: www.internationalpoloclub.com
Maria Feola at 561-282-5334 - firstname.lastname@example.org - or Julie Pickens at 561-282-5343. Ticket prices begin at $150, including a five course gourmet French meal catered by International Polo Club Catering. A limited number of general admission tickets are available at a price of $80. They must be purchased on line and in advance.
Parking: Valet if desired.
Media Contacts: Mason Phelps 561-371-0118 or Karen Robinson 561-383-1425