Matthias Alexander Rath wins the “Deutsche Bank Prize”, Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle, American rider Steffen Peters Wins the Crowd

Monday, July 18, 2011
Posted by Mary Phelps



When the result of Steffen Peters and Ravel’s score was announced 82.000 following Matthias Alexander Rath and Totilas in Sunday’s Deutsche Bank Preis Deutsche Bank Grand Prix Freestyle with an 82.825 the mostly German crowd expressed their displeasure with the outcome in a loud reaction. If it had been up to the crowd the American rider Steffen Peters would have been the winner. The magnificent Dutch Stallion Totilas now competing for Germany with Matthias Alexander Rath made mistakes but once again his dramatic movements made up for them in the judging totals in spite of the harmonious correct and consistent performance with a much greater degree of difficulty presented by Peters and Ravel. Riding to a new freestyle from the music of Avatar compiled for Peters by Freestyle creator Terry Ciotti Gallo Peters clearly displayed a brilliant ride bringing his wife and co trainer Shannon Peters to tears as she watched from the edge of the arena.


Peters, who won the Grand Prix of Aachen in 2009, was awarded a score of 82.00 percent for his performance on the 13-year-old KWPN gelding, Ravel. “It is a dream come true to finish so close behind Totilas. This was an amazing show for me here; the crowd was really behind Ravel and me. It was a fantastic experience and the perfect conclusion of a wonderful time in Aachen. Ravel performed a super freestyle here, he spooked a bit because of the cameras, but otherwise everything went extremely well,” reported Peters, who runs a dressage yard in San Diego, California.


“I am delighted that I was able to win here three times in a sold-out stadium,“ said Matthias Alexander Rath overjoyed after his ride on Totilas in the “Deutsche Bank Prize“, the Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO. “Now we can return home with a great feeling and train for three or four weeks in a tranquil and fully concentrated atmosphere.” Totilas and Matthias Alexander Rath scored 82.825 percent and managed to narrowly take the lead. Mistakes in the flying-changes in the freestyle routine that was choreographed especially for Totilas instrumentalised by the DJ and producer, Paul van Dyk, cost him points.


The Dutch dressage star Adelinde Cornelissen finished third with her World Cup winner, Jerich Parzival, (81.775 percent). The pair made a few mistakes – the chestnut horse fell into canter twice in the half-passes in trot – had included some very difficult movements into her freestyle including a piaffe pirouette with a change of direction.


The British rider, Laura Bechtolzheimer, who ranked fourth with a score of 79.825 percent, had set her aims high. “I put myself under enormous pressure, because I wanted to win here,” the 2010 World Championship silver medallist admitted. “But it was bound to happen sometime or other that things didn’t go as perfectly as I’d planned. It is a shame, but now I am just pleased it happened here so I can concentrate on myself again in future. I simply put myself under too much pressure,” said Bechtolzheimer, who made several mistakes including falling into canter twice in the extensions in trot and a mistake in the transition into the flying-changes every stride.

Christoph Koschel (Hagen a.T.W.) finished fifth with Donnperignon. The pair were awarded a score of 79.7 percent for their almost flawless freestyle routine.

Isabell Werth, who rode the 10-year-old Ehrentusch son, El Santo NRW, was disappointed with her freestyle score. In her difficult freestyle routine to brand new David Bowie music “Ernie“ made a mistake in the pirouette when he spooked – was awarded a score of 78.725 percent from the judges: Sixth place.