Steffen Peters Tops Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI-YJ3* with Legolas 92 and Vaya Con Dios

Monday, March 11, 2013
Posted by Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com


Steffen Peters and Legolas (Photo: © Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com)
Steffen Peters and Legolas (Photo: © Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com)
Del Mar, CA - Once again the 2013 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI-YJ3* held at the Del Mar Horse Park was packed with competitors. Unfortunately, the inclement weather made for creative changes to the dressage show schedule. Without the use of the outdoor rings, the show was moved indoors and proceeded as promised. The CDI classes featured many of the top riders in the U.S. showcasing their finest of mounts. For the spectator, the FEI Grand Prix Test was a delight. Current number one horse in the world Legolas 92, owned by Four Winds Farm, gave an outstanding test as Steffen Peters directed him to a 74.064%. Steffen would not only garner the Grand Prix Test win but he also earned the top placing in the FEI Prix. St. Georges with Vaya Con Dios, owned by Paula Howard. FEI Young Rider Amelia Child and Veto, owned by, Stahl Child Dressage LLC earned the first day team test championship adding a big win to her Young Rider resume.With horse Legolas 92 and Vaya Con Dios earning the championships in their respective divisions Steffen was pleased with Friday’s results. “Any day you win the Prix st George and the Grand Prix together is a good day at the office, smiled Peters. “That was the best score I have had so far with Legolas. The flying changes, two-tempis and one tempis have been extremely difficult but the two worked out great and the 14 one tempis worked out great. I was so happy with him after the 14th one tempi that I almost forgot about the 15th making the 15th change and a little short behind.”

He continued, “I was still extremely happy Legolas was very nervous coming into that ring and he settled down throughout the test. It was very exciting. The piaffe and passage felt great. He was much more supple in the trot and the zig-zag half passes and the pirouettes are getting smaller. This test was exactly what I had in mind because the next two shows are even bigger. We have the five star in Florida coming up in April and then we go to Europe. If he can stay at this rideability, this energy and this relaxation in the walk I will be super happy.”

Earning the second place in the FEI Grand Prix Test was Güenter Seidel and Coral Reef Wylea, owned Coral Reef Ranch. The new duo is continuing to impress as their partnership takes shape.

With the 2012 Olympics in the year books Steffen Peters is taking the 2013 year to build his team. Like Seidel, Peters has a new mount already showing great promise. Vaya Con Dios demonstrated a very well executed Prix St. George test earning the championship with a 72.132%.

Steffen Peters and up and coming small tour star - Vaya Con Dios (Photo: © Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com)
Steffen Peters and up and coming small tour star - Vaya Con Dios (Photo: © Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com)
Peters commented, “I am very happy with Vaya Con Dios. It’s still early in the game for him. He has done one Intermediaire I and few Prix St Georges. It’s exciting how far he has come along. He had a career as a jumper before and he switched very quickly. I feel very happy that Paula and Bob Howard let me ride him. Anytime you get a good young horse in the barn, it’s still exciting even after all of those years. This is the most energetic Vaya Con Dios has been. Normally he’s extremely laid back but, he was very awake in the warm-up and show arena. He did have a very relaxed walk which is exactly how I wanted him. The pirouette has been difficult with him and those worked out great. He has fun feeling trot, his back is swinging beautifully and he’s very steady and light in the contact and he is consistent.”

Team Peters have always enjoyed showing at the Dressage Affaire and have continued to bring their horses back year after year. Steffen Peters noted, “This is always a great show. The covered arena has great footing and Kim (Keenan) does an awesome job. I was excited by the number of entries we had at this show. Having a great show like this is great for Team Peters.”

He continued, “I am so happy with our team and I would like to thank my wife Shannon for being the Director of Operations. It’s so neat to have a person there managing everything. I do the riding but there is so much managing going on behind the scenes and honestly I don’t think any one does it better.”

Young Rider Amelia Child concurred that a strong support network is what makes a great team. I am thankful to my trainer Sue Martin and I am grateful to my parents for allowing me the ability to do the sport I love,” expressed Child.

Amelia Child and Veto (Photo: © Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com)
Amelia Child and Veto (Photo: © Lindsay McCall for HorseGirlTV.com)
Amelia Child and Veto showcased a skillful execution of the FEI Young Rider Team Test while keeping a constant smile in her expression. “My test was great,” explained Child. “It’s silly because it’s the Prix St George test and everyone thinks the tricks are the hardest part but for us it’s the walk to canter transition. If I don’t get him in self-carriage and up in his poll in the walk, then all of my canter work is bad. His zig-zag is still is hardest part but he is still pretty green. Last year was our first year at this level and this is our second. He has gained so much strength since then and I am so elated. He looks completely different than he did last year. My favorite part of our test was when I picked up the canter. I was able collect him really well on the short side in the corner and when we went into the half pass he just floated over. I also enjoyed his extensions. He loves to do extensions. He just bombed those; Bombed in a good way. I feel like if you, as a rider, push as much as you can hold, then the movement works out great. I hate riding out there and thinking I could have done more. I love to go for it and I know he likes it. He has so much personality so we have to keep it like a game for him. As soon as he finds out he is working our job is gong to be much harder.”

Child continued, “It’s gotten a lot easier with the strength he has acquired. We have been working on training him above Prix St. George including passage training. That has really helped him. He’s got it he just has to use it.”

Saturday’s 2013 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire continues with USEF/FEI Grand Prix, USEF/FEI Grand Prix Special, USEF Developing Horse and Brentina Cup Classes, CDI/FEI Young Rider Individual Test, CDI/FEI Intermediare I Test, and CDI/FEI Grand Prix Special with awards to follow.

On Sunday the USEF/USDF Freestyle Classes, Pas de Deux Exhibition, CDI/FEI Young Rider Freestyle Test, CDI/FEI Intermediare I Freestyle Test, and the exciting CDI/FEI Rancho Valencia Grand Prix Freestyle Test will occur with an awards ceremony to follow.

Class 4 – (CDI) FEI Grand Prix Test – 3/8/2013
McDonald (USA) at E; Lopez (POR) at H; Jena (SWE) at C; Zang (USA) at M; Macartney (CAN) at B

Placing, Horse Name, Rider, Owner, Score
1. Legolas 92, Steffen Peters, Four Winds Farm Percent: 74.064%
2. Coral Reef Wylea, Guenter Seidel, Coral Reef Ranch, Percent: 69.064%
3. Ikaros, David Blake, Melanie Pai, Percent: 67.277%
4. Winslow, Kimberly McGrath, Arianthi Ferronato, Percent: 65.936%
5. Breanna, Kathleen Raine, Kathleen Raine, Percent: 65.872%
6. Lex, Sue Martin, Marie Earl, Percent: 63.085%

Class 1 – (CDI) FEI Prix St.Georges Test – 3/8/2013
Zang (USA) at E; Macartney (CAN) at H; McDonald (USA) at C; Lopez (POR) at M; Jena (SWE) at B

Placing, Horse Name, Rider, Owner, Score
1. Vaya con Dios, Steffen Peters, Paula Howard Percent: 72.132%
2. Pretty Lady, Brandi Roenick, Brandi Roenick, Percent: 66.132%
3. Descartes, Jan Ebeling, Cathy Shelton Percent: 65.447%
4. Discovery, Jenny Baldwin, Elizabeth Israel, Percent: 63.263%
5. Weltino’s Magic, Brandi Roenick, Jen Hlavacek Percent: 63.026%
6. Uiver, Terri Rocovich, Terri Rocovich, Percent: 62.895%

Class 10 – (CDI) FEI Young Rider Team Test – 3/8/2013
McDonald (USA) at C; Lopez (POR) at M; Jena (SWE) at B; Macartney (CAN) at H; Zang (USA) at E

Placing, Horse Name, Rider, Owner, Score
1. Veto Amelia Child Stahl Child Dressage LLC, Percent: 64.579%
2. Woden Cassidy Gallman Cassidy Gallman, Percent: 59.737%