Steffen Peters Sets the Standard in Grand Prix Division While Sanceo Shines in Small Tour

Written by Yellow Horse Marketing (Jennifer M. Keeler) for California Dreaming Productions - In Dressage - Sunday, February 22, 2015

Steffen Peters & Legolas 92 on their way to a personal best Grand Prix score. Photo by Terri Miller

The West Coast 2015 CDI season got off to a hotly-contested start on Friday as top riders and horses from the U.S. and Canada sought valuable qualifying scores for this year's Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final coming up in April in Las Vegas and the Pan American Games in July at the California Dreaming Productions' Mid-Winter Dressage CDI-W/Y/J/U-25, being held February 20 - 22 in Burbank. Despite the tough competition, both Steffen Peters and Sabine Schut-Kery rose to the occasion to win the first day's tests in their respective large and small tour divisions.

The Four Winds Farm's Westfalen gelding, Legolas 92'(Laomedon x Fuerstin by Florestan II), whose commanding performance earned multiple marks of 10 on their way to earning a personal best Grand Prix score of 77.880% over fellow Californians Kathleen Raine and Breanna (Brentano II x World Queen by Weltmeyer) with 71.280%.

"We saw some nice up-and-coming horses with lots of potential today," said CDI judge Jeanne McDonald (4* USA). She was most impressed with Steffen Peters and Legolas 92's domination of the Grand Prix Test. "That was the best I've ever seen Legolas - it was special," said McDonald.

Peters said, "Our ride today felt wonderful and I was thinking to myself, 'boy this is one of his best goes ever', and I hoped the score would reflect that." After a somewhat disappointing Grand Prix performance last month in Florida, Peters returned home to California to restore the pair's confidence - and the strategy worked. "He was so beautiful to ride and soft in my hands, and when he's like that I know I can really go for it. It was a wonderful ride," Peters explained. "We've competed here at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center for many years, and there's so many wonderful memories here. It's a special place and it's good to be home."

The FEI Prix St George

Emerging the victor from a large CDI Prix St. Georges Test with a winning score of 72.763% were longtime partners Sabine Schut-Kery and Alice Womble-Heightman's elegant bay Hanoverian stallion Sanceo (San Remo x Rivera by Ramiro's Son II).Sabine Schut-Kery & Sanceo show off their winning form in the CDI Prix St. Georges. Photo by Terri Miller

The reigning 2014 Markel/USEF National Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Champions are off to another banner year, having also just returned from a trip to Florida last month to now earn even more top scores in their home state of California in pursuit of a possible Pan Am Games team berth. "I think his consistency is one of his strongest points," said Schut-Kery of the nine-year-old stallion. "I was really happy with him - he felt energetic yet relaxed at the same time, and in front of me the whole way. I have every confidence in him, and I think that comes from the fact that we've been together since he was a young horse. There are still a few small things we can improve here and there, so I think there's even more room for improvement."

Finishing a close second in the hard-fought class was Elizabeth Ball riding Cadence LLC's Dutch Warmblood gelding Avanti (Tuchinski x Fleur by Naturel) on a score of 72.053%.

See video of the winning ride on CDP Live!

In the CDI Young Rider division, 2014 NAJYRC Gold Medalist Catherine Chamberlain debuted a new mount in Kimberly Pribble's 10-year-old Dutch gelding Avesto Van Weltevreden (Gribaldi x Tevesta by Krack C) and handily won the Young Rider Team Prix St. Georges Test with 68.974%. Rounding out the CDI, 15-year-old Veronica West made her international debut a winning one by impressing the judges for a score of 70.486% and first-place honors in the Junior Team Test aboard her own black Hanoverian gelding Nobleman (Hatiello XX x Weira by Wenzel II).

CDI-W Burbank – FEI Grand Prix – February 20, 2015
Jury: Storr (GER) – Ringmark (SWE) - Whitham (CAN) - McDonald (USA) – Geikie (USA)
1° Steffen Peters (USA) – Legolas 77.880 %
2° Kathleen Raine (USA) – Breanna 71.280 %
3° Guenter Seidel (USA) – Zero Gravity 69.660 %
4° Heather Oleson (USA) – Victor 69.600 %
5° Jan Ebeling (USA) – Rassolini 68.740 %
6° Beatrice Marienau (USA) – Stefano 68.600 %
7° Kimberly McGrath (USA) – Winslow 67.920 %
8° Joni Lynn Peters (Canada) – Travolta 67.300 %
9° Michelle Reilly (USA) – Umeeko 66.880 %
10° Sarah Christy (USA) – Zamorin 65.480 %
11° Shannon Peters (USA) – Weltino’s Magic 64.620 %
12° Tracey Lert (USA) – Udo 63.520 %
13° Elizabeth Ball (USA) – Liaison 63.080 %
14° Hlda Gurney (USA) – Wintersnow 62.680 %
15° Lindsey Stroh (Canada) – Lancelot 62.580 %
16° Roanne Tuson (Canada) -Isleno XXXVII 62.100 %
17° Sherry van ‘t Riet (USA) – Sir Deauville 61.200 %
18° Wendy Christoff (Canada) – Treffer 59.840 %

Watch All the Action on CDP Live!

Also back by popular demand was "CDP Live", a live video-streaming feature which allowed viewers from around the world to watch all of the CDI action as it happened in conjunction with expert commentary by FEI 5* (ret) judge Axel Steiner. Live video streaming of CDI classes with expert commentary by FEI judge Axel Steiner resumes Saturday, February 21st at 8:00am PST on CDP Live.

A record-setting number of CDI entries made for non-stop action all day in the Los Angeles Equestrian Center's covered Equidome while riders, owners, trainers and fans enjoyed the comfortable atmosphere of the competitor lounge, VIP area, and hospitality services. "This CDI is significantly bigger than last year, and in fact is the largest CDI I've ever had - right up to the jog we still had quite a few riders on the waiting list hoping to get in," noted co-organizer Glenda McElroy. "We're just thrilled to see such support for our shows."