April 2018 - Del Mar Dressage Week
Written by CRM
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 19:58
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Olympians & a superstar send-off highlight historic competition’s agenda April 26-29.

Olympic and World Cup champions such as Steffen Peters, Guenter Seidel and Jan Ebeling are set to headline Dressage Week during the 73rd Del Mar National Horse Show, April 26-29 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Coming to defend his victory in last year’s G-2 Software CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle will be local favorite and four-time Olympian, Steffen Peters. One of the most decorated of all American Dressage riders, Peters boasts three Olympic Bronze Medals; four Pan American Gold Medals; and five top-five finishes out of four appearances at the World Equestrian Games. He has represented the U.S. at five World Cup Finals and was champion in 2009. Steffen has two horses in the CDI Large Tour this year, his 2018 winning partner, Rosamunde, and a new mount, Suppenkasper. Both are owned by Akiko Yamazaki’s Four Winds Farm.

Steffen Peters & Rosamonde on the victory lap after winning the G2 Software Systems CDI-W Musical Freestyle at last year’s Del Mar National. Photo: Terri Miller Photography

Throughout the four-day competition, national, international, amateur and junior horse and rider combinations will demonstrate a highly developed and mostly unseen communication between horse and rider. The word dressage comes from the French word “dresser,” which translates as “to train.” It has become a term used for a competitive sport and a system of training used to prepare the horse for any number of disciplines, improving strength and suppleness.

The horse show is free to spectators until Saturday afternoon. Each day has competitions featuring skilled riders of all ages vying for trophies and tri-colored ribbons. Saturday evening events are the only paid admission events at the three-week horse show. (Dressage Week is preceded by Western Week April 17-21 and followed by Hunter/Jumper Week May 1-6.) Food and beverage concessions as well as equestrian specialty shops are available to the public during the entire horse show within the Del Mar Arena.

A highlight of Dressage Week is the Evening of Musical Freestyles presented by Mossy Automotive Group, and featuring the G-2 Software Systems CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyles. Everything gets underway at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 28 and showcases many of the brightest stars in the sport of dressage. You needn’t be an expert to appreciate the elegance and athleticism demonstrated by these current, past and hopeful champions.

In addition to the competition, there will be a special Pas de Deux exhibition by well-known FEI competitors, Anna Buffini and Michelle Reilly, and a performance by the Main Attraction Drill Team. The Del Mar National is proud to be the host of another retirement for a famous champion, Legolas 92. (see sidebar, below.)

With a format similar to figure skating or gymnastic floor routines, Musical Freestyles are intricately planned competitions to music. Specific movements must be demonstrated, but sequence and the inclusion of elements with added degrees of difficulty are left up to the riders and coaches. Music is chosen to highlight the personality of the individual pairs. Communication between horse and rider is almost imperceptible as they execute an amazing representation of both art and sport.

Coming to the event can be either a casual or an upscale outing. Reserved stadium seats are $21, and reserved ringside boxes are $600 and include dinner. Boxes tend to sell quickly, it is recommended to reserve them early. Before the event begins, there will be live music and food and beverage concessions as well as specialty equestrian shops to explore.

The Del Mar National Horse Show is a showcase of equestrian sports. It includes the distinct disciplines of western, dressage and hunter/jumper in world-class competitions for three weeks from April 19 through May 6. Now in its 73nd year, DMNHS has earned international recognition as one of the most prestigious and historic equestrian events. Nearly 1,500 horse and rider teams compete to win in excess of $500,000 in cash and prizes. DMNHS is one of the few remaining horse shows offering multiple traveling perpetual trophies, in addition to individual class trophies and prize money. The show attracts nationally and internationally acclaimed horses and riders year after year.

The Del Mar National Horse Show is produced by the 22nd District Agricultural Association, a State of California agency, which owns and operates the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Find more information at www.delmarfairgrounds.com.

Article provided by Equestrian Concepts. Visit www.delmarnational.com for ticket information.

Bye, I’m Legolas 92: Fanfare & farewell for superstar dressage horse.

In 2013, the Del Mar National proudly hosted a retirement ceremony for Ravel, the two-time Olympian and World Cup Champion owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Jerry Yang’s Four Winds Farm and ridden by one of America’s top dressage riders, Steffen Peters. This year we are honored to be saluting another great champion from the same team – Legolas 92.

Del Mar fans were some of the first to witness the talent in this Westphalian gelding (Laomedon x Furstin x Florestan II) when he came on the scene in 2012 as the heir apparent to Ravel and won the CDI Grand Prix and Freestyle here. He went on to capture close to 50 CDI Grand Prix victories; won three consecutive U.S. Equestrian Federation National Grand Prix Dressage Championships (2012, 2013, and 2014); was named Westphalian Horse of the Year; National Dressage Horse of the Year; had impressive performances at the 2014 World Equestrian Games; 2015 FEI World Cup Dressage Final; and the famous Aachen (Germany) CDI5*.

Legolas 92 and Steffen earned Team and Individual Gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games and Team Bronze at the Rio Olympics.

Often described by Steffen as a “sensitive” horse and not always the easiest to ride, Legolas has nonetheless been a generous horse. In addition to the competition ring success he shared with Steffen, for the past couple of years he has been successful in the Grand Prix arena with Dawn White-O’Connor. Dawn is an up-and-coming young professional who has been an assistant at Steffen and Shannon Peters San Diego training facility for more than 10 years. Additionally, his long-time groom and “special person,” Eddie Garcia, was named Groom of the Year by the National Federation of Equestrian Sports.

Most notably, Legolas has given dressage fans a collection of incredible memories. Whether it is his workman-like precision in the Grand Prix test or the excitement of the contemporary freestyles he performed with music by David Bowie, The Who and U2. Once more we will hear “Hi, I’m Legolas” and remember all that is great about dressage and a great dressage horse.