April 2016 - Dressage Affaire Highlights
Written by CRM
Thursday, 31 March 2016 01:14
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Return of international division ups the ante at California Dreaming Productions’ March competition in Del Mar.

This year’s Dressage Affaire CDI marked the successful return of the international portion of the show after a two-year absence, and also provided an additional opportunity for USEF Dressage Technical Advisor/Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover to observe talented prospects in California.

Steffen Peters & Legolas 92. Photo: Erpelding Photography

“There is a wealth of great riding out here on the West Coast,” said Dover during an on-air interview with CDP Live commentator Axel Steiner. “There have been so many super riders here for years that have not only achieved greatness themselves but have mentored other great up-and-coming riders, so I was happy to be able to be here.”

Steffen Peters & Legolas 92

As the distinctive opening bass line of Under Pressure rang out in the covered arena at the Del Mar Horse Park with the voiceover “Hi, I’m Legolas, let’s go!,” there was no doubt that Legolas 92 was back in top form as he and Steffen Peters posted the second-highest Grand Prix Freestyle score of their career. The veteran U.S. Dressage Team pair’s winning score of 82% was also the best of any other American team contender in the current Olympic selection year, second only to their own career best score of 84.050% earned at the LA Winter Dressage CDI in Burbank in January.

“One of the judges spoke with me during the awards and said it was the best she’d ever seen Legolas look,” said Peters of Four Winds Farm’s Westfalen gelding (Laomedon x Fuerstin by Florestan II). “We had two clean, confident tests this weekend and I’m just thrilled with him. He feels great and hopefully we can keep him this relaxed for the rest of the season so he can continue to show at his best.”

Anna Buffini & Wilton 11 celebrate their wins in the Under-25 division. Photo: Terri Miller.

Anna Buffini & Wilton 11

After sweeping the Under-25 division at the Mid-Winter Dressage CDI in Burbank in February, Anna Buffini and her KWPN gelding Wilton 11 (Jazz x Olympia-W by Contango) continue to be unbeatable at this level as they dominated the CDI Under-25 Intermediaire II class with 71.096%

Guenter Seidel & Zero Gravity easily win the CDI Grand Prix Special on the final day of The Dressage Affaire CDI3*. Photo: Terri Miller

Guenter Seidel & Zero Gravity

“It’s all coming together now,” said Olympian Guenter Seidel after his winning ride in the Grand Prix Special on the final day of competition. Next-to-last to go in the class order, he and his mount Zero Gravity easily cruised to the top of the leaderboard and earned the unanimous win under all five judges with a score of 73.471%.

Guenter and Zero Gravity (KWPN gelding [Royal Hit x Naica by Contango] owned by James and Charlotte Mashburn) proved they are on a roll. Prior to Sunday’s Grand Prix Special win, they came off of a solid performance and second-place ribbon in Friday’s Grand Prix test. This was preceded by a big win in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the Mid-Winter Dressage CDI-W in Burbank– a victory which also punched the pair’s ticket to last month’s World Cup Finals in Sweden.

Shayna Simon & Harley Davidson in the Prix St. Georges. Photo: Erpelding Photography

Shayna Simon & Harley Davidson

After earning their first international victory at the LA Winter Dressage CDI in January, Shayna and Harley Davidson (His Highness x Walt Lady by Walt Disney I) took home reserve honors today in the Intermediare I, with a personal best CDI score at this level of 71.868%.

They were second only to Steffen and a new mount, Four Winds Farm’s flashy chestnut Oldenburg Bailarino (Breitling W x Schila by De Niro). In a repeat of Friday’s Prix St. Georges test, the gelding made the more challenging Intermediaire I test look effortless and even improved his score from the previous day to dominate the class 75.737% in his international debut.

Second to Peters and Bailarino in the Prix St. Georges was Peters’ 2012 Olympic Games teammate Jan Ebeling with Ann Romney’s Hanoverian Bakari (Breitling W x Come Back by Cavan Blue Hors), with a 70.526%. 

Other Highlights

In the CDI Young Riders Team Prix St. Georges Test, a solid performance earned Lauren Asher the hard-fought victory aboard her Hanoverian gelding De Noir 3 (Hanoverian gelding De Niro x Maharani by Matcho AA) with 70.737%. This elegant pair earned their first CDI victory together in January at the LA Winter Dressage CDI in Burbank, and now continue to find success in Del Mar by edging out Ehren Volk and the Westfalen gelding Weltino’s Magic (Weltino x Diva by Diamond Boy, owned by Jen and Bruce Hlavacek) with 69.447%.

Meanwhile, Veronica West and her own black Hanoverian gelding Nobleman (Hatiello XX x Weira by Wenzel II) were members of last year’s silver medal-winning team at the FEI North American Junior Dressage Championship and they once again look poised to contend for the Region 7 team as they earned the unanimous win in the Junior Team Test with an overall score of 68.257% over Christian Simonson aboard Herzkonig (Hanoverian gelding, His Highness x Fuchs by Weltmeyer) on 64.108%.

Report excerpted from Yellow Horse Marketing press releases.