By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, Jan. 27–Steffen Peters and Ravel won the Word Dressage Masters Grand Prix with a personal best score of 81.468 per cent, beating his previous best at the same event a year ago.
In a fault-free test, the California rider and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding beat the new star British combination of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro who were second on 78.468 per cent with Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfvén and Favourit third on 73.149 per cent and Adrienne Lyle of Ketchm, Idaho, and Wizard in fourth place on 72.149 per cent.
All five of the judges at the event that was designated a CDI4* instead of its original rating of a CDI5* because some enntrants did not have qualifying scores, gave Steffen marks above 80 per cent.
About 1,000 spectators watched the event that is in its fourth year in South Florida.
Steffen, of San Diego, California, said that Ravel feels stronger than a year ago, more supple and easy in the bridle.
With the Olympics ahead of the pair this year, he said that Ravel is “getting consistently better and it is silly to push for more. Our job is to maintain what we have. I’m confident we have the team to take care of this and maintain exactly what we have.”
Charlotte said that Valegro got into the arena and was , “Wow! He was keen to go.” A poor entry was expensive and the pirouettes and zigzag was “not so good, either.”
“But he did some really amazing things.” she said. “He’s young still so I have to forgive him.”
She said that they plan to compete at the CDI5* in Munich, Germany, May 17-20.
Adrienne Lyle said she wondered how Wizard would behave in the arena with spectator stands all around and full of spectators, more like a European indoor show.
But he was well behaved and turned in his second best performance at the Grand Prix, and in front of Parry Thomas, now 90 years old, whose wife Peggy, owns the 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding. The Thomases own Brentina ridden by Debbie McDonald who now coaches Adrienne.
“Maybe he’s growing up,” Adrienne said.
Tinne, the Swedish multi Olympian who is spending her second winter in Florida, had not ridden Favourit since the European Championships last August and wanted to see how he would perform. The horse appeared more confident as the ride went on and she said she was very happy ahead of Saturday’s Freestyle when she will debut her new music from Cees Slings.
1. Steffen Peters (USA) – Ravel – 81.383%
2. Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) – Valegro – 78.468%
3. Tinne Vilhelmsson-Silfven (SWE) – Favourit – 73.255%
4. Adrienne Lyle (USA) – Wizard – 72.149%
5. Anja Plönzke (GER) – Le Mont d’Or – 71.404%
T5. Ashley Holzer (CAN) – Pop Art – 71.404%
7. Heather Blitz (USA) – Paragon – 71.000%
8. Carl Hester (GBR) – Wie Atlantico – 69.979%
9. Todd Flettrich (USA) – Otto – 69.638%
10. Tina Konyot (USA) – Calecto V – 68.447%
11. Minna Telde (SWE) – Deinhardt – 66.787%
12. Pierre St. Jacques (USA) – Lucky Tiger – 66.021%
13. Per Sandgaard (SWE) – Lomumba Havdal – 65.894%
14. James Koford (USA) – Pharoah – 64.809%
15. Yvonne Losos de Muñiz (DOM) – Liebling II – 62.255%
16. Victoria Winter (CAN) – Proton – 60.426%