Peters Thrills Crowd With 82% in Grand Prix Freestyle at California’s Dressage Affaire CDI3*

Credit : Scoopdyga

Monday 14 March - 03h19 | Jennifer Keeler

Peters Thrills Crowd With 82% in Grand Prix Freestyle at California’s Dressage Affaire CDI3*

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 at California Dreaming Productions’ Dressage Affaire CDI3*/Y/J/U-25, held March 10-13. 

The veteran U.S. Dressage Team pair’s winning score of 82.000% 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.” Finishing in second was Kimberly McGrath riding Arianthi Ferronato’s KWPN gelding Winslow (Obelisk x Marree x Houston) with 74.002%.

Now the veterans of multiple championships together, Peters knows that his partner can be on the sensitive side when it comes to freestyles so he set Legolas up to succeed in Del Mar with a recent addition to his equipment. “Today Legolas was wearing new padded ear covers, and I’m so glad the FEI approved the use of them this year,” Peters explained. “The jumpers are allowed to wear them and I always felt that it was only fair to allow some ear protection and make it a bit more comfortable for our dressage horses in the freestyle, especially the noise-sensitive ones. It certainly seemed to make him more comfortable, especially in the indoor environment where the loud music really echoes around in a smaller space. He responded positively when we worked with it at home, so we decided to try it here at Del Mar and now it will be part of our plan for the future. So I sincerely thank the FEI for allowing this, not just from me but especially from Legolas.” Peters noted that Legolas will now take a short break before participating in one final prep show at Del Mar in late April, then head to Europe in late May to begin preparations for the final Olympic Games selections.

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