The United States closed out a strong showing at the Fritzens CDI**** in Austria on Sunday as seven members of the short list for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team went to task in Grand Prix competition. In the freestyle, Steffen Peters led the effort that saw the Americans take three of the top four placings. In the Grand Prix Special, Laura Graves was second and the top placing of four U.S. riders within the top seven.
"Fritzens was a fantastic show for our American squad, and we are all so grateful to Klaus Haim and Evelyn Haim-Swarovski for everything they did to make it so. I could not be more proud of all our riders and horses and thank them, the grooms, supporters, and, of course, Dr. Rick Mitchell and Jenny Van Wieren Page for their tremendous efforts on behalf of the team," said U.S. Dressage Chef d'Equipe Robert Dover. "Super results prove again that the United States is on the march toward excellence."
Grand Prix Freestyle
Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Four Winds Farm's Legolas 92 produced another solid effort in Austria to capture their second second-placed finish of the weekend. On Sunday, July 6, the 12-year-old Westphalian, who has won three national titles with Peters, scored 78.92 percent to earn reserve honors.
Austria's Victoria Max-Theurer proved to be a popular winner in front of her home nation, as she topped freestyle competition with Augustin OLD on a score of 80.73 percent.
Finishing little more than 1.5 points behind Peters in third place was Adrienne Lyle and Peggy Thomas' 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Wizard. Riding their trademark freestyle, the combination scored 77.37 percent.
Tina Konyot (Palm City, Fla.) and her own 15-year-old Danish Warmblood Calecto V were the final U.S. combination in the freestyle, finishing in fourth place on a score of 76.40 percent.
Grand Prix Special
Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades continued to impress in Fritzens as they earned a second-placed finish on Sunday morning. The 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood, who is in his first year competing at Grand Prix, scored 73.70 percent in the Grand Prix to finish a single point behind the class winners. Max-Theurer and Blind Date were Sunday morning's victors in the Grand Prix Special with a score of 74.72 percent.
Finishing in fourth and fifth places, respectively, in the Special were Caroline Roffman and Shelly Francis. Roffman (Wellington, Fla.) and her own 11-year-old Hanoverian mare Her Highness O earned a score of 72.17 percent to land in fourth. Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Patricia Stempl's 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Doktor, finished one place behind them after scoring 71.92 percent.
Lisa Wilcox (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Betty Wells' 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding Denzello showed improvement over the Grand Prix test in Sunday's Special to earn a seventh-place finish with a score of 70.05 percent.