Steffen Peters and Akiko Yamazaki’s Ravel had another good night, winning the Grand Prix freestyle at the Del Mar CDI by almost 10 percentage points over Guenter Seidel and U II.
Ravel’s freestyle, performed to music by Coldplay and The Rolling Stones, earned them 81.30 percent.
“I was really happy,” Peters said. “He was even more supple and a little more expressive tonight than in the Grand Prix.”
The freestyle class had only five entries, but the class was still well attended by spectators. Though the crowd unsettled a few horses, Ravel never got flustered in the arena. His freestyle showcased his pirouettes and half-pass, and he and Steffen seemed in perfect harmony.
“We just had one little short step in the left canter pirouette, and the rest felt just super. Anytime it’s over 80 percent that’s all good. I’m happy, but there’s always room for improvement,” Steffen said.
Before their next outing, Peters said he might alter the freestyle slightly, though the music will stay the same.
“We’ve tried some different things, but I’m so in tune with that music,” Peters said. “I know where I need to be at what stride and what part of the arena I need to be in, and I think that would be really hard to do with new music.”
Though Steffen said he has occasionally been criticized for his music, he has always enjoyed riding to it.
“It’s simply music that I like,” he said. “I always said this is about fun. You’d better love the music you pick. It’s something I listened to when I was a kid, at least 25 years younger. Ravel seems to like it.”
Seidel and U II, owned by Richard and Jane Brown, earned a 71.85 percent for their freestyle. It was U II’s first time under the lights in a covered arena, and he spooked during his tempi changes. Seidel was otherwise delighted with the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood’s performance.
“I was super happy with him. It’s a very easy freestyle at this point so it can’t score that high at this point, but I’ll change that as he comes along,” Seidel, Cardiff, Calif., said. “I was very pleased with his whole behavior and the way he rode. It was beautiful.”
Peters also won the Intermediaire I class with Pallas today, May 1. Watch Ravel’s winning test:
Full results available at FoxVillage.com.