Sunday, May. 26, 2024

Peters Pockets Another Grand Prix

Steffen Peters was in the hunt for his second National Grand Prix Championship in a row at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Dressage Championships. He went straight to the top of the leaderboard with this winning Grand Prix test aboard Lombardi 11 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., on June 14.

Last year Peters piaffed to victory aboard Floriano, but this year he passaged into first place (70.41%) with Lombardi over Kristina Harrison-Naness on Rociero XV (67.95%) and Michael Barisone and Neruda (67.45%).

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Steffen Peters was in the hunt for his second National Grand Prix Championship in a row at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Dressage Championships. He went straight to the top of the leaderboard with this winning Grand Prix test aboard Lombardi 11 at the U.S. Equestrian Team headquarters in Gladstone, N.J., on June 14.

Last year Peters piaffed to victory aboard Floriano, but this year he passaged into first place (70.41%) with Lombardi over Kristina Harrison-Naness on Rociero XV (67.95%) and Michael Barisone and Neruda (67.45%).

“There’s a huge difference in my comfort level with Lombardi,” admitted Peters. “Flori goes in there and does his job. I’m not quite there with Lombardi.”

The 16-year-old Holsteiner (Locato—Baroness X) showed off his brilliant gaits, expressive half-passes, forward, relaxed extended walk, and he even earned a 9 on his extended canter, but the test was not quite mistake-free.

“He had difficulty in the walk to passage transition,” said Peters. “It was a good wake up call for me.  I trusted him a little too much.” 

Peters has been riding Lombardi, owned by Akiko Yamazaki, for the last four years, but he’s only been doing Grand Prix for two. When he acquired the horse, he was just at fourth level, and then he had a year off to recover from an injury to his left front leg.

But Harrison-Naness’ ride Rociero is even greener at Grand Prix. He just did his first test in December.

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“He’s done six or seven total,” said Harrison-Naness. “If I stay consistent, I’ll be happy. I’m absolutely thrilled. I told myself if I was in the top six, then I’d be happy.”

Rociero, a 12-year-old Andalusian stallion (Rociero VIII—Bombardina II), thrilled the crowd with his talent for passage and piaffe, for which he received repeated 8s from the judges.

“He was energetic and happy working out there,” said Harrison-Naness. “I loved my trot extensions. I was really happy with my passage-piaffe-passage centerline. He stayed in my hand.”

She admitted that sometimes the judges didn’t quite know what to do with her Spanish-bred horse, but that she felt he was now earning the scores he deserved.

“When I first saw the video, I knew I had to have him,” she said. “I was passionate about this horse.”

Barisone also spoke passionately about his horse Neruda, and his frustration at two lines of problematic tempi-changes, which keep them from achieving higher scores. 

“I rode the wrong canter, the wrong tempo, the wrong speed,” he said. “It was totally my fault. He’s as honest as the day is long. I can’t hinder his ability to be a wonderful horse.”

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But his passage and piaffe scores helped them rebound with 8s and 9s from the judges. Barisone confided that he needed to ride with more confidence in the arena, and that they have little difficulty with the tempi-changes at home.

“I’d give a lot to be cool like Steffen,” he said. “He hits that ring, and his best moments are coming down centerline. He rides better in the show ring than schooling.”
 
In the Prix St. Georges, it was Christopher Hickey and Regent who led the honor round (71.15%) over Lauren Sammis aboard Sagacious HF (70.15%) and Shelly Francis on Dominion (69.45%).

Hickey had the unenviable position of starting off first in the Prix St. Georges. “It doesn’t matter if you win the qualifier, and if you come in ranked in the No. 1 spot, when you get to Gladstone everyone comes in on a level playing field,” he said. “There’re a lot of really good horses and very experienced riders that deserve to be here.”

The small tour class may be the most hotly contested championship going on this weekend as the top three will make up the U.S. dressage team for the Pan American Games this summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Kassandra Barteau led the first leg of the brand new Young Riders Championship with her winning ride on Gabriella (70.17%) in the Young Rider Team test. Ashley Schempp and Mowgli grabbed second place (68.17%) over Hannah Holland Shook and Cape Town (66.97%).

Thursday’s Results
Grand Prix
1.    Lombardi 11, Steffen Peters, 70.41%
2.    Rociero XV, Kristina Harrison-Naness, 67.95
3.    Neruda, Michael Barisone, 67.45
4.    Maksymilian, Jane Hannigan, 67.29
5.    Idocus, Courtney King, 65.45
6.    Gumshoes DC, Susan Dutta, 65.37
7.    Petit Danseur, Jennifer Hoffman, 64.62
8.    Rainier, Katherine Bateson-Chandler, 64.04
9.    Wonderful Walden, Betsy Rebar Sell, 63.87
10.   BeSe, Catherine Morelli, 63.70
11.   Goubergh’s Kasper, Susanne Dansby Phelps, 63.41
12.   Marnix, George Williams, 63.00
13.   Minna, Jo Moran, 62.62
14.   Harmony’s Coolio, Timothy Malin, 61.87
15.   Markant, Tami Crawford, 58.58

Prix St. Georges
1.    Regent, Christopher Hickey, 71.15%
2.    Sagacious HF, Lauren Sammis, 70.15
3.    Dominion, Shelly Francis, 69.45
4.    Brilliant Too, Katherine Poulin-Neff, 69.00
5.    Pik L, Susan Dutta, 68.85
6.    Much Ado, Carol Lavell, 67.90
7.    Schumacker Solyst, Melissa Taylor, 66.70
8.    Wadamur, Susan Jaccoma, 66.70
9.    Bocelli, Kathy Pavlich, 66.55
10.  Wellington, Melissa Jackson, 66.05
11.   Divinity, Tanya Vik, 65.25
12.   Paradiso B, Susan Halasz, 63.05

Young Rider Team test
1.    Gabriella, Kassandra Barteau, 70.17
2.    Mowgli, Ashley Schempp, 68.17
3.    Cape Town, Hannah Holland Shook, 66.97
4.    Molinari, Emily Wagner, 64.80
5.    Lipton, Kayce Redmond, 64.53
6.    Birkman, Lee Cross, 64.13
7.    Rigaudon, Caroline Roffman, 63.33
8.    Lamborghini, Jocelyn Wiese, 62.84
9.    Rolex, Chelsea Seburn, 62.57
10.  Rubin, Ryan Eskridge, 61.55
11.  Calido 49, Makenzie Rath, 60.40
12.  Don Cheron, Emily Anderson, 57.28

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