Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.
Wellington, FL – February 22, 2020 – Steffen Peters (USA) threw his hands in the air as his winning score of 77.106% was announced in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI5*, presented by Palm Beach Equine Clinic. He was last to go in the class of 11 starters in the five-star week seven of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.
Peters’ score represented a new personal best in this test, and his delight with Suppenkasper, Four Winds Farm’s 12-year-old gelding, was evident as he punched the air. Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu rode All In to a new personal best score of 73.447% in this test to finish second, with Sabine Schut-Kery (USA) finishing third on Sanceo with 72.979%.
Despite a mistake in the middle of the one-time changes on the diagonal, this was the first time Peters had broken the 77% barrier and repays the faith he has had in this giant and extraordinarily athletic horse.
“He’s been at 76% for some time,” said a delighted Peters. “I knew there’s a 77% in there and we’re slowly and consistently creeping up, so without the mistake it would have been even higher. It’s so very exciting to see ‘Mopsie’ getting a 77%.
“It felt really good for him to still after four shows have this energy,” added Peters, who is based in California. “The horse has so much go, it’s incredible. I didn’t push him for one single extension; in fact, I was still holding back a little bit.”
The test was fault-free apart from a blip in the middle of the diagonal of one-time changes.
“He’s done six tests without a mistake, so today he was allowed one and I’m not sure it was his mistake; there is always the rider involved too. To be honest, I just did not feel comfortable with the way my underwear was sitting so when I came in, that’s what I was thinking about. Thank god it didn’t cause me more trouble than just a missed one-tempi.”
Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.
Both Peters and Schut-Kery have been training with Debbie McDonald while in Wellington, and the legendary trainer identified what went wrong for Peters in the flying changes right away.
“Debbie said she thought that before the one-tempis, I rode him just a little too forward on the short side to get a bit more energy and ride the one-tempis with risk,” explained Peters, who was on the bronze-medal winning USA team at the Rio Olympics in 2016. “She’s absolutely right that I didn’t need to do that.”
For more information and results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.