Burbank, CA – In sunny California, the competition for a coveted spot on the U.S. and Canadian Pan American Games teams heated up during the Festival of the Horse CDI-W/Y/J, held March 31 – April 3, 2011, at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center in Burbank. Despite a large and talented group of international competitors, there was no stopping Steffen Peters with what the judges deemed his new “super horse”, Weltino’s Magic.
Peters and Jen Hlavacek’s nine-year-old Westfalen gelding (Weltino x Diva by Diamond Boy) swept the small tour with impressive scores of 75.395% in the Prix St. Georges and 77.237% for the Intermediaire I, and debuted their new freestyle to a score of 79.417%. “The first word that comes to mind is ‘fun’,” says Peters in describing the weekend’s rides. “He’s really a pleasure to ride, so supple and forward now, it’s like that feeling that I get from Ravel.”
On Peters’ heels throughout the competition were Guenter Seidel and Sundayboy (Dutch Warmblood gelding by Kennedy, owned by Richard and Jane Brown), who earned second-place finishes in both the Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I; as well as Freestyle runner-up Jan Ebeling and Anne Romney’s Sandrina (Oldenburg mare by Sandro Hit x Stutbuch by Ganymed). “There are really nice horses here on the West Coast,” noted judge Cara Whitham (5* CAN). “While I haven’t seen every single horse out there, at this point and from what we saw this weekend it looks like it may be a U.S. team of gentlemen riders going to Guadalajara for the Pan Ams. It’s very strong out here. But it is still a long while until October. We’ll see!”