Tag Archives: Steffen Peters

Steffen Peters Conquers the Grand Prix Special in Week 3 of AGDF

Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper. ©️Susan Stickle.

Wellington, FL – January 25, 2020 – It was Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper’s fourth test and their fourth win of the season in the atmospheric main arena at the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

This time, the all-conquering pair claimed glory from the 15 starters in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by Blue Hors, with 75.702%. They received over 77% from two of the judges on the panel of five. The new combination of Denmark’s Agnete Kirk Thinggaard and Blue Hors Zatchmo finished second on 74.851%, with Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu third on All In (72.064%).

Of Four Winds Farm’s elastic, uphill gelding Suppenkasper, Peters said: “Our warm-up system has been pretty good; we’ve been working him two hours before the test and then today I only did 15 minutes right before going into the ring.

“He stayed calm and I came in in a nice rising trot. Again he did a very clean test and that’s what we want for the team: consistency. The passage felt better and clearly there was a huge improvement in the right pirouette, which didn’t work out so well in the grand prix; actually, both pirouettes worked out beautifully today.”

Watch Steffen Peters’ winning test here. Courtesy of Richard’s Equine Video.

The next task for the Olympic team bronze medallist is to accustom his latest superstar to the unique pressures and atmosphere posed by the Friday night freestyle classes under lights at AGDF.

“I talked to Debbie [McDonald], and now it’s time to turn up the power just a tiny bit. So I wanted four solid tests in this arena to settle him down for the freestyle, because that’s a gigantic hurdle for him in this arena — and of course there is a lot to stake for the World Cup qualifier,” added Peters, referring to the freestyle scores needed to qualify for the World Cup Final in Las Vegas in April.

Peters has a plan to help Suppenkasper: “Here in Wellington we are staying at Five Rings Farm — probably the finest equestrian facility I’ve ever seen in my entire life — and they have an amazing sound system, so now at home we’re going to practice the clapping, the music, and the national anthem, because even that seems to get him going. He’s so ready to go, now it’s just a question of desensitising him a bit to the music and, with a little bit of good luck, we can do a hell of a freestyle in here.”

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Steffen Peters Aces the Grand Prix Special in Week One of AGDF

Steffen Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2020 – USA Olympic team medallist Steffen Peters stamped his authority on the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI3*, presented by MTICA Farm, in the opening week of the 2020 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, Florida.

Peters and Four Winds Farm’s 18.2hh gelding Suppenkasper pulled off a fault-free performance and were rewarded with 76.149% — including a high score of 78.404% from the Colombian judge at H, Cesar Torrente. This is the horse’s first visit to AGDF and he and Peters will remain in Wellington until the CDI5* show in week seven (February 19-23).

California-based 55-year-old Peters said: “That was really fun. He has endless energy; he’s a dream. If any rider would get on this horse they would say that this is the ultimate feeling.”

Peters attributed his almost 6% improvement from the Grand Prix to an altered warm-up routine for the big-framed but light-footed Spielberg x Krack C 12-year-old: “He’s such a firecracker, like he was in the grand prix. My dream is always to keep the feeling from the warm-up into the ring, and that worked out perfectly today.

“I walked him this morning and then I worked him for half an hour at lunch time, then I put him away and let him completely settle down, then I did another 20 minutes before the test. That’s what I used to do with Legolas and maybe this might be the new recipe for ‘Mopsie’.”

Peters has the World Cup Dressage Final in Las Vegas in mid-April and the Olympics in Tokyo, Japan in July in his crosshairs.

“Mopsie is sometimes a bit tricky in the arena, and we still have a huge hurdle to go with the freestyle, as it’s quite a different atmosphere and it’s still a bit about desensitizing, but hopefully with one more good freestyle score, we will head to Vegas,” added Peters, who picked up nines for the extended canter, pirouettes and for his riding.

“Since Tryon, where he got extremely excited, he’s been getting better and better. I’m one of those extremely lucky guys who gets to ride a horse like that and I think there’s an 80% in there; so many times we’ve been close, but I rate him as my big hero, as my best friend. He’s one of those horses that can easily make you shed happy tears.”

Of the 15 starters, it was Great Britain’s Susan Pape who was once again the bridesmaid. She rode Harmony Sporthorses’ 11-year-old Zenon stallion Harmony’s Eclectisch to second place with a shade under 70% after mistakes in the one-time changes pulled their score down. The USA’s Anna Marek filled third with the charming bay mare Dee Clair. Diane Morrison’s 12-year-old Sir Sinclair daughter scored 68.851%.

Having finished second in the week’s earlier Prix St Georges CDI1*, Swedish rider Carline Darcourt went one better, riding Bon Coeur 1389 to a 71.882% victory in the competitive Intermediate I CDI1* class.

The sporty black eight-year-old is a well-known breeding stallion in Europe, having already produced more than a dozen licensed sons. He is owned by Lövsta Stuteri who also own his sire, Benetton Dream. This is his first ever international show. The previous day’s winners, Susan Pape (GBR) and Bourani, had to settle for third place, with home rider Katie Johnson riding Paxton finishing second. All three scored over 70%.

Canada’s Ariana Chia once again topped the leaderboard at small tour, winning the Intermediate I CDI3* on Fiderflame with 69.5%. This marks their second win of the week, and Chia will be bidding to make it three out of three when she contests Sunday’s Intermediate I CDI3* freestyle class with the 10-year-old gelding by Fidertanz.

In the FEI para classes, Roxanne Trunnell (USA) held her lead in the Grade I after scoring a career-high of 83.167%. Trunnell piloted Flintwood Farm LLC’s Dolton, an eight-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Danone I, to the overall champion award.

“It feels really good; we’re training a lot at home and it’s all coming together,” Trunnell commented, adding that it was Dolton’s first time competing under lights, resulting in a touch of tension.

Beatrice De Lavalette (USA) dominated the Grade II para division after receiving her highest score of the week. She earned 73.667% aboard Nicolas De Lavalette’s Duna, while Jason Surnoski (CAN) came a close second with 72% aboard his own Phoenix.

The Grade III para division saw Rebecca Hart top the leaderboard after scoring an impressive 72.644% on Rowan O’Riley’s Fortune 500, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding.

“It was really a good experience and I had a nice easy start to the season. The next qualifier is in week three, so we’re hoping to up our scores and represent really well,” concluded Hart, who has her eyes set on Tokyo 2020.

Lee Garrod of Canada improved her score again, scoring a 71.833% in the freestyle to win the Grade V para division on Question, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding by Quaterback.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

US Equestrian Names Dressage Team for World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, which will take place September 11-23, in Mill Spring, N.C.

After competing in designated Observation Events throughout the summer, the following athlete-and-horse combinations have been selected to represent U.S. dressage at the WEG under the leadership of Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover (in alphabetical order):

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she owns with Curt Maes

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion

Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Rosamunde, Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old Rheinlander mare

The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will compete beginning September 12 and 13, with the Grand Prix Team competition and Individual Qualifier. On September 14, teams will contest the Grand Prix Special, and the Grand Prix Freestyle on September 16.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Graves Finishes Second, Perry-Glass and Peters in Top 10 in FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Laura Graves & Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Omaha, Neb. – Laura Graves and Verdades scored a personal best Grand Prix Freestyle of 85.307% to place second in the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final on Saturday. Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet and Steffen Peters and Rosamunde closed out the competition in the top 10. Isabell Werth (GER) and Weihegold OLD were the 2017 champions with a score of 90.704%, while Carl Hester (GBR) and Nip Tuck finished third with a score of 93.757%.

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding, wowed the crowd with a fantastic freestyle full of artistic beauty and technically difficult elements. Two tempi changes on a curve followed by one tempi changes and lovely canter pirouettes mesmerized the home crowd.

“I was really looking forward to putting in a solid test today in the Final, knowing that we didn’t have the best of draws with all the big guns still to come in the class,” Graves said. “I’m super happy with my horse. He was awesome in that environment. He is known to be spooky, and he was just as steady as could be. It is a personal best score, and to do it here in Omaha, it feels great to have the crowd on their feet.”

Despite Verdades’ spooky nature, Graves felt that he was in his element in front of the home crowd. “They were cheering in parts of our test, and my horse was really enjoying it. Two years ago in Las Vegas, the crowd would cheer and he would spooky and get a little fast, and this year he was like, ‘Yeah, thanks guys!’ So it is awesome to be back with the same horse.”

Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) had a strong performance in her debut at the Final with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet. She and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding finished on a high note despite bobbles in an extended trot movement and in the one-tempi changes. The pair received a score of 77.068% to finish in seventh place.

“I am very happy [with our score]. This is his first time in the indoor; there is a huge crowd. I couldn’t ask for a better ride from him,” Perry-Glass said.

Steffen Peters & Rosamunde (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Peters (San Diego, Calif.) had a solid performance with Four Winds Farm’s Rosamunde in the one of the biggest tests of the mare’s career. The 2007 Rheinlander mare handled the electric atmosphere well thanks to Peters’ guidance. They executed wonderful pirouettes and half-passes. Peters and Rosamunde collected a score of 75.879% to finish ninth.

“She did great,” Peters said of “Rosie”. “It was a very difficult freestyle not just for an experienced Grand Prix horse but for a young one, so that she did as well as she did, I am super pleased with her.”

View final results for the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final.

By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department

Graves, Perry-Glass, and Peters Are Strong Contenders for 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final

Laura Graves & Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Omaha, Neb. – Three strong dressage combinations will represent the U.S. in the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, Neb. Running from March 30 – April 1, 2017, Laura Graves & Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass & Goerklintgaards Dublet, and Steffen Peters & Rosamunde are in excellent form heading into the Final.

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) has found much success since her last Final appearance in 2015, where she finished fourth with her own Verdades. She and the 2002 KWPN gelding won team gold and individual silver at the 2015 Pan American Games, following that up with team bronze and individual fourth-place finishes at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in their Olympic debut last summer. This year, Graves and “Diddy” have won at every turn at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) and earned numerous scores above 80%.

Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) will make her Final debut with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, and the pair is a serious combination. She and the 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding impressed in their Olympic debut last year, helping to bring home a team bronze medal. They have continued to shine since their time in Rio, most recently winning the Grand Prix CDI-W and Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W and earning a score of 80.805% in the Freestyle during week eight of the AGDF.

Peters (San Diego, Calif.) will make his fifth Final appearance in Omaha with Four Winds Farm’s talented 2007 Rheinlander mare, Rosamunde. He and “Rosie” have continued to develop their partnership since they began competing together in 2014. They garnered top placings throughout 2016, including wins in the Grand Prix CDI3* and Grand Prix Special CDI3* at CHIO Rotterdam. The pair began 2017 by winning the Grand Prix Special CDI3* and Grand Prix Freestyle CDI3*at the Las Vegas High Roller CDI & Open Show, and head into the Final having finished second in the Grand Prix CDI-W and third in the Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W during week seven of the AGDF.

Kasey Perry-Glass & Goerklintgaards Dublet (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Competition for the Final begins Thursday with the FEI Grand Prix beginning at 2 p.m. CT. Saturday’s FEI Grand Prix Freestyle begins at 2 p.m. CT, with its results determining the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Champion. Watch the live stream on FEI TV.

View more information about the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final.

By Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications Department

US Equestrian Announces Combinations for 2017 FEI World Cup Dressage Final Omaha

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has announced the three athlete/horse combinations that will represent the United States at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final, March 30 – April 1, 2017 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha, Neb.

The following combinations qualified during World Cup Qualifying Events in the North American League held throughout the 2016-2017 season:

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding

Kasey Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) with Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding

Additionally, the FEI confirmed an extra starting place for:

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s Rosamunde, a 2007 Rheinlander mare

View more information about the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final.

Team USA Brings Triple Threat to FEI Grand Prix CDI-W at AGDF

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 23, 2017 – Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades claimed another victory in Thursday’s FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by The Axel Johnson Group, during the seventh week of competition at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.

2016 Olympic bronze medalists Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Florett AS x Liwilarda) owned by Graves, ended the day with another win in the Global Arena and a score of 80.240%.

“It feels much more secure. It’s nice to know that what happened at the 5* wasn’t a one-hit-wonder,” Graves said of her second 80% score in the FEI Grand Prix. “It’s still pretty awesome. It’s a really, really exciting way for us to go in to the big things we have planned.”

Of her ride, Graves continued, “His ride-ability was really super. I was happy with my zig-zags. I feel like we covered a lot of ground in both directions. The pirouettes were really on; I was really happy with my final centerline. I think we ran out of a little steam. It was warm, and they were running a couple of minutes behind. He just doesn’t ever say ‘no,’ so he tried his best.”

Placing second and third to Graves in in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W were 2016 Olympic teammates and bronze medalists, Steffen Peters (USA) and Kasey Perry-Glass (USA).

Peters and Rosamunde, a 2007 Rhinelander mare (Rock Forever x First Lady) owned by Four Winds Farm, took second place with a score of 74.820%.

“I still had a little more energy than I wanted,” said Peters about his ride with Rosamunde, “but it was so much better than two weeks ago. I’m super happy with her. She did awesome trot half-passes, beautiful extensions, the piaffe and passage transitions were better. She is just so much fun to ride. She’s so beautiful in the bridle (and) always goes. Most of the time we have to say, ‘Hey wait, not that much!’ So it was a beautiful step ahead, and I thought that showing here in this arena a bunch of times would help her. Certainly, that worked out as planned.”

Steffen Peters and Rosamunde

“Apparently, our tattoos have been working!” joked Peters of the Olympic Rings tattoos that the USA Olympic Dressage Team members recently got together. “It’s nice to be here with the two teammates.”

Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x La Costa x Olympic Ferro) owned by Diane Perry, came in third with a 73.200%.

“I feel like it’s all still changing, and it’s going to change a lot because this is only his second year,” said Perry-Glass, of her progress with Dublet. “Two weeks ago, I felt like I was coming out and he was a little bit more amped to be in there. This week we finally found that relaxation in the ring, to where we can eventually add more power and consistency to it.”

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Steffen Peters Kicks Off AGDF 7 with a Win in FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1*

Steffen Peters and Bailarino. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – February 22, 2017 – Week seven kicked off on Wednesday, February 22 at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL with another victory for Steffen Peters (USA) and mount Bailarino in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1*, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center.

A little rain didn’t stop 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Steffen Peters and Bailarino, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Breitling x Schila x De Niro) owned by Four Winds Farm, from earning a score of 72.149% and the top placing.

Commenting on his ride, Peters said, “He was a bit distracted coming in because the second he left the warm-up arena, he left all of his buddies behind. The ride started out pretty good, and then throughout the test he got a bit more distracted. That’s when we missed one four-tempi and the rest of the test was clean, just not as forward as he could go. Certainly, a good score, and of course I’m still happy with him.”

Peters also highlighted his goals for the remainder of the week with Bailarino, as they will be competing in the FEI Intermediate I and FEI Intermediate I Freestyle classes.

“It would be great if we could keep this placing,” said Peters. “I know that last week Adrienne (Lyle) did a wonderful job, (and) team Canada was very strong today, so it would be foolish to rely on this score. But he (Bailarino) is going to take a nice day off tomorrow, we are going to walk, and then Friday is another day!”

Placing second and third to Peters was husband and wife duo Jaimey and Tina Irwin (CAN). Jaimey and Donegal V, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group, earned second place with a score of 70.482%. Tina and Laurencio, a 2007 Oldenburg gelding (Laurentio x Pasadena x Donerhall) owned by Irwin, were awarded third place with a score of 69.781%.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Laura Graves Leads US in Dressage Individual Final at 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Excitement filled the air as the final day of dressage got underway at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center on Monday. The top 18 competitors from eight nations competed in the Grand Prix Freestyle, the deciding competition for the Individual medals. Only three athletes from each nation were eligible to compete. After winning the Bronze medal with teammate Kasey Perry-Glass on Friday, Steffen Peters, Alison Brock, and Laura Graves entered the sun-filled stadium to perform the Freestyle set to personally-chosen music. All three had fantastic performances, with Graves coming in again as the highest-placed U.S. rider and finishing just outside the medals in fourth place.

The pressure was on for Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding. The combination was competing in its first Olympic Games, and turned in personal bests in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, leading the U.S. to the Team Bronze medal. The pair was the penultimate combination to go in the Freestyle and produced a breath-taking performance to earn 85.196%, which put them in third place with Germany’s Isabell Werth left to go. Although Werth’s ride on Weihegold Old dropped Graves to fourth, it was a fabulous finish.

The pair executed many high-risk movements throughout the test, including two-tempi canter flying changes on a half-circle leading into one-tempi changes, which earned multiple 9s from the jury, as did their double canter pirouettes, harmony, degree of difficulty, and music.

“I’m thrilled with the score,” said a beaming Graves, who earned three personal-best scores while competing in Rio. “Because Verdades is really honest, the degree of difficulty is something that I can play with and so you have to highlight those moments. We did them twice, showing that it’s not just luck, and the judges obviously rewarded us for it today.”

In regards to how Verdades felt in the arena, Graves commented, “I don’t feel like I had quite as much horse as I’ve had over the past couple days. It’s very hot and we’ve been here just over two weeks, so it’s been a long time for us to keep our horses going like this, but he was ready. He stayed really honest, and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

“I’m just so happy,” continued Graves. “I believe in a system, following a routine, and finding a trainer you trust and staying with them. I’m so blessed that both Robert [Dover] and my personal trainer, Debbie McDonald, have sacrificed so much of their time this summer to be over in Europe with the Team and it really has made a difference.”

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Peters (San Diego, Calif.), competing in his fourth Olympic Games, and Legolas 92, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Four Winds Farm, were the first combination into the arena Monday morning. The pair set the bar high from the start. Opening with the well-known song “Under Pressure”, the pair’s well-executed and harmonious test captured the audience and seven judges’ attention. The jury gave the pair several 9s for their music, choreography, and degree of difficulty, and Peters earned a final score a 79.393% for a 12th-place finish.

“I’m super happy, and it’s super exciting!” said Peters with a grin from ear-to-ear. “I added a few extra degrees of difficulty to the test today. The double pirouette before the canter-piaffe transition is a new one, and I hadn’t done the piaffe-pirouette on center line in a while. I knew if I’d be slightly ahead of the music I would do a double pirouette after the extended canter. Since he did all the other piaffes very well, I thought we’d take a risk and see if he turns with the music and especially in the piaffe-pirouette to the left. He was dead-on with the music, and even there I already had a big smile on my face, and today was 99% less pressure than the previous days, so honestly I had a blast in there – I just loved it.”

“I hadn’t been first into the ring for years, so it was my time!” added Peters with a laugh. “I was hoping for a score of around 80% and the judges agreed with me, so I’m super happy! Legolas just had a fantastic three days at the Olympic Games. I wish I could put into words how much winning the [Team] Bronze medal means to me and also how much it means to me how well Legolas did here.”

Third into the arena was Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and the 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion Rosevelt, owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun. They performed a lovely Freestyle to score 76.160% for 15th place in their first Olympic Games.

“I’m really happy with my test and Rosevelt was very good, bless his heart,” said Brock. “I just love that music – I think it really suits him very well. It’s a really beautiful compilation of music from a group called Tanghetto. The canter music is from ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’. It’s the type of music that doesn’t overwhelm the audience and it draws you into the horse. I’m really happy.”

Graves summed up all the U.S. riders’ feelings at the end, saying, “This has been an incredible experience to be here with this Team, and we have such a huge family of supporters who came this far just to be with us all. We sometimes forget that it’s more than just us and the horse. We have so many people around us who make this happen and to watch what they sacrifice for our dreams is something that is very emotional for everyone.”

Defending Olympic Champions Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain and her mount Valegro, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding, who are also World and European Champions, claimed their second consecutive Olympic Individual Gold medal, topping the field with an impressive score of 93.857%. Germany’s Isabell Werth and the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare Weihegold Old, claimed the Individual Silver with a score of 89.071%, making Werth the most decorated Olympic equestrian of all time with a record 10 Olympic medals (six Gold and four Silver). Teammate Kristina Broring-Sprehe and the 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion Desperados FRH took the Individual Bronze medal with a score of 87.142%.

Show jumping returns to action on Tuesday with the first half of the two-round team competition, beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Watch live on NBCOlympics.com.

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

US Dressage Team Wins Bronze Medal at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The U.S. Dressage Team won the Bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Friday following the conclusion of the second half of team competition, the Grand Prix Special. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, the team, comprised of Allison Brock and Rosevelt, Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet, and Steffen Peters and Legolas 92, won the Bronze medal on a final score of 76.667%. Germany won the Team Gold on 81.936%, while Great Britain claimed the Team Silver with a score of 78.595%.

The third day of dressage team competition featured the top six teams and eight individual combinations from the first two days’ Grand Prix at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center. Each team’s top three scores from both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special were averaged together to determine the team medals.

It took a personal best score of 80.644% from anchor rider Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding, to claim the Team Bronze medal as The Netherlands moved slightly ahead of the U.S. before her ride. The pair held fifth place individually going into the Grand Prix Special and their performance was truly spectacular. The duo scored mostly 8s or above throughout the test and earned six 9s for their left canter pirouette down centerline and for their flying changes in canter.

“We’ve captured the elusive 80% – it does exist!” said a thrilled Graves, who was one of only five riders to score above 80%. “I knew the test was going well, but you just always hope that your reflections match up with the judges. I had no idea going into the ring what I needed for a score and to see my teammates so happy and then to achieve my personal best score – and a score I’ve been reaching for – was just icing on our cake today.”

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Peters (San Diego, Calif.), competing in his fourth Olympic Games, rode Legolas 92, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Four Winds Farm. The pair held sixth place individually going into the Grand Prix Special and produced a superb test with one mistake coming at the beginning of the test in the left trot half-pass. The duo quickly recovered to produce a score of 74.622%.

“I’m super happy with Legolas. We delivered for the team; that was my goal and that’s what we did,” said a delighted Peters. “We had a couple of little fumbles – he lost his balance in the left half-pass which is uncharacteristic of him and we had a little delayed reaction into the first piaffe, but then he did it beautifully.

“The rest of the test was very clean,” he continued. “He did his changes very nicely, but I knew that after the half-pass ‘fumble’ that if we had one more mistake in the flying changes then we’d be below the required average score to stay ahead of The Netherlands. I knew going into the ring exactly what score I had to get and I’m super happy that it worked out – but it was close!”

Olympic first-timers Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Rosevelt, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun, were the trailblazers as the first U.S. pair to perform its test. The duo executed a solid and confident test, earning a score of 73.824% from the seven judges with many good highlights throughout, earning high marks their first extended trot, flying changes, and extended canter.

“I was really happy with him,” remarked Brock. “He was really good. He was better than in the Grand Prix and did a clean test. That’s what we needed to do to set the stage for my teammates and we did it, so I’m really happy with him. I laughed a little at the end of my test because I said thank you [to Rosevelt] for doing this for me because it got hot in the ring and I just had to give him a lot of credit. He tried really hard. Bless him.”

Second up for the U.S. was Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) and Diane Perry’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Dublet. The pair produced a fluid test in the Grand Prix Special with especially beautiful passage work. Unfortunately, the pair had a mistake from the passage into the extended trot, but quickly regrouped and completed with a respectable 73.235% in their first Olympic Games.

“It wasn’t our best, but you know I have to give it to Dublet as he’s really trying to stay with me,” said Perry-Glass. “We have a couple kinks to work out, but it’s our first year and we moved up very fast, so I have to give him credit on that for staying patient and really trusting me in the ring. My plan was just to give him a good experience and also I was thinking about the team. I really wanted to do this for the team, but sometimes it’s just not your day.”

Reflecting on the Bronze medal win, Peters said, “First of all, a big thank you to Robert Dover [U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe], who was also on the team in 2004 [the last time the U.S. Dressage Team won a Team Olympic medal]. Today we knew it had to be above 75 percent and all four riders and horses are capable of delivering 76-77 percent, so we knew we had a chance, but when it actually happened it was amazing! If you wanted to see a 52-year-old guy acting like a 10-year-old boy, you should’ve seen me in the stands when Laura was coming down centerline – I was crying my eyes out and it was just one of those absolutely amazing experiences. There’s a lot of people who are certainly a big part of this medal.”

The top 18 competitors from the Grand Prix Special will now go on to compete in the Individual final, the Grand Prix Freestyle, on Monday. Only three athletes from each nation are eligible compete in the Freestyle, which ultimately decides the Olympic Champion. Graves, Peters, and Brock all qualified.

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department