Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 25, 2021 – Competition resumed at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival on Thursday, Feb. 25, with the CDI5* Grand Prix, with riders vying for both the Grand Prix Freestyle and Grand Prix Special qualifications. The CDI5* classes offer valuable experience amongst world class competitors, helping riders get their feet wet ahead of the FEI Dressage World Cup Finals and Tokyo Olympic Games, and the American contingency swept both 5* podiums.
The CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle was first in the order, seeing Steffan Peters (USA) and Suppenkasper, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazki, triumph with an impressive score of 77.109%, a new personal best Grand Prix score. This partnership has been working together since 2018 where they represented the U.S. at the FEI World Equestrian Games, and were members of the bronze medal team at the CDIO5* Nations Cup in Aachen, Germany, in 2019. They had a successful winter season in 2020 before the Global Dressage Festival was cut short by the onset of the pandemic, but returned to Wellington this winter to help prepare for the rest of the year’s international competitions. Most recently, the pair won the CDI4* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle in AGDF 3.
Finishing in second place with a 69.913% was USA’s Katherine Bateson-Chandler with her 16-year-old KWPN gelding, Alcazar. Bateson-Chandler and her long-time partner finished second in December’s Global Dressage Festival Fall II CDI-W Grand Prix Special, her first international competition since helping the U.S. earn gold at the CDIO5* Nations Cup in March.
Rounding out the top three right on Bateson-Chandler’s heels was Guenter Seidel aboard Leatherdale Farms’ 12-year-old KWPN mare Equirelle with a score of 69.305%. The horse-and-rider combination recently won their first freestyle performance together in the AGDF CDI4* Grand Prix during the third week of the winter circuit. The partnership is less than two years old, and Seidel explained that his current plan with the mare is to help her gain experience and confidence throughout the remainder of the season.
In the CDI5* Grand Prix for the Special, USA’s Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion, were victorious with a score of 73.478%. Last season in Wellington, the pair competed successfully, winning the CDI3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle in March to round out their season. They returned to the ring in November in Thermal, California, for the Adequan Desert Dressage II CDI3*, where they finished second in both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special. This year, Schut-Kery explained that she will focus on their work in the Grand Prix Special in hopes of being considered for the short list for the USA’s Tokyo Olympic dressage team.
Taking second place was Adrienne Lyle on Betsy Juliano’s Harmony’s Duval, a 13-year-old KWPN gelding with a score of 72.065%. Also aiming for a spot on the Olympics, Lyle is hoping to fine tune their technical work and keep the gelding on the top of his game. They had a strong start to the 2021 season, winning the CDI3* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in January.
Charlotte Jorst and her own Kastel’s Nintendo, an 18-year-old KWPN stallion, finished in third place with a score of 71.739%. The combination had a second place finish in the CDI4* Grand Prix Special at the end of January, and hope to improve their performances throughout the rest of the season in hopes of qualifying for the USA’s Olympic short list as well.
Competition will resume on Friday, Feb. 26 at 8 a.m. with the CDI-Y Young Rider Team Test. The CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle will take place at 9 p.m. following the conclusion of the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle at 7 p.m.
Results: CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Steffen Peters / USA / Suppenkasper / 77.109%
2. Katherine Bateson-Chandler / USA / Alcazar / 69.913%
3. Güenter Seidel / USA / Equirelle / 69.305%
4. Yvonne Loso De Muñiz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 68.804%
5. Jan Ebeling / USA / Indeed / 67.609%
6. Sahar Daniel Hirosh / ISR / Whitman / 64.326%
Results: CDI5* Grand Prix for the Special
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Sabine Schut-Kery / USA / Sanceo / 73.478%
2. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Harmony’s Duval / 72.065%
3. Charlotte Jorst / USA / Kastel’s Nintendo / 71.739%
4. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / 70.870%
5. Christoph Koschel / GER / Eaton Unitechno / 70. 630%
6. Naima Moreira Laliberté / CAN / Statesman / 71.630%
7. Chirs Von Martels / CAN / Eclips / 70.652%
8. Catherine Haddad Staller / USA / Frankie / 69.891%
9. Jill Irving / CAN / Arthur / 68.829%
10. Susan Pape / GBR / Harmony’s Eclectisch / 65.109%
FROM THE WINNERS CIRCLE
Steffan Peters – CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle winner
On his ride:
“He seems like he is ready. Lately, he’s been pretty consistent with scores around 76 and 77 and that’s super exciting. I can ask for a bit more in the trot extension, and today in the canter extensions I was praying, ‘Please let me get this horse back to the collected canter!’ [because] he was giving so much. We had a very clean test with a good relaxed walk, so I’m extremely happy.”
About the top-three competitors all representing the United States:
“It feels really great to be sitting here today with former teammates, and even my former employer [Güenter Seidel]. They are my good friends: a teammate from four teams and a teammate from the Nations Cup. It feels really nice to us all here together!”
About the rest of the season and his plans for Tokyo:
“I’ve always believed that our federation makes very good decisions for us. Because parts of Europe are still on lockdown, it doesn’t make sense to go over there. I’m looking forward to the [Palm Beach] Derby next week and then Mopsie will have a nice break for the rest of March. In April we will slowly start to pick it up and there might be a CDI in May in California and from there we need to get ready for whatever our federation decides.”
Katherine Bateson-Chandler – CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle second place
“I was really happy with my horse – he was as honest-feeling as he has been in his career. It takes years for these horses to mature to where you want them so I’m thrilled with his general rideability and attitude. And it’s not that easy in this weather since he’s a big, black horse and he’s 16 now so he’s been down the centerline here a lot.
About their plans for the rest of the season:
“Everything is still up in the air. We’re having talks every week about what we’re doing and selecting criteria but we’re sort of relying on the unknown. As of right now, I’m clear for the Nations Cup so if I am lucky enough to get on that team I’ll do that and then Alcazar will get a break. Depending on if our selections end up being here, I’ll stay and if not I’ll go to Europe in May.”
Güenter Seidel – CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle third place
On Equirelle’s maturity:
“Today we had a few mistakes, but they were more my mistakes than hers. She’s getting a lot better with everything so I’m just kind of chipping away at that and hopefully will inch my way up.”
About the freestyle being Equirelle’s first time competing at night under the lights:
“She’s already a little hot so I’m not sure if that will be a plus for me. I thought about trying to do some before but it’s not that they’re afraid of the dark, it’s the atmosphere of the competition. She just has to do it and then keep doing it and go to the competitions. For me it doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small competition, the horses don’t know the difference. There will still be spectators and an electric atmosphere.”
Sabine Schut-Kery – CDI5* Grand Prix for the Special winner
On her ride today:
“Last week I did a national show just to see where we are at because the last time we showed was in November. He was really great today and today the problems we had were my errors. I just kept my head up and kept going. He felt brave in the first part of the test and I thought he recovered quite well. We are getting to the point where we can see where we can push a little more and finesse. I was happy that I was able to do that in one area today.”
On her plans for the season:
“I’m planning to do one more show in March and then hopefully go home for a little bit. I would like to make the shortlist and get to go to Europe.”
Adrienne Lyle – CDI5* Grand Prix for the Special second place
On her strategy:
“My goal for this year is to qualify him for the shortlist and so we are really focusing on the Special. He felt super in the warm-up today and I’m really happy with the work we’re getting. He’s a funny horse and we lost each other for the first part of the test but that can happen, I can’t complain. The work is going great at home and he feels good. We’re going to alter the warm-up for the Special we’re going to try virtually no warm-up and see if we can keep his nerves under control and we’ll see how it goes.”
Charlotte Jorst – CDI5* Grand Prix for the Special third place
“Nintendo felt incredible, as usual, he just comes out every single day and he must be the most honest horse in the universe. He always tries his best and I’m so grateful to have a horse to ride in a 5*. To me, that has been such a huge dream and now it’s coming to fruition. I got a little teary-eyed in the barn, it’s been a little emotional for me. I learned to ride the Grand Prix on this horse and now he’s letting me continue to ride. I’m also trying to get on the shortlist. That’s my dream and that’s my goal so if he allows me to get there, that would be amazing.
About her plans for the season:
“I’m trying to go to the World Cup in Sweden and then I will hopefully go to the Ocala show and continue riding and training towards the Olympics.”