Bateson-Chandler and Peters Lead the Charge in AGDF 7 CDI5* Grand Prix Competition

Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 20, 2020 – One of the most highly-anticipated weeks of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), the CDI5*, started in full swing on Thursday with riders from all over the globe gathering at the venue’s stadium. With temperatures up to 89 degrees fahrenheit, the first leg of the CDI5* Grand Prix to qualify for the Grand Prix Freestyle took place in the afternoon’s hot Florida sun, which proved challenging for many of the horse-and-rider combinations. California-based rider Katherine Bateson-Chandler proved that the unseasonably warm weather wouldn’t slow her down, and rode her longtime mount Alcazar to the top of the leaderboard with a score of 71.935%. 

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Alcazar

Bateson-Chandler, coached by British Olympian Carl Hester, made her return to the international arena in Week 7 following a few months away from the competition arena with the 15-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Jane Forbes Clark. The pair had an expansive show schedule in 2019, riding frequently in the AGDF as well as in Compiègne, France, Harthill, Great Britain, Aachen, Germany, and Tryon, North Carolina. This year, they are hoping to continue performing to their maximum potential to vie for a spot on the Olympic team. 

Susan Pape and Harmony's Don Noblesse
Susan Pape and Harmony’s Don Noblesse

Finishing in second place was Great Britain’s Susan Pape, riding her own Harmony’s Don Noblesse, a 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion, finishing with a 70.587%. Pape and Harmony’s Don Noblesse showed briefly in Wellington last year before traveling to Germany to gain experience at Hagen and Hamburg in CDI4* competition. This year, she is excited to have returned to Wellington and looks forward to riding in her first Grand Prix Freestyle under the stadium lights on Friday night. 

Yvonne Losos De Muniz and Aquamarijn
Yvonne Losos De Muniz and Aquamarijn

Yvonne Losos De Muniz of the Dominican Republic rode her 15-year-old KWPN mare Aquamarijn into third place with a score of 70.522%. Last year, Losos De Muniz and Aquamarijn represented the Dominican Republic in numerous international competitions including the FEI World Cup Dressage Finals in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. This year, they also have their sights set on the Tokyo Olympic Games set to take place this summer.

The CDI5* Grand Prix to qualify for the Grand Prix Special kicked-off later in the evening, seeing 12 combinations ride down centerline. In the first half of the class, U.S. rider Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo, a 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Alice Womble, held the lead with a score of 73.674%. It was not until fellow American Steffen Peters took to the ring with Four Wind Farm’s Suppenkasper that her score would be challenged and ultimately pushed to the second place position.

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper
Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper

Peters was especially pleased with Suppenkasper’s relaxation in the ring for the Grand Prix, which took place under the stadium lights. He explained the amount of effort that has been put into desensitizing the gelding in recent months, part of their preparation for the upcoming FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, which will be an indoor venue with an expansive crowd, as well as the Tokyo Olympic Games. Peters and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding most recently claimed the AGDF 5 Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle victories, and they are aiming to remain undefeated in the 2020 winter season with another clean performance on Saturday for the Grand Prix Special. 

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo
Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo

Schut-Kery and Sanceo remained behind Peters to finish in second place for the night. The pair had not shown at the AGDF since 2018, instead remaining in California in 2019 to compete in a CDI-W at Del Mar. This year, Schut-Kery explained that their main objective is to gain the high scores they need in order to place a bid for the U.S. Olympic team. 

Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In
Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In

Canadian rider Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and her gelding All In rode second to last in the competitive class and earned a score of 73.674% to claim the third place finish. Fraser-Beaulieu also has Olympic dreams and was excited by her Grand Prix performance with the gelding that she has such a strong partnership with. 

Competition in AGDF 7 will resume on Friday, Feb. 21, with the CDI1* Prix St. Georges at 8 a.m. 

Results: CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Freestyle

Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Katherine Bateson-Chandler / USA / Alcazar / 71.935
2. Susan Pape / GBR / Harmony’s Don Noblesse / 70.587
3. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 70.522
4. Juan Matute Guimon / ESP / Don Diego / 67.848
5. Dongseon Kim / KOR / Belstaff / 65.87
6. James Koford / USA / Adiah HP / 65.609
7. Karen Lipp / USA / Whitney / 62.413
8. Micah Deligdish / ISR / Destiny / 61.957

Results: CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Special

Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Steffen Peters / USA / Suppenkasper/ 76.239
2. Sabine Schut-Kery / USA / Sanceo / 73.674
3. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu / CAN / All In / 73.674
4. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Harmony’s Duval / 73.087
5. Charlotte Jorst / USA / Kastels Nintendo / 71.913
6. Naima Moreira Laliberte / CAN / Statesman / 71.109
7. Agnete Kirk Thinggaard / DEN / Blue Hors Zatchmo / 70.652
8. Shelly Francis / USA / Danilo / 70.630
9. Heather Blitz / USA / Semper Fidelis / 68.587
10. Guenter Seidel / USA / Equirelle W / 67.870


Katherine Bateson-Chandler – CDI5* Grand Prix for Freestyle winner

On her ride:
“I’m really happy because it’s a bit scary not having shown for a while. To come in and your first show being a 5* is crazy! I really wanted to get him in this class, so I was really happy. It was brutally hot out there today I have to say. I’ve ridden in some heat but that was hot. So, to come out in that heat and put in a basically clean test I am really super proud of him. He really tried so hard for me now and that is all we can ask of him.”

On her preparation for the Grand Prix:
My preparation has been a slow build. This is a long season and I think we have a long way to go for our qualifications for Tokyo and our summers, so I didn’t want to come out too early and make sure we can build. If you come out and peak right now you will have nothing left for the end. You can see the qualification system is quite intense and quite long. It can take a lot out of these horses especially now that he is 15-years-old so I have to be a bit more careful as to where and how. I have had to have a bit of faith and trust in him now because he has done this enough and I’ve done it with him to know that we know each other well enough that we can pull it out without a ton of preparation.” 

On her future plans:
My plan would be to ride him in the Nations Cup and if not to do a 3* that week with the Special. Then I need to make one more Grand Prix Special and then I will have my qualifications hopefully to make the top eight. The our top eight go to Compiègne and Aachen and then the Tokyo team gets picked off of that so my plan would be to do those two shows here and then leave pretty quickly to go back to Carl’s in England.” 

On her break with Alcazar:
I rode him in Tryon and then he had a break after a pretty intense summer. He did two Nations Cups and he did a bunch of other smaller shows in England, and they need a break at some point. I had to bite the bullet and say ‘he needs a break’. He did a lot of hacking and things that kept his body fit and his mind happy and not over training. I had to trust that it would work and that is scary. Trust is the biggest thing in this sport. Just to be able to trust them is difficult for us because us riders want to control everything and practice everything everyday so to not do that was a bit of a test and he has been a good boy, so I am happy.”

Susan Pape – CDI5* Grand Prix for Freestyle second place

On her ride:
“First of all, I’m very happy. I made two major mistakes and it was really me. We got [Harmony’s Don Noblesse] when he was 5-years-old so he has been through the levels. The season is very long so that is why I also decided to pick this show as his first show. We return to Germany next week and then prepare for Hagen and then we see from there.”

On her strategy for tomorrow:
“I really want to enjoy it, and the audience is incredible. I have never ridden under the lights so that will be a little bit of a challenge.”

Yvonne Losos De Muniz – CDI5* Grand Prix for Freestyle third place

On her ride:
“I was ecstatic because she was reliable. I am trying to get the marks up not just do a nice test and go for a couple of things. It is nice now to be able to be at a point where I am actually fine tuning things and not just praying to God that I get to the other side. I am really happy she is amazing.”

On her horse:
“She is hot and that is why I am thankful that I qualified for Tokyo because this is similar, and she is hot, but she has a lot of attitude. It’s not just the heat she might say ‘I am not going there or doing that’. But she has realized at the end that I have a lot more patience than her and that I will just wait it out and do it anyways so now she ends up doing it. She does whatever I want which is really nice.”

On her partnership:
“I have had her now for four years and I am not going to say it has been a battle, but it has been a huge jigsaw puzzle. Every day it is a new piece here and all of a sudden it all crumbles apart and I have to start from the beginning. It has been a real building block of confidence and at the same time trying to train her and get her used to all the different atmospheres. I’m trying to get her out as much as possible but not overwhelm her so that she still wants to go in the ring and is happy. I don’t want to override her. It is a very fine line when you have the sensitive ones the ones that are easily fazed to not overdo it but still know what you are doing to go in the ring and get it done.”

Steffen Peters – CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Special winner 

On his ride:
“I am very happy about it. He was great, even more relaxed than last time. I rode the first pirouette a little late and didn’t have enough time to prepare that change, so I got a little crooked and did not have a good score. The rest was very clean. The passage and piaffe felt better. I was able to ride the piaffe a little bit better in place. Debbie [McDonald] and I have been working on it and that has been so much fun. Debbie and I look at a video and she doesn’t even need to say anything. We look at the same thing and she goes: “You saw that right.” And then we work on that. So, it’s amazing to have the work and collaboration with Debbie here in Wellington, and she deserves a huge part of that 76%.”

On Suppenkasper:
“He is so eager to move forward. The horse has so much tremendous power just to go even in the first extension — I was holding him back. There was not a single moment where I was pushing him and his desire even in the piaffe is always to go forward so I ride it five or six steps and then I do a halt and ask him, “Hey buddy, just woah,” instead of just leaping forward into trot or running into the passage. We sometimes do a halt or rein back and I say, “Hey buddy let’s stay here a little longer,” and sometimes we do eighteen to nineteen steps so that he knows not after thirteen or fourteen to get out of there. That wasn’t even possible six months ago so that is a huge step ahead.” 

On their partnership:
“It was challenging in the beginning for both of us, but for the last seven rides it has been working out pretty good. The ladies are getting closer and closer so I am not resting on that 76%. I can’t.”

On the past six months:
“There was a lot of desensitizing work so that he can handle the freestyle. The big step is Las Vegas this year so there is a lot of desensitizing involved, not only with music but with people clapping because Las Vegas is not going to be a very quiet venue. You know when you do something exciting during the freestyle you are going to get a reaction from the crowd, so he needs to get used to that, and that is from a mental standpoint.” 

On preparing for the Special:
“The extensions work really well for him and it is a test that flows a bit more for him. We do not have the halt and the rein back in there which are very challenging for him. Today he thought about doing the tempis on the center line so he seems to be ready for it and it has overall always been a better test for him. For us, it actually works great that this is the deciding test for the medalists at the Olympic Games, and as far as the expectation, I just have to watch my back very closely because these two ladies are right on my tail. We will try to get the same result, maybe just a little bit closer to that 77% where we love to be.”

Sabine Schut-Kery – CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Special second place 

On Sanceo:
“He was really, really on today and felt really with me. I could push him and really ride him. I could bring him back whenever I wanted and I could go forward when I wanted, so he was very adjustable. Obviously there are tons of things to improve on so I am excited to get going to get things even better.”

On their partnership:
“I have had him since he was under 3-years-old and this horse is amazing. He went with me to Germany as a 6-year-old and he qualified as a 5-year-old but we decided not to go. He went to the 2015 Pan-Am Games [in Toronto]. Every year he has given me something which is quite amazing. For this year [the goal] is Tokyo. I think this is a great start so we are going to keep working at it.” 

On preparing for the Special:
“I also look forward to the Special. It is a test that I feel works really well for my horse and I also want to follow up on what we did today. All the elements are in both tests so as for what we practice, it is mostly the same just a couple of little things —like the piaffe from the walk instead of going into the passage from the walk. I think that my biggest goal is to follow up on what happened today and have the same experience.”  

Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu – CDI5* Grand Prix to Qualify for the Special third place 

On her ride:
“I was so happy. It was the best test by far, the best Grand Prix I have ever done. He went out there and he just rocked it. He was with me every step of the way. The piaffe and passage can be very tricky sometimes especially when he is a little bit fresh. But, he really likes it here under the lights and it gives him more power. I couldn’t ask for more from him tonight.” 

On her plans:
“I am going to do the Nations Cup and probably the last CDI-W and see where that takes me.”

On preparing for the Special:
“If I could have a ride like I did tonight in the Special that would be awesome. We have been practicing the Special more at home with Ashley [Holzer] because of course that is what we need in Tokyo. The Special is actually a very good test for my horse because there is a lot of extended trot and he can really extend and collect his gate pretty well, so I am actually really looking forward to it.” 

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