A Nearly Empty Stadium Welcomes Riders For Final AGDF Freestyle Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Wellington, Fla. – March 13, 2020 – It was a bittersweet evening during the individual competition of the CDIO3* Nations Cup as riders performed in virtually an empty grand stand at Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Despite AGDF’s best attempts to continue competition with heightened awareness of the coronavirus, spectators were banned as a precautionary measure in order to protect all members of the equestrian community from spreading the virus.

Megan Lane and Zodiac MW

Despite the somber mood, athletes buckled down to make the most of the situation, hungry to have their own shot at an individual gold medal. At the end of the evening, it was American Steffen Peters who stepped up to the top of the podium as he claimed his 11th win of the season.

In the Grand Prix division, riders from five different countries took to the quiet ring under the Friday Night Lights to compete in the FEI CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle. Despite the abnormal silence, multiple riders earned personal best scores to end their season with a bang. Taking the gold was Peters aboard Suppenkasper, the 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Four Winds Farm as they were able to eclipse the eleven other horse-and-rider combinations with a score of 81.535%. With entertaining music that features Ravel’s canter music, Peters earned multiple scores of 9.0 throughout his test including the trot halfpasses, extended canter, music and degree of difficulty.

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper

Though their partnership kicked off with an inconsistent start back in 2018, Peters and his young partner “Mopsie” found much success in their 2020 season, ending the season undefeated with eleven wins under their belts, and multiple 80+ scores. The pair have been focusing on maintaining a calm and relaxed demeanor in their training and it shined in their freestyle tonight. As judge, Christoph Umbach noted: “His horse improved a lot. Today one of the highlights was the walk. The horse was really relaxed and perhaps in the freestyle [Peters doesn’t] need to hide it anymore with a collected walk, then the scores would go even higher.” Like many of the other CDIO riders, Peters’ planned to compete in this years FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Following its recent cancellation the pair is looking forward to the Olympic Games, if they take place later this summer, and then the 2021 World Cup Finals in Gothenburg.

Immediately following Peters’ performance, Yvonne Losos De Muñiz of The Dominican Republic on her very own Aquamarijn, a 15-year-old KWPN mare, stepped up to the plate attempting to topple the leading score. Losos De Muñiz laid down a bold performance in the irons showcasing her mare’s energy and power, but was ultimately not able to beat Peters’ score. However, their performance landed the pair in a solid second place with a new personal best score of 78.910%.

Yvonne Losos de Muniz and Aquamarijn

Canada’s Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu aboard her partner, All In, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding, followed hot on the heels of the top two riders to go in the class. Anticipating a slightly fatigued mount after two tough days of competition, Fraser-Beaulieu was taken aback by the amount of energy All In had during her round. In his excitement, the duo almost paid a visit to the judges following an extremely powerful and animated extended canter. Despite their extremely energetic round the pair was able to not only cinch third place, but also close out the season with a personal best score of 78.720%.

Earlier in the day, U25 riders from four different countries were the first to take to the ring representing Canada, Columbia, Spain and The United States. Eleven horse and rider duos presented their freestyle to the judges for the first time this week, but it was USA’s Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert, Nuvolari Holdings LLC’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding, that topped the field with a score of 75.130%.

Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert
Benjamin Ebeling and Illuster Van De Kampert

Following the conclusion of the U25 series, it was Carina Nevermann Torup and Quinto, Jessica Howington’s 9-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion, that won the Intermediate I Freestyle with a score of 72.750%.

Competition at AGDF continues on Saturday, March 14 and comes to an official close on Sunday, March 15 with both days continuing on without spectators. To stay up to date with current cancelled or delayed equestrian events and updates about the Coronavirus click here.

Results: FEI CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Steffen Peters / USA / Suppenkasper / 81.535
2. Yvonne Losos De Muñiz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 78.910
3. Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu / CAN / All In / 78.720
4. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Harmony’s Duval / 78.060
5. Agnete Kirk Thinggaard / DEN / Blue Hors Zatchmo / 77.975
6. Naima Moreira Laliberte / CAN / Statesman / 77.860
7. Katherine Bateson Chandler / USA / Alcazar / 76.265
8. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / 75.555
9. Megan Lane / CAN / Zodiac MW / 74.050
10. Anna Marek / USA / Dee Clair / 72.480
11. Signe Kirk Kristiansen / DEN / Her Highness O / 72.005
12. Carlos Salguero Ocaña / ESP / Vangens Star-Light / 72.005


Steffen Peters – FEI CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle Gold Medalist

On the premature end to their AGDF season:
“Mopsie is very much ready [for the FEI World Cup Finals]. Unfortunately the World Cup got cancelled and we can’t change the reality but we can change the perception of that reality, and my perception is that we had a hell of a season. We are preparing and we are looking forward to future World Cups. Mopsie is young and he proved himself here eleven times with eleven wins. I think he is ready and it is sad that it has to be that way but we accept the reality and will make it better in the future.”

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper

On their Freestyle:
“We had a small mistake in the beginning. The beginning of the freestyle is so difficult. We go from the extended trot to the piaffe to the passage straight into the two tempis and just in the two tempis there was a small miscommunication, but the rest of the test was really good and it excites me so much that the horse actually walks relaxed in the freestyle and can stand still now. It sounds like it shouldn’t be a big deal but for this horse it is huge. He would not stand still for quite some time and the walk was extremely difficult. The relaxation is there and he is really really starting to trust me. I am extremely proud of him.”

On Suppenkasper:
“It is great. The freestyle we did before was an 83.4 was clearly a little bit better, but anytime you score over an 80% that gets you pretty far anywhere in the world. I am extremely proud of him and I look back for two years back or back to Tryon where he still had a really hard time just getting him in the ring, getting him to stand still. He has come a long way and what an amazing horse and what a lucky guy I am that I get to ride a horse like him.”

Yvonne Losos De Muñiz – FEI CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle Silver Medalist

On her Freestyle:
“I was so ecstatic at the way she has come around and after three days to still have so much horse there you need to be able to ride in the ring. It was a bit of a different atmosphere not having the public. It was a pity, but what I was the happiest about was that I came out right where I wanted to for Vegas, and every day she is just getting better. She still has her quirks – we don’t halt, but we are working on that! There is a very limited time for that, but I have no words for her; she just amazes me all the time.”

Yvonne Losos de Muniz and Aquamarijn

On Aquamarijn:
“I have had her now for around three or four years. I found her in Holland where she was a Young Rider horse. It was just that power that I thought ‘If II can control this wow!’ It took me three years but it is now wow. It is amazing.”

Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu – FEI CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle Bronze Medalist

Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In

On her Freestyle:
“I had a personal goal tonight I really wanted to be on the podium, and I am really really ecstatic that that happened for me. All In had so much energy tonight after two days of competition so I was a little bit taken aback. I thought he would be a little bit more tired but he wasn’t. I thought I was going to end up in the judges booth, but this whole show season for me has been one of the best and I am extremely thankful for that and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us.”

Thomas Baur – Director of Sport
“We had a fantastic season at AGDF in 2020. Unfortunately it is over on Sunday but I still think it was a great season and we will be back! I hope everybody will come back and have a regular season next year. I’d like to thank everyone in the office, ground crew, everyone behind the seasons that make it work. Without that team I cannot.” 

Alynn Mann – Director of Strategic Partnerships from Adequan
“It’s another example of how little control we have in the world but tonight we saw some amazing horses. It brought so much joy. In life you show up and do the best you can and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The three of you were beautiful tonight. You go through life and you have the opportunity to look at life through a lens full of love or it looks like it could be going in the opposite direction. In the horse community there is truly a lot of love and beauty. We see these majestic horses and these wonderful riders. The world can be in a little chaos right now. Here it feels pretty safe and I think everyone who enjoyed the evening and thank you for giving us a little peace of mind tonight. I wish everybody safety, healthy journeys wherever they may take you and God willing we can all come together and do this again. Until that time, enjoy the journey.”

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