Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 26, 2021 – Featuring the only CDI5* competition in the western hemisphere, the Adequan Global Dressage Festival welcomed international athletes under the stadium lights for the first time this season with the CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle. Coming off of a win during Thursday’s CDI5* Grand Prix to qualify for Friday evening’s feature event, United States’ Steffen Peters piloted Suppenkasper to the pairs’ 20th consecutive CDI victory.
In a small field of only six horse-and-rider combinations, Peters and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding, owned by Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki, topped the leaderboard with 81.395%. The pair received a full panel of 9+ scores for degree of difficulty and highlights in the extended canter and trot halfpasses. Peters is aiming to qualify for his fifth Olympic Games this summer, and with the success of his winter season in Wellington looks forward to flying home to Southern California to rest before gearing up for Tokyo.
Riding into second place with a 77.07% was Dominican Republic’s Yvonne Losos De Muñiz on Aquamarijn, her own 16-year-old KWPN mare. Her veteran mare has had a successful season thus far, placing second in Week 1’s CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle, and Losos De Muñiz has her eyes set on competing at the FEI World Cup Finals which is set to take place at the end of March in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Leatherdale Farm’s Equirelle, a 12-year-old KWPN mare, rounded out the top three with Guenter Seidel with a score of 75.56%. Though a relatively new partnership, Seidel is thrilled with the mare’s harmonious ride in her debut under the lights.
Prior to the CDI5* competition, nine athletes contended for top honors in the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle. In the end, Australia’s Kelly Layne emerged victorious with a 76.50% aboard Samhitas, a 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Layne and Nori Maezawa. Claiming second place with a 71.86% was Jennifer Williams (USA) riding her own Sueño Hit, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding. Rounding out the top three for the CDI3* Grand Prix Freestyle with a 70.085% was Korea’s Dongseon Kim and his 14-year-old Hannoverian gelding DSK Belstaff.
Results: CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle
Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Steffen Peters / USA / Suppenkasper / 81.395%
2. Yvonne Losos De Muñiz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 77.070
3. Guenter Seidel / USA / Equirelle / 75.56
4. Jan Ebeling / USA / Indeed / 73.935
5. Katherine Bateson-Chandler / USA / Alcazar / 72.48
6. Sahar Daniel Hirosh / ISR / Whitman / 69.67
Steffen Peters – CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle winner
On his ride:
“There were lots of things that were great – the piaffe felt really good, great halfpasses and good pirouettes. To me one of the highlights of Mopsie now, that used to be so difficult, is the collected walk. I used to have to hide that a little bit in the corner but now I am doing it on the diagonal because I can really show the relaxation. It might look like a boring movement but to me that’s huge. I risked a little bit too much in that one trot extension so he broke, one little fumble and the rest felt great. We decided to bubble wrap him from here and preserve him and head back to California next week.”
On his floorplan:
“The floorplan was different to the extended walk 20 meters, and it clearly showed another 20 meters collected walk across the diagonal. So the halfpasses are going the opposite way and I think that was slightly confusing to the judges. The one thing you don’t want to do is confuse the judges!”
Yvonne Losos de Muñiz – CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle second place
On Aquamarijn: “Tonight she felt amazing. I always go full out one hundred percent for everything so if I get it, it’s amazing. If I don’t it’s a pretty wild disaster. I like riding like that and I did it again tonight. I went a little full-out on certain things that I paid for in the end but that’s the part I like about it, seeing how much I can push it. I’m not very good at being conservative. The stuff I pushed I felt like never before – her pirouettes and passage-piaffe is also getting a lot better and a lot more confirmed so I can push a bit more. It’s so nice to be under the lights, and she loves the lights. She stays up all night herself so it helps me a lot. I just love the atmosphere.”
On what’s next:
“I am just going to stay quiet for the rest of the season, and hopefully the World Cup Final runs and I will compete in that. I have prepared everything I need to and to sit and keep [Aquamarijn] fresh.”
Guenter Seidel – CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle third place
“For the stage of partnership I was really pleased with her. Compared to Yvonnne going at one hundred percent, I only ride at fifty percent right now. Hopefully that will change in the future but I’m very pleased with her. I am super happy with how she handled it and how she presented herself. She is going to have a little break now as a reward, we are going to go back to California and keep training. I think the highlight was that she stayed with me the entire time. Nothing was perfect, but overall it was a very harmonious ride and I think that’s what everyone is looking for.”
On his music and floorplan:
“I basically put it together myself with Terri Ciott Gallo fine tuning. The choreography is fairly simple for a greener horse, so as time progresses I think we are going to make it a little more difficult.”