Articles: Press Release
Peters Prevails on Day One of the USEF Selection Trials for Dressage at
the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions; Juniors
and Young Riders Shine
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2008
By Joanie Morris
San Juan Capistrano, CA - Day one of the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF
Dressage Festival of Champions was highlighted by the afternoon
performances of the 12 best horses in the country competing in the USEF
Selection Trials for the 2008 Olympic Team in Dressage. Serving also as
the National Grand Prix Dressage Championship, the class featured four
San Diego rider and Olympic veteran Steffen Peters had plenty of fans on
hand to watch him ride his two horses, and his new star Ravel proved to
be the class of the field, winning his fifth Grand Prix in a row with a
fantastic effort and a score of 75.792%.
"I was beside myself," said Peters after his test. "It adds a lot of
pressure when you've had a good season. There were areas that I took a
little more risk with Ravel and everything came together on the right
day. It's an Olympic year and you have to raise the bar, if you jump it
that's even better."
The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding's test featured beautiful flying
changes and transitions. Relatively inexperienced at the level, Akiko
Yamazaki's horse put the veterans on notice that he was going to be in
the mix for selection.
"For him at his age with his experience that is what I can and should
expect," said Peters. "The last four or five days were exactly like he
was today. The plan was to stick to the program and make some
adjustments if needed I to. He pulled it off."
Peters' other mount, Lombardi 11, who won the 2007 Collecting Gaits
Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Championship, put in huge extensions to
pick up good marks from the judges and earn a score of 70.625%. The
17-year-old Holsteiner gelding, also owned by Yamazaki, lies in third
place going into the second day of competition.
"Even though he's 17, he can still be a little bit unpredictable," said
Peters. "Its very hard to keep him focused. He's a horse with tremendous
talent but his mind is not always where it needs to be. It certainly
helps to have a test like that."
Brentina, a 17-year-old Hanoverian mare owned by Parry & Peggy Thomas,
was first in the ring and didn't disappoint her legions of fans. With
her longtime rider, Debbie McDonald aboard, she commanded presence when
she entered the arena and although she did make a couple of mistakes,
the overall quality was rewarded with a score of 72.667%
"Knowing this will be our last year together, I enjoy every moment with
her," said McDonald.
McDonald and Brentina were members of the bronze medal-winning teams at
the 2004 Olympic Games and the 2006 World Equestrian Games. The veteran
mare had a very quiet 2007 but has returned in force for one more
Olympic bid. McDonald also rode her second horse of the afternoon,
Felix, for a score of 66.50%
"He's still very green, I've shown him very sparingly trying to get him
confident," said McDonald.
"I definitely think we have a strong chance to medal," said McDonald of
Team USA's chances at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong. "Steffen's
horse proved that he is right up there in the mid to high 70s. Brentina
can improve and you have another horse that can get in the 70s and you
get it right on the day, that's what it is about."
Courtney King-Dye and Harmony's Mythilus slipped into fourth with a
score of 70.208% just ahead of King-Dye's other horse, the veteran
stallion Idocus. Harmony's Mythilus, despite just being in his second
year of Grand Prix showed his maturity and talent to put in a very solid
"Mythilus I was very pleased with," said King-Dye. "I made a mistake
with his shoeing and it took him about a month to get over that. But
Myth is really on an upturn. I feel really good about making what I have
in him better."
King-Dye expected a better performance from Christine McCarthy's Idocus.
The 18-year-old stallion didn't put in his best test.
"Idocus to be honest, I was disappointed," said King-Dye. "He's been
really awesome, he came out today a little bit fighty. The second piaffe
conked out on me. It definitely wasn't the ride I was hoping for with
Idocus. Sometimes I just love him too much, I kept the warm up too
The National Grand Prix Championship continues Sunday afternoon.
Barteau Picks up Where she Finished off in 2007 - on Top in the Young
The day kicked off with the National Young Rider Dressage Championship.
Twelve riders rode the Young Rider Team Test including the defending
champion from 2007.
A very busy Kassie Barteau qualified three horses with which to try to
defend last year's title and she got off to a fantastic start with her
2007 partner, Gabriella. The 16-year-old Hanoverian mare scored 65.467%
to lead off the division. The score held throughout the class and
Barteau's title defense was underway.
"She's always a good girl," said Barteau. "She's always very, very
consistent. I was super happy with her. We just went nice and steady. We
had a clean ride."
Owned by Robert Oury, Gabriella tried very hard throughout the test and
put in a customary stellar performance. Barteau was busy throughout the
morning, riding all three horses before 10:30, and finishing up in sixth
place with Raymeister and seventh with Sheffield.
"My friends and my mom helped me back in the barn," said Barteau of
fitting in all three rides in two hours. "It work out just fine
actually. They are all very different but since I ride them all the time
I know my spot on each of them."
Twenty one-year-old college student Laura Noyes made the long trip from
Delaware, OH with her 13-year-old Trakehner gelding Synchro worth the
effort, finishing just off Barteau's winning score on a 65.156%.
"We came out about a week and a half ago and have been based at Debbie
McDonald's barn about two hours away from here," said Noyes. "I came out
with George Williams and it has been nice we've both had just one horse
to focus on."
The pair performed an accurate test, picking up very consistent marks
from the five judges, Noyes was happy that Synchro kept his enthusiasm
"Overall it was good," said Noyes. "He was very fresh, I was hoping he
would chill out a little bit because it was so hot. But not so much. I
blew a line of threes and some of the changes. He gets really worked up
sometimes but I was happy how he handled the pirouettes."
Rounding out the top three Young Riders after the first day is Holly
Bergay and Soliloquy. The 15-year-old Tucson, AZ rider put in a very
determined performance to sit less than a point off the lead on a score
of 64.622%. Soliloquy has three years on her rider who is the youngest
of the division.
"She felt great and had good energy despite the heat," said Bergay.
"Usually she's a little fireball. She stayed focused yet still really
energetic. We did a few CDIs this year which helped prepare for this
kind of environment which helped to make this a little less stressful.
She's 18 but she doesn't show it. "
Bergay was sixth at the North American Junior/Young Riders'
Championships in 2007 and had hoped to earn a spot on the 2008
"I was trying for Hong Kong," said Bergay. "You have to do a number of
international qualifiers and it didn't work out for us. But the WEG is
including Para for the first time so I want to try that, if not there is
always London. I have a lot of opportunities and I'm really grateful for
The 2008 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Young Rider Dressage
Champion will be crowned after the 12 riders ride the Prix St. Georges
Test Sunday morning beginning at 10:50 a.m.
Pooley Best of the Juniors
The Juniors followed the Young Riders into the ring at the Oaks Blenheim
facility, and nine of them went to task for the Collecting Gaits
Farm/USEF National Junior Dressage Championship.
Local rider Mackinzie Pooley and Jonkara put in a dynamic performance as
the third combination into the ring. From Coto de Caza, CA, Pooley is a
veteran of the North American Junior/Young Riders' Championships and
hopes to return in 2008. Their score of 68.30% was good enough to keep
them just ahead of Brandi Roenick, who came into the Championship ranked
first of all the Juniors.
"My horse paid attention really well," said Pooley. "I went for it in
the mediums in the canter. Those are things that I can do well. Some
places I was conservative. Everyday is different with my horse. Some
days she'll be awesome and some days she'll be not so great."
Roenick, from Scottsdale, AZ, rode the energetic chestnut mare Pretty
Lady to an energetic performance to slip into second on an even 68%.
"I put more effort in the medium and extended trots," said Roenick. "She
's been breaking so I eased up a little bit so that I didn't have a
break. She's a hot horse so I know that she's always energetic. She's
not going to be lazy."
Roenick plans to continue riding the 11-year-old Dutch mare and has high
hopes for their career.
"I'd like to take her to Grand Prix," said Roenick.
Catherine Chamberlin and Fashion rounded out the top three on a score of
63.950% The Chandler, AZ rider rode tactfully, knowing where she could
"Fashion paid attention really well and feel like he had fun," said
Chamberlin. "In some places I pushed on him and in some places I had to
be a little bit more conservative. You just have to know your horse at
that moment to know if you should go for it."
The Juniors return to the ring at 8:30 on Sunday morning for the second
round of the Championship.
For complete results and live scoring please see:
www.dressageontheroadtohongkong.com . for more information please
contact USEF High Performance Communications Manager Joanie Morris at
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation(r) is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
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