San Juan Capistrano, CA – Steffen Peters and Marlando won the Prix St. George today at the USEF Intermediaire I Championship at Oaks Blenheim with a score of 73.750%. Leslie Morse on Tip Top 962 was second scoring 72.450%. Peters and Morse distanced themselves from the field as the third place score of 67.200% was shared by Heather Blitz on American-bred Arabella and Nicole Perry on Rubino Bellissimo. The test was the FEI Prix St. Georges 2000.
California resident Peters described his ride as “Fun, it was a lot of fun today. Most times with him it’s pure work, but today he was relatively relaxed and I could actually ride him. Many tests before I simply had to have the brakes on the whole time. It felt really, really rideable today and I’d like to take a look at the video later on but I think it was one of our best tests. It’s certainly fun that it happened in front of the home crowd. I could lengthen his frame a little bit today and could ride the whole diagonal from letter to letter. His pirouettes felt good, he kept very good cadence in his trot half-passes, overall it felt very good.” Marlando is a nine year old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Lila Kommerstad.
Leslie Morse may well have taken home the blue ribbon on Tip Top 962, her Swedish Warmblood stallion, if it hadn’t been for a rocky transition just after the salute and a missed canter lead later in the test. “He was really happy when he went in and I think it’s just a little bit of lack of experience,” she observed. “He’s a ten year old young stallion and in front of such a big crowd, the flags waving and stuff, it’s hard to keep his attention sometimes, and that’s why all these big venues are really good for him. He’s got a bright future and he needs to get in these big venues and see all the exciting things the world has to offer. At the same time, it gets to be a little delicate.” She explained the transition error, “When I halted and went to do the trot-off I probably kind of sat a little differently, I also practiced my freestyle yesterday which is cantering on the center line, and today he just cantered into it. Those things happen. I was ecstatic with how he went, when I came into this I knew it would be hard to keep up with Steffen.”
The Intermediaire I Championship consists of three competitions with a varying value of each test determining the winner. The Prix St. George comprises 40% of the total score, the Intermediaire I test 40%, and the Intermediaire Freestyle comprises 20%. The Intermediaire I test begins tomorrow morning at 9:30 and the Freestyle competition starts at 9:30 Sunday morning.
Results are as follows;
Steffan Peters, Marlando, 73.750%
Leslie Morse, Tip Top 962, 72.450%
Heather Blitz, Arabella, 67.200%
Nicole Perry, Rubino Bellissimo, 67.200%
Catherine Morelli, Be Se, 67.100%
Michael Shondel, Wallaby, 66.650%
Gwen Blake, Nimbus, 65.950%
Silke Rembacz, Millenium, 65.300%
Patti Becker, Tsunami, 65.250%
Jennifer Holman, Petit Danseur, 65.250%
Courteney King, Lambada, 64.700%
Heather Bender, Winwood, 55.600%