Herning, Denmark – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team has officially qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games as a result of their sixth-place finish at the Blue Hors FEI World Team Dressage Grand Prix Championship presented by Helgstrand at the 2022 ECCO FEI World Championships in Herning, Denmark. The team finished on a final team score of 220 with Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper earning the highest score for the team with a 74.767 percent. The home team from Denmark secured gold on a 235.451, with Great Britain earning the silver with a 234.233, and Germany taking bronze with a 230.791. Competition will continue with the FEI Grand Prix Special, which will see the top thirty combinations from the FEI Grand Prix return for the third day of competition.
Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Suppenkasper were the third combination for the team and the first to return to Stutteri ASK Stadium for the team on the second day of competition. The pair rode a solid and controlled test, earning them a 74.767 percent. Suppenkasper, a 2008 KWPN gelding owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm, made his second world championship appearance with Peters, with improved marks and more progress four years on.
“I wanted to go in there and do my very best. Mopsie was really excited today, and that extended canter made the ring feel very small,” chuckled Peters. “He was a bit lower than I like to have him, but overall, a pretty clean test and I’m proud of him."
With qualification for Paris on the line, Peters and Lyle were both under pressure to produce results for the team that would help then secure a combined score high enough to finish within the top six countries in the team portion of competition. As one of the most veteran athletes for the program, Peters rose to the occasion to deliver a solid score with Suppenkasper in the harder of the two tests for the gelding at this level.
“When you go into the ring you always get a little bit nervous, and I’ve accepted that. Back in the barn when you go to get ready, that’s usually when your heart rate starts to go up, but it’s the most normal thing in the world I’ve learned to take that with me into the arena, but the pressure is there for sure,” said Peters. “Looking back to four years ago he’s made huge steps forward and I’m very proud of what he gave me today.”
As the anchor combination and the final ride of the competition, Lyle and Salvino fought through a mistake in their canter zigzag to earn a 74.394 percent and ultimately lift the team to their goal of Olympic berth for 2024. Salvino, a 2008 Hanoverian stallion owned by Betsy Juliano LLC, showcased strong piaffe and passage work, which was trending them around the 76-percentage mark before their miscommunication in the canter tour.
“Our main goal here was to qualify our country for an Olympic berth and we did that and are super excited about that since that was our main mission here,” said Lyle. “My horse showcased some really nice work today in there but got his legs a bit tangled in the zigzag, so I walked to regroup so he wouldn’t worry about it and carried on, but other than that he had a really good test and we’re looking forward to the special tomorrow.”
Both Peters and Lyle qualified in the top thirty combinations in the FEI Grand Prix and will return to contest the FEI Grand Prix Special, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. GMT+2/7:30 a.m. ET. Lyle and Salvino will go fourteenth at 4:00 p.m. GMT+2/10:00 a.m. ET, while Peters and Suppenkasper will go twentieth at 5:40 p.m. GMT+2/11:40 a.m. ET.
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