Steffen Peters (USA) is not only back in the desert, he’s also back in the winner’s circle. Friday afternoon, Peters and Suppenkasper, owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm, took top honors in the Four Winds Farm FEI World Cup Grand Prix with a score of 75.478%.
Peters believes “Mopsie” is feeling as good as ever, and the performance today gave him a bit of deja vu from a past win this year.
“I think this was his best Grand Prix of 2022,” Peters said of the 14-year-old gelding (Spielberg x IPS Crack C). “I’m comparing this ride to his win in Frankfort this year and I think today the piaffe was a little better. I’m finally able to ride it a little more in place and he stayed a lot straighter. Overall it was a very clean test, there were no mistakes. I think the walk was even better today; there was pure relaxation but at the same time lots of expression. He gave me a wonderful feeling. It is a great way to finish the year 2022 in the Grand Prix.
Peters was last to go, and just prior, Anna Buffini (USA) took over the lead with a new personal best aboard FRH Davinia La Douce. Buffini ended up second with her score of 72.522%, and Kristina Harrison-Antell and Finley were third with a score of 68.565%.
Reminiscing on his last outing at DIHP, Peters feels this week was an improvement, and he’s on track to take more victories, having won the FEI World Cup Grand Prix and FEI World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle during Desert Dressage II.
“Last time we had that little fumble on the centerline, so I did a few extra centerlines today in the warm-up without the pirouette in the middle and focused on the single flying change,” he said of his preparation. “Overall, I did very little between the last show and this show. We just focused on keeping him supple, healthy, and happy.”
Peters said during Desert Dressage III that he believes qualifying for FEI World Cup Finals in Omaha in April of 2023 will be a challenge, but his odds are looking good based on his performances so far to close out 2022. “If he goes like the last show, I would be super happy, [because] that was an exceptional freestyle. He feels strong and fit and hopefully we can do it this time and January, and once more in Omaha hopefully,” he said.
Peters now bases in San Diego, CA, so having CDI World Cup Qualifying events at DIHP just a drive away has been hugely important to him. “It’s such a great facility,” he remarked. “It is spacious, the footing in the warm-up and the show arena is great, and there is a wonderful international atmosphere in the international ring. It is just a great place and it’s only two and a half hours from home. This is a wonderful place and I feel honored that we have a show facility like this on the West Coast.”
Making an all-around great day for the Peters family, Shannon Peters (USA) put in a stellar performance in the CDI3* FEI Grand Prix, presented by It’s A Good Life Podcast, earning a personal best of 66.804% and a second-place finish in the Grand Prix with Disco Inferno.
“I’m very proud of my wife, Shannon,” Peters added. “Today she did her best Grand Prix of her career, and huge congratulations to her.”
Desert Dressage III continues Saturday with the FEI World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by EurEquine Stallions.