Grand prix freestyle gets underway at the Tokyo Olympics as Steffen Peters makes a solid start

  • Four-time Olympian Steffen Peters put in a solid performance as the Olympic dressage freestyle got underway at the Tokyo Olympics.  This final day’s competition is to decide the individual medals. Steffen’s test on Suppenkasper took an early lead, scoring 80.968%, not too far off the pair’s personal best of 81.5%.

    Already with two team bronze medals under his belt, Steffen played his part in the US team’s silver last night in the grand prix special, scoring 77.77%. This probably won’t be enough to trouble the leaders, but it set the standard in the first group of challengers. The Spielberg gelding has racked up 22 consecutive wins, and was unbeaten since the start of 2020, but all on US soil. Today’s test was probably not quite as sharp as last night’s effort, but Steffen was still proud of his horse’s achievement.

    “Suppenkasper gave everything yesterday, every ounce of energy and every single ounce of cooperation,” he said. “Yesterday he fought for our team. And I wouldn’t say he was tired today, just not as brilliant as yesterday, but it was still a clean test and an 80%, almost an 81%. Nothing wrong with that.”

    Four-time Olympian Steffen chose dance music with a strong beat, and packed the moves into this relaxed and active test. The first one-tempi changes were bouncy yet settled, while his half-passes were active and elegant, the trot steps right in time with the beat. The music featured James Blunt’s It’s Gonna Be OK, and some 1980s Haddaway.

    “I personally feel like the upbeat dance music,” said Steffen. “If we have a party tonight, and that’s the music, I’ll be dancing to.”

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