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Four-time Olympian extends his run of dressage glory in Wellington

Steffen Peters continued his winning streak from 2020 into 2021 when he claimed his 17th consecutive international victory at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (GDF) in Wellington, Florida.

Steffen rode his Tokyo Olympics team hopeful Suppenkasper to a solid win in the CDI4* grand prix special on 30 January. The pair, who are unbeaten in international competition since 2019, posted 75.77%, with just a mistake in the one-time changes pulling their marks down.

The 13-year-old Spielberg son, who is owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm, was Steffen’s ride at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina, where he helped the USA team claim silver on home soil. Their scores have remained consistently high over the past two years, helping put them firmly in contention for a berth at the Tokyo Olympics later this year, where it will be the grand prix special will determine the team medals.

“The grand prix special is always my favourite test,” said Steffen after his latest win in Wellington. “It has those beautiful transitions from extended trot to passage, and then the half-passes are a little easier to ride, so there was a bit more of a throttle there with ‘Mopsie’ today because he was so relaxed.

“I really thought I had him there for the one tempis – I really collected him on the short side, and then I risked it a little and it was just a tad too much, so we had a small mistake,” added the four-time Olympian. “But he’s done five shows in a row without a single mistake, and at the end of the day I am human, and they’re horses and not machines, so those things happen.”

The pair will next be in action in the GDF’s CDI5* show at the end of February.

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Steffen finished ahead of runners-up Charlotte Jorst (USA) and Kastel’s Nintendo, who posted 72.04%. Meanwhile Britain’s Susan Pape slotted into eighth position with 67.51% on Harmony’s Eclectisch.

Germany-based Susan has enjoyed plenty of success so far this year on the Florida circuit with this 11-year-old Zenon x Olivi stallion; they finished runners-up to Steffen and Suppenkasper in the first CDI3* leg of the GDF last month.

They were also second in January’s World Cup grand prix behind the USA’s Olivia Lagoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir, who went on to top the freestyle qualifier with 81.54% – one of very few World Cup qualifiers to have taken place this season.

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