Eight North American Riders Invited to Participate at 2011 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach
Eight North American riders have been invited to the 2011 World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach, which will take place on March 9-11. The invitations include the world's leading American and Canadian dressage riders, Steffen Peters and Ashley Holzer.
Peters, riding Akiko Yamazaki's gelding Ravel, won the individual Grand Prix Special and Grand Prix Freestyle bronze medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Holzer was the second highest placed North American at the WEG, finishing eighth in the Freestyle on Pop Art. Both riders are familiar faces at the Masters, which is the richest and most prestigious dressage series in the world. Peters won the Grand Prix and was third in the Freestyle at the 2009 WDM Palm Beach, and Holzer finished right behind him, second and fourth. In 2010, Peters won the Grand Prix for the second time at the WDM Palm Beach and was second in the freestyle, while Holzer placed fourth in both classes.
"I'm hoping three's the charm," says Peters about his third appearance at the 2011 WDM Palm Beach. "Ravel is actually doing better than he was at WEG, according to my trainer Shannon Peters. I'm really looking forward to the Masters."
Peters says that the World Dressage Masters is the only opportunity for North American riders to compete on home soil against Europe's best, apart from when a major championship is occasionally held in North America. "This is the only chance we have for the European riders to come to us. If the World Dressage Masters can keep on inviting European riders annually, it has a huge benefit for the US, and helps to keep the momentum we have seen develop in dressage in this country."
Based on the USEF Grand Prix Rankings, the following American riders have been invited to compete at the WDM Palm Beach:
Steffen Peters (San Diego, CA) - the only American dressage rider to win individual medals at the World Equestrian Games, Peters is currently fourth on the FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking. A two-time Olympian, he became the first American to win the World Cup Dressage Final on American soil in Las Vegas, NV in 2009.
Tina Konyot (North Stonington, CT) - Konyot was the second highest placed American team member at the 2010 WEG. She also competed at the 2010 WDM Palm Beach. The 2011 season started strong for Konyot and her Danish Warmblood stallion Calecto V. The pair won the Grand Prix at the Gold Coast Dressage CDI-W in January, and won both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the Wellington Classic Dressage CDI-W three weeks later.
Katherine Bateson-Chandler (Wellington, FL) - Chandler was a member of the US Dressage Team at the 2010 WEG. She has had multiple wins at the Small Tour and Grand Prix level with several horses over the past five years.
Todd Flettrich (Coatesville, PA) - a past individual gold medalist at the NAJYRC, Flettrich was a member of the US Dressage Team at the 2010 WEG.
Pierre St. Jacques (Anthony, FL) - at the 2003 Pan American Games, St. Jacques was a member of the gold medal-winning US Dressage Team. An alternate for the 2010 US WEG dressage team, he placed fourth in the Grand Prix Special at the 2010 WDM Palm Beach.
Jan Ebeling (Moorpark, CA) - Ebeling helped the US team win gold at the 2003 Pan American Games, where he was the highest placed individual, fifth overall. He competed at the 2009 WDM Palm Beach and was an alternate for the 2010 WEG dressage team.
The following Canadian riders have been invited to to compete at the WDM Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club Palm Beach:
Ashley Holzer (Toronto, ON) - Holzer is the most successful Canadian dressage rider of the past twenty years. She was a member of Canada's bronze medalist 1988 Olympic Dressage Team which won the only dressage medal Canada has ever achieved at an Olympic Games. She has been a member of Canada's team at World and Olympic championships continuously since 2002. Holzer was the Equine Canada Equestrian Athlete of the Year for 2009.
Evi Strasser (Ste-Adele, QC) - a veteran of Canadian Olympic and WEG teams, Strasser is ranked fourth on the Nürnberger WDM Rider Ranking 2010-2011. She has made multiple appearances at WDM competitions in both Europe and Florida.
WDM Palm Beach has awarded a wild card for a third Canadian rider to compete at the 2011 WDM Palm Beach. In addition, the two top placed riders from the Grand Prix test at the Wellington Classic Dressage Challenge II CDI3* that is taking place concurrently with the WDM Palm Beach, will be invited to compete in the WDM Palm Beach.