California Based Riders Gear Up for First Olympic Qualifier at 2012 CDI-W Burbank
The 2012 CDI-W Burbank Mid-Winter Dressage Fair, which begins Thursday 23 February in Burbank, CA and continues through Sunday 26 February, is the first West Coast qualifying competition for the 2012 Olympic Games Dressage Team Selection Trials and will provide a glimpse of some of the country's most exciting new horse and rider combinations.
An international field of ten horses and riders will contest the CDI Grand Prix division, headlined by American dressage superstar and Olympian Steffen Peters with his spectacular new partner Legolas. In only their second show together, Peters is bringing Akiko Yamazaki's ten-year-old Westfalen gelding to the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair for their FEI competition debut and the pursuit of crucial qualifying scores to hopefully join his famous stablemate Ravel in consideration for an invitation to London.
Additionally, fellow Olympian Guenter Seidel will present his new mount, Toyon Farm's Fandango, but will be competing for top honors against his famous 2009 World Cup Finals "Phantom of the Opera" Pas de Deux partner Elizabeth Ball and "Orion", as well as perennial favorites Kathleen Raine with Breanna; Canada's Lindsey Stroh riding Lancelot; Yvonne Losos de Muñiz and Liebling II representing the Dominican Republic; and Jan Ebeling with Rafalca, who represented the USA at last year's World Cup Dressage Finals.
In the small tour, Steffen Peters will present his latest young prospect Sundance and will be joined by David Blake riding the exciting stallion Royal Prinz, Guenter Seidel with new mount Feodora, and Jan Ebeling with Rosenzauber, as well as highly successful combinations Kim Elsner on Luminence, Rebecca Rigdon riding Solei, and Tristan with Charlotte Jorst.
Officiating for this High Performance competition will be Jean-Michele Roudier (5*) of France, who will serve as a member of the ground jury for this summer's Olympic Games. Roudier will be joined by esteemed judges Linda Zang (5* USA), Cara Whitham (5* CAN), Eddy de Wolff (4* NED), Jayne Ayers (4* USA), and Brenda Minor (4* CAN).
This competition will serve as an early-season qualifier for the 2012 U.S. Dressage Championships, also known as the Festival of Champions (Pony Rider, Junior, Young Rider, Brentina Cup, and Intermediaire I divisions); NAJYRC; U.S. Young Horse Dressage Program; and the USEF Developing Horse division (sponsored by Dutta & PSI).