Sunday, April 19, 2009

FEI Rolex World Cup Dressage, Las Vegas

Jim and I just returned from our first vacation in a while, and he was game enough to accompany me to Las Vegas for World Cup dressage. What a weekend it was! Of all the years to go, this was the one and I feel very fortunate. Steffen Peters wowed the crowd and took the Grand Prix on Thursday, and went one step further and won the freestyle last night with a 84.9%. Both of his rides on Ravel were phenomenal and a joy to watch. So much so, that I didn't even THINK to take a picture during either performance. I was absolutely mesmerized. He and Ravel beat the two biggest names in dressage, Isabell Werth and Anky Van Grunsven, and one can't help but think this might be a harbinger of things to come for international dressage and more specifically, US dressage.

Here are a handful of shots, for what they're worth - shot from the "cheap seats" of the Thomas and Mack Arena with the only lens I bothered to pack.

Guenter Seidel and Elizabeth Ball do a pas de deux to Phantom of the Opera. It was amazingly well done! (and they managed to hold the rose together all the way down centerline in passage!)

Sabine Schut-Kery brings in the flag for the opening ceremonies

Brentina's retirement ceremony, not a dry eye in the house!

From bottom, Isabell Werth (GER, 3rd place on Satchmo), Steffen Peters (USA, 1st place on Ravel) and Anky Van Grunsven (NED, 2nd place on Painted Black) during Saturday night's freestyle awards ceremony.

Steffen Peters, winner of the 2009 FEI Rolex World Cup Dressage!

Steffen and Ravel take a victory lap to an absolutely thunderous roar from the audience!

Shortly I will post pictures from a VERY COOL side trip Jim and I took on Saturday....