Kathleen Raine and Breanna Triumph in the FEI Grand Prix Special at the Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI-YJ3*

RELEASE: March 10, 2013

Kathleen Raine with Breanna (Lindsay McCall for
Kathleen Raine with Breanna (Lindsay McCall for
Del Mar, CA
- Accuracy, elasticity, and quality describe the championship rides in Saturday’s 2013 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire CDI-YJ3*. Steffen Peters and Dutch Warmblood, Vaya Con Dios, earned the FEI Intermediaire I Test championship solidifying the dressage partnership for this past show jumper. Twenty year-old Amelia Child and Veto garnered the win in the FEI Young Rider Individual Test adding a top score to her Young Rider career. It was Breanna and owner Kathleen Raine who executed a strong and energetic FEI Grand Prix Special Test at the Del Mar Horse Park, scoring the duo the championship accolade.

“I was thrilled with Breanna, smiled Kathleen Raine of Murrieta, CA. “She was right there with me the whole time and the energy was great. Yesterday she was a little more tense because the electric atmosphere got to her so that is why I was happy with the turnaround today.”

Raine continued, “As I have moved her along over the years we have had to develop strength along the way. We have also had to work on her confidence. I have taken my time with her and I do not put her in places she would be intimidated.”

Raine’s successes in the dressage ring over the years have been astounding but even as a seasoned Olympian she is reserved about her future. Raine explained, “In the future I plan to continue to compete, get Breanna stronger and enjoy the journey with her. I think she is super talented and I am really excited to see how she does in the future.”

The Southern California dressage community maintains a large number of successful international riders like Kathleen Raine making classes like the FEI Intermediaire I a pleasure to watch. As 5* judge Alex Steiner commented, “It is not often that spectators and judges get to watch two Olympians back to back.”

The Intermediaire I’s began with 18 year-old Brandi Roenick who rode Pretty Lady to a 68.342% setting the tone for the division. Her trainer Steffen Peters stepped into the ring with Vaya Con Dios performing a steady and accurate test earning a 71.921%. Jan Ebeling and Descartes began their test just moments after Peter’s ride. Ebeling’s test started with a little uneasiness but finished with an awe-inspiring final halt placing them in the third position.

Peters has been working with Vaya Con Dios on specific movements including his pirouettes. Peters commented, “I was very happy with the Intermediaire I test; It was a very clean test. This was only the second time Vaya had done this so I am very happy with the score and the ride. I was also happy to hear that the judges were happy with it as well. The pirouettes have been difficult and today some of the judges gave us a 9 on our right pirouette; That is a huge step. I even heard commentator Axel Steiner liked the right pirouette so it is fun when it feels good and everyone else involved is on the same page.”

2012 Olympic teammate Jan Ebeling understands the challenges and rewards of a new dressage partner as he begins his journey with Cathy Shelton’s horse Descartes. “This is Descartes first season in the CDI’s,” said Ebeling. “He did the Prix St. Georges last year and did really well so we decided to step him up into the CDI’s. Our first CDI show was in Burbank so the Dressage Affaire is only his second time out.”

On the first day of CDI Competition Descartes was under the weather so Ebeling gave him time to school through the more difficult movements like the pirouettes. His conservative ride also had very precise changes and a great flow. Building on the first day, Jan created another solid test with beautiful cadence.

Over the 2013 calendar year Ebeling plans on keeping Descartes at this level with plans to head to the Dressage Festival. “I am very thankful to Cathy Shelton, owner of Descartes, for giving me this ride (that she hand picked in Germany by herself) and being so supportive” expressed Ebeling.

At only 18 years of age Brandi Roenick has the honor of comparing herself and her rides in the same division to that of trainer Steffen Peters and competitor Jan Ebeling. Brandi revealed, “I am Steffen’s mini him. I am trying to become everything that he has. He is a huge inspiration and role model. The fact that I have the opportunity to fall into his footsteps, watch him every day and see how he trains and works with the horses is truly a huge step in the path I want to go. I am able, at 18 years of age, to have these opportunities; It’s pretty amazing. I am so thankful to my sponsors, my parents, Steffen and Shannon, and Bruce and Jen Hlavacek because they give me these amazing opportunities and don’t focus on how old I am. Instead they focus on my future. I am very fortunate to have a great team behind me; I could not do this without them.”

Amelia Child once again captured the CDI Young Rider division with her Dutch Warmblood Veto while Cassidy Gallman and Woden followed for second. Amelia explained how she prepared for the second day of competition, “I went home last night and while I was watching the video and reading through my test I learned that I needed more. I needed another layer of collection and another layer of suppleness. So I really went for it today.”

She continued, “Not only did I go for it today but I did it for my trainer Sue Martin who couldn’t be at the show after she had to leave due to a heart issue. I rode for her today and we got the job done. Veto (pronounced Vehtoh) really listened to me. We really went for it in the extended canter and didn’t have any major mistakes.”

As for the future of this 20 year-old from Thousand Oaks, CA, she refers to herself jokingly as the Ron Paul of Young Riders. “I joke about my nickname because every spring the flowers come out, the days get longer and I campaign for Young Riders. This is my last year so hopefully I will make it on the team. I have never made it on the team but I have always had fun going through the process.”

Cassidy Gallman and Woden are also looking forward to working towards the Young Rider team qualification with her trainer Steven Birchall. This is Gallman’s first year trying for the team.

As the evening came to a close at the 2013 Rancho Valencia Dressage Affaire equestrians Shannon Peters and Ann Romney competed in the Prix St. Georges Adult Amateur division. Shannon Peters took home the win with horse Wysteria Giana in first, owned by Rikki Levine. She also earned the second place with S. Don Atello, owned by Kathleen Giovenco, while Ann Romney and Donatello secured the third position.

Shannon commented, “Wysteria Giana was a little nervous because she has never ridden under lights or at night and she has little experience in the Prix St George. She is a little green and that was a big atmosphere for her so I was really proud of how she did. Owner Rikki Levine has only had her for two months.”

Ann Romney concurred, “This was not the ideal situation to come out at night and in the cold. Donatello proved to me that even as tense as the atmosphere was in there he did every movement precisely. Not as well as he will in the future though. This is my first time showing him and his first time showing for a long time. It’s thrilling to be back showing again and it is thrilling to be back with a horse that is so wonderful. I love this horse and I think we have good season ahead of us.”