San Diegan heads to Olympic qualifying in dressage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diegan heads to Olympic qualifying in dressage

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – One of the best equestrians in the country lives in San Diego. His name is Steffen Peters and his horse is Legolas - a gold medal winning horse in dressage in July at the Pan American Games in Canada.

“It's a kind horse, very social, and not very opinionated,” said Peters.

In dressage, the rider wants to go unnoticed.

“Our horses look extremely expressive, very enthusiastic about what they're doing. But we're supposed to make it look effortless,” added Peters.

Making it look effortless can be tough, but when a gold medal rider is on a gold medal horse - it's a sight to see.

Peters compares the horse to a human athlete.

“They have to be fit, have to have strength, mental capacity to deal with stressful situations,” continued Peters.

Dressage is one of those rare sports where the men and women compete against each other.  At 51, Peters has experience on his side, but his best competition will likely come from a woman nearly half his age.

“Yes, experience helps, but if you have a helluva horse and a good rider, we can easily lose to people in that age group,” he added.

Peters won individual gold and a team gold at the Pan Am Games in July. The team is qualified for the Rio Olympics, but Peters still has to qualify as an individual. 

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