June 8-10 marked the first weekend of competition at the 2012 Dressage Festival of Champions in Gladstone, NJ, and riders are pulling out all the stops in hopes of securing a place on the London Olympic team.

Steffen Peters, whose number one horse, Ravel, has already received a bye for the trials, characteristically holds the lead in the Grand Prix with number two horse Legolas. With a 76.064% in the Grand Prix test and a 77.933% in the Grand Prix Special, so far nothing stands in the way of Peters' hopes to ride on a United States team once again. Listen to an interview with Steffen Peters here:

http://www.podbean.com/home/podcast-directory-play.php?eid=5187206

 Following close behind Peters are Tina Konyot and Calecto V, along with Todd Flettrich, based in Coatesville, PA and his horse, Otto. Konyot and Flettrich were teammates during the 2011 Pan American Games and 2010 World Equestrian Games, and both are hungry to add Olympic medals to their already impressive track records. Jan Ebeling, Adrienne Lyle, and Guenter Seidel fill out the top 6 Grand Prix riders who are in contention to earn a spot on the Olympic team.

Combinations will ride both tests again this Friday and Saturday, after which short-listed riders will attend a training camp before heading off to London.

To watch live feed of this week's competition, get up-to-the-minute results, and get information about attending the Festival of Champions, visit www.usef.org.