Maryland Stallion Elfenperfekt *Pg* Earns First CDI Win (first published in the January 2021 Equiery) by Katherine O. Rizzo

This past October, the Maryland-bred Trakehner stallion Elfenperfekt took home his first CDI wins at the CDI-W Tryon held October 23-25 at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina. Ridden by the 14-year-old stallion’s trainer, Abraham Pugh of Greencastle, Pennsylvania, Elfenperfekt scored a 68.109% in the Grand Prix and a 74.010% in the Grand Prix Freestyle, winning both classes.

Rounding out the top three at Tryon were two former Marylanders, with Julio Mendoza Loor placing second aboard Rosali and Jessica Jo Tate riding Kynynmont Gunsmoke’s Gideon to third place.

Rare Bloodlines
Elfenperfekt is by Peron, who is the highest scoring stallion in Olympic history. Peron was also the highest scoring horse on the 1996 U.S. Olympic Dressage team, which earned the team Bronze Medal.

Peron was bred in Europe and was approved at Neumunster in 1986 before being imported to Canada where he stood at the Ahrensberg Trakehner Horse Farms until 1989. He then moved to the U.S. and stood at stud for owner Carol Meyer Webster, but was not actively bred during the build-up to the 1996 Olympic Games. After the Olympics, he returned to Germany and spent some time breeding and competing before his death in 1999.

Before being shipped back to Germany, Peron was collected by Select Breeders Services here in Maryland and Webster retained rights to the frozen semen, intending to start her own breeding operation here in the States. Tragically, Webster died shortly after and her family got out of horses, selling what remained of his semen.

One such buyer was Alice Drayer of Jefferson who ended up with four foals by Peron. Elfenperfekt is one of these foals and is owned by both Alice and her husband Peter. Interestingly, one of their other foals also is competing at the Grand Prix level, a mare named Elfen String of Pearls, who is owned and ridden by Marylander Amelia Lyon.

Because of both Peron’s and Webster’s untimely deaths, Peron offspring are difficult to find!
The American Trakehner Association (ATA)awarded Elfenperfekt’s dam, Elfentraum, Elite Mare status in 2015. Her elite status was due to the accomplishments of both Elfenperfekt and Elfen String of Pearls. Elfentraum is by Zauberklang *E* of Canada and out of Elfenschimmer who is by the stallion Donauschimner of Wonderland Farms in Pennsylvania.

Elfenperfekt was approved as a breeding stallion by ISR Oldenburg N.A. in 2013 and then in 2015, he was licensed as a breeding stallion by ATA. Elfenperfekt is also licensed through the Trakehner Association of North America. He has been awarded *Pg* status due to his Grand Prix performance record.

In 2015, Peron earned Elite status through ATA based on his own accomplishments and that of his offspring, including Elfenperfekt and Elfen String of Pearls.

Growing a Champion
Elfenperfekt first competed here in the U.S. with Wanja Gerlach and quickly earned top awards in Dressage from the American Trakehner Association (ATA). He was ranked the top Trakehner in the country in 2010 for Four- and Five-Year-Old Stallions/Geldings, Materiale, 2011 FEI Five-Year-Old and 2012 FEI Six-Year-Old. Also in 2010, Elfenperfekt was the Reserve Champion at the Dressage Breeding Championships at Devon. In 2012, Elfenperfekt was also ranked in the top 10 for the U.S. Dressage Federation’s (USDF) FEI Six-Year-Olds, coming in ninth.

Elfenperfekt was also the Reserve Champion Yearling Colts/Geldings for ATA’s Dressage Sport Horse Breeding in 2007 and then again in 2008 for the Two-Year-Old Colts/Geldings list.
Pugh took over the reins in 2013 when Elfenperfekt was seven years old and has been his partner ever since. “He has a lot of heart and tries all the time to please,” Pugh said. “He’s very bonded to me and is a great partner.”

The stallion continued to dominate ATA’s year-end rankings, topping the Open division for Intermediate II in 2015 and 2016 as well as Grand Prix in 2016, 2018 and 2019. He also broke into USDF top 10 lists again in 2016 (9th for Dressage Horse of the Year, Intermediate II) and 2019 (8th for Musical Freestyle Challenge Grand Prix).

Tested at Tryon
Although the start of Pugh and Elfenperfekt’s season was delayed by COVID-19, this did not faze either horse or rider as they moved forward with their 2020 plans.

They started out the season with a win in July at Dressage at Lexington in the FEI Grand Prix Challenge class scoring a 72.5%. They also won the FEI Musical Freestyle Challenge Test of Choice, Open class in Lexington with a 74.878%.

In August, Pugh and Elfenperfekt won all their Grand Prix classes at VADA/NOVA Summer Wind Down I and II and PVDA at Waredaca I and II. Next up was the GAIG/USDF Region 1 Dressage Championships held at the Virginia Horse Center October 8-11. There, the pair won the Grand Prix, Open class and placed third in the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle.

The pair continued to shine at Tryon where Pugh told after the win, “He just keeps getting better and better, and I keep getting better, so it’s really exciting.” Pugh told The Equiery that the Tryon win was their “biggest feat so far for sure” as the win gained them notice from some of the country’s top trainers, including the U.S. Olympic Dressage coaches. “They said if we can get down to Florida this winter, they’ll work with us. None of that would have happened without the win at Tryon,” Pugh said.

The pair have headed south and are setting their sights now on attempting to qualify for the World Cup in Sweden. The stallion’s journey to the top is poignant for Alice Drayer who said, “This is all very personal to me. I’ve started him as a youngster and there are not a lot of stallions that continue to compete at that level while still breeding.”

Just like his sire, Elfenperfekt is collected by Select Breeders Services with frozen semen available.