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Peters, Ravel at their best in historic Alltech WEG win

American duo earns 1st WEG individual medal ever for U.S.

By JENNIFER WOOD - October 7th, 2010 - Show & Event News
Steffen Peters and Ravel at the FEI World Dressage Championship in Lexington, KY

USEF photo by Shannon Brinkman

Steffen Peters and Ravel at the FEI World Dressage Championship in Lexington, KY

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The brilliant United States dressage duo, Steffen Peters of San Diego, and Ravel, owned by Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki, won the bronze medal at the FEI World Dressage Championship in the Grand Prix Special by virtue of the pair’s Grand Prix Special score ever — 78.542 percent.
It was quite an accomplishment for Peters – no American rider had won an individual medal since the World Equestrian Games began in 1990.

Peters was wiping away tears on the podium in the medal presentation, knowing that this accomplishment was the culmination of many years of hard work.

“I have to be honest, I can tell you how many years, days, and hours it’s been since Hong Kong and I missed the bronze medal,” he revealed. “My wife knows how tough that was. I never admitted that and I tried to control myself afterwards. That it finally happened today was huge.

“I can’t believe how lucky I am that Akiko (Yamazaki) and Jerry (Yang) allow me to ride this horse,” he added. “What he did was unbelievable. There was certainly huge pressure for the team yesterday, and there was just as much if not more today. When that happened, I was simply beside myself.”

Peters and Ravel, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Contango x Democraat, had a third-place finish yesterday in the Grand Prix, which helped the U.S. Team finish fourth. He had hoped to stay consistent for the first individual final.

“It was a cleaner test today,” he explained after the individual test. “The amazing part is Ravel still felt very, very strong. I didn’t feel him one single bit tired. He was still going for the extensions like he was yesterday. His passage felt amazing. His strength is always the half-pass in trot. It worked out beautifully, and I can’t even tell you what I felt getting done with this test and then having the crowd behind me. It was just an amazing experience. I love it.”

The California duo’s judge’s scores were: E – Cara Whitham (CAN): 77.708%, H – Stephen Clarke (GBR): 78.958%, C – Mary Seefried (AUS): 77.292%, M – Maribel Alonso (MEX): 77.083%, B – Linda Zang (USA): 81.667%.

Katherine Bateson-Chandler and Nartan, owned by Jane Clark, were the second American duo to enter the arena for their Grand Prix Special test. They had a good ride and the judges scored them with a total of 68.875%. They finished in 19th place. The judge’s scores were: E: 70.417%, H: 68.958%, C: 67.500%, M: 67.500%, B: 70.000%.

The top 15 riders from the Special will advance to Friday’s Grand Prix Freestyle competition; Peters and Ravel will be the only American combination.
“Whatever happens in the freestyle, if it goes well, is going to be icing on the cake even if it’s not a good freestyle. I am so pleased with the last couple of days – I am beside myself. Ravel made a little history today, it’s huge.”

MORE RESULTS: See website: http://bit.ly/WEGresults

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