Articles: Horse News
U.S. Dressage Team Finishes Fourth at
2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
Tina Konkot and Calecto V.
Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 28, 2010
by Jennifer Wood for USEF
Lexington, KY - The U.S. Dressage Team has finished fourth in the FEI World
Dressage Championship. This was the Team Grand Prix competition, and today's
riders - Tina Konyot on Calecto V, owned by Tina Konyot, and Steffen Peters
with Ravel, owned by Four Winds Farm and Akiko Yamazaki - completed tests
that helped the team finish fourth. The two other combinations rounding out
the team are Katherine Bateson-Chandler on Nartan, and Todd Flettrich on
The first American rider today was Konyot of Palm City, FL, who rode Calecto
V, a 12-year-old Danish stallion by Come Back II x Rastell, to a total score
of 69.915% and finished in 16th place. Their judges' scores were: E:
68.511%, H: 71.277%, C: 70.000%, M: 67.872%, B: 71.915.
Konyot had a mistake in the final centerline movement from the passage to
the piaffe. She stated, "I didn't ride it. It's never the horse, it's us. I
love that boy so much and he felt so good to me. He felt superb in the
warm-up. Maybe I just said, 'Ok, this is feeling so wonderful.' He stopped
and thought it was over and then he picked up the piaffe again. It was sheer
stupidity on my part. All I had to do was close my legs a little bit and
keep riding him."
"I wanted to do the best I possibly could and I didn't do the best I
possibly could," she admitted. "It was good and I'm happy, but I wanted to
do better for them. I know how much support everybody has been giving each
other and I know that that horse has it in him. He's a very special horse."
Despite that error, Konyot still felt very positive about her ride and her
horse. "He's so happy and so fit. He walks up here like it's so much
fun. He's a very calm, cool competitor. He's not a nervous horse, so he's
really on his game all the time," she noted. "The canter tour was
spectacular. He has a beautiful canter, super changes. He has a very good
walk. That's the highlight of Calecto for right now. I think it'll change as
he gets older and he gets more time. It's just been one and a half years
that we've been doing the grand prix. He's a fairly new grand prix horse
compared to most of them."
This was also Konyot's first time riding in a championship event. She
expressed, "It's absolutely fantastic, a great, great feeling to be on a
team. Every day is a wonderful feeling, being able to do what we do, how
privileged we are to ride these beautiful horses."
Peters, who is from San Diego, CA, and Ravel have been one of the most
successful U.S. dressage duos in history. As anchor of the team, Peters
wanted to help the team reach the podium. With strong performances from The
Netherlands, Great Britain, and Germany, however, his extremely good score
of 78.596% was not quite enough. The U.S. Team finished on a score of
218.128 for fourth place.
Peters and Ravel received the following scores from the judges: E: 80.213,
H: 78.936, C: 78.298, M: 77.660, B: 77.872.
Peters and Ravel, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Contango x Democraat,
received a boisterous welcome into the arena and loud cheering when they
exited. Peters always enjoys riding for American spectators and said, "It's
always very, very special. There's no doubt that there's that electricity
from an American crowd that is very, very hard to reproduce anywhere else in
the world. I could feel the electricity on the last centerline. I just
couldn't wait to get out there and make a circle around the scoreboard and
take a look at the final scores."
Of his performance, Peters explained, "Seventy-eight is one of our higher
scores. That's exactly the score we had last year in Las Vegas. To keep it
up and maintain that is just as hard as bringing a horse up to this
level. I'm obviously very, very happy with a 78. I've done the mistake
before where I've chased the scoreboard. That was last year at Florida. It
was one of my worst tests ever. Today I rode exactly what Ravel was
He described his test saying, "The flying changes felt really good. I think
the canter pirouettes were probably the best ones he's done so far in an
arena. He surprised me a little bit with how much he wanted to go in the
canter extension. I didn't do a whole lot. I collected him in the corner and
gave him the rein and he just went like there's no tomorrow. I was a little
concerned with that transition back, but it all worked out
beautifully. There's still plenty there."
Steffen Peters and Ravel.
Photo by Shannon Brinkman for USEF.
Finishing in the top three today was encouraging for Peters. He said, "Today
I was in third place. That's awesome. Let's face it, both number one and
number two were over 80%. This gives us good momentum into the next day
tomorrow. I'm going to do everything I can to hold that position and fight
for more. We usually score a little bit better in the Grand Prix Special. I
love those long floating half passes in there. I can't wait."
While Peters did not produce the score needed to move the U.S. Team into
medal contention, it was a good finish for a team consisting of one veteran
and three riders that had never been to a championship before. "Fourth place
for our team is a little bit disappointing, and there's no doubt that I
really wanted to get the bronze medal for the team, especially after we came
so close in Hong Kong," he admitted. "I came out of the ring and said,
'Sorry guys, it's not quite enough, but it's awfully close.' For the three
rookies on the team, I thought they did a wonderful job."
U.S. Dressage Managing Director and Chef d'Equipe Eva Salomon said of
today's finish, "It's been really exciting and I'm absolutely thrilled. I
think they've done so well and I'm really happy with it. Our goal was to
qualify for the Olympics, and we did that. Now that we are qualified for the
Olympic Games, for next year we can start to plan how to get our riders over
to Europe, go to the big events there, and go to other CDIO team
competitions. We hope to have at least six to eight riders so that we have a
strong base for the Olympics."
Salomon also credited USEF Dressage Technical Advisor Anne Gribbons for the
strong team performance. "All of the horses have been going really
well. Anne Gribbons has been fantastic in coaching them and helping them
along, especially from a judge's point of view in showing them how to train
and how to get their horses to perform in the best way," Salomon
explained. "From what I've seen, the horses have really improved, especially
with the three 'rookies' so to speak."
Salomon echoed the sentiments of the team riders that their experience
working together to represent their country was a unique experience. "I
don't think I've ever been with a team that's been so close. I find that
very impressive," she remarked.
By finishing in the top 30 of today's competition, Peters, Konyot, and
Bateson-Chandler have qualified for tomorrow's Grand Prix Special, which
will be the first individual competition for medals. The Grand Prix Special
will be in the Main Stadium with part 1 starting at 10 a.m. and part 2 at
2:30 p.m. The top 15 riders from the Special will advance to Friday's Grand
Prix Freestyle competition.
The vision of the United States Equestrian Federation is to provide
for equestrian sport in the United States of America by promoting the
of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare
of its human and equine athletes.