Articles: Horse News
Steffen Peters and Ravel Earn Second Bronze Medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI
World Equestrian Games
Steffen Peters and Ravel.
Photo by Shannon Brinkman.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2010
by Brian Sosby
Lexington, KY - Simply put, it was the greatest night of dressage action in
the history of the sport on American soil.
It came down to a dashing Dutchman, a young English woman and the superstar
American rider - all who continually broke and set records in a week that
saw the world turn its attention to the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian
Games in Lexington, KY.
For the Americans, it was a double-dose of new heights achieved in the
sport. Steffen Peters and his incredible partner, Ravel, earned two
hard-fought Bronze medals in a battle royale against two of the sport's
biggest hitters at this World Championships - Edward Gal and his magical
Moorlands Totilas and Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris. Gal
absolutely shattered scores and pulled off the ultimate hat trick by taking
Team Gold, Grand Prix Gold and the Gold medal in the Grand Prix
Freestyle. His opponent from Great Britain took home three Silver medals in
her own right. It was an incredible spectacle for dressage fans, and it
won't likely be seen again for a very long time.
Eleven nations made the cut to compete in the Freestyle - Austria,
Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany (three riders), Great Britain (two
riders), The Netherlands (two riders), Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the
United States. But it was the Dutch, English and Americans who truly came
away from these Games with all the glory.
Peters and Ravel, owned by Akiko Yamazaki and Four Winds Farm, led the
U.S. effort with his usual style and grace. He had admitted earlier in the
week just how much his near miss of the medal podium at the 2008 Olympics
had affected him. Those hard knocks were seemingly healed with his Grand
Prix Special medal.
"I was simply beside myself," he said.
Now, that is all a distant memory. Redemption came in the form of two Bronze
medals that became the first for an American dressage rider at the World
Championships. Its impact on the sport in the U.S. will be felt for years
"It was amazing...it's absolutely amazing how the standard has risen. I have
to say there was just as much pressure on Ravel and me for the Individual
medal in the Grand Prix Special. Let's face it. We didn't have a medal in
the United States for over 70 years. That was absolutely amazing. That was
icing on the cake," he said. "Tonight, we sprinkled a little bit more medals
on the top of that icing, and I think that's a pretty good looking cake!"
The pair was near foot perfect in their test, and the appreciative audience
was quick to award them with thunderous applause.
"I'm so thankful for an amazing horse that I'm allowed to ride. I'm a lucky
guy to have such a horse," he said humbly. "You can't do well by yourself,
and I have such an amazing support team. Many thanks to the owners Jerry
[Yang] and Akiko [Yamazaki], my coach at home and the love of my life,
Shannon. What an amazing week to share a couple of medals with the whole
Peters also got special notice for returning to the ring for the Honor Round
when he made the personal decision to wear a safety helmet. This was in
honor of his friend, Courtney King-Dye, who suffered a devastating riding
accident and has fought for months to make her recovery.
"I sent an e-mail to Courtney today saying that tonight I would dedicate the
ride to her. She has inspired me...and I felt like what she overcame in the
last six months was so extremely inspiring that I made the ride for here
It was an exceptional gesture, and the perfect ending to his medal-winning
ride that scored an 84.900.
Of his mount's performance Peters said, "He came in with good extensions and
was quite relaxed in the first halt. I was really pleased with the first
part of the test. There was a slight mistake in the first part of the
tempis," he said. "I think this is pretty much the ultimate Freestyle for
him. We changed a few things around, and we even tried different music. It's
just like a good movie. You know the first one is always the best one, and
then the sequels are sometimes not as good, so we stuck to the original one
and enhanced the music a little bit more. I talked to the person who does
the music, and I told them to pump it up a bit. I got it back, and I said,
'You pumped it up, but now we have to turbo-charge it. That's what she did,
and I'm really happy with the outcome. And, it looks like the judges were,
All week long, Gal and Moorlands Totilas, a 10-year-old KWPN stallion, have
dazzled the dressage fans at the Rolex Arena with their foot perfect
work. Their Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special scores proved they had come to
the Games off the momentum of the amazing year they have had in
competition. Coming into the final test of these World Equestrian Games,
they looked the picture of preparedness. The big question of the evening was
whether or not they would pull a hat trick and take home a third Gold medal
to add to their Team and Grand Prix ones.
"Yesterday we practiced with no one at all, and tonight it was a little bit
different," he said of the atmosphere that affected his horse. "That's why
he went into canter in my extended trot...but we all have to deal with it,
and it went well." The misstep was the only blemish in an otherwise stellar
performance. The pair earned a 91.800 for the Gold.
"When I came here, I knew I could do it," said Gal of the possible three
Gold-medal sweep. "But, it also has to happen. It's quite difficult, and
there was a lot of pressure on me...I don't know what to say because it's
just sinking in a little bit. I did it with Totilas, and that's just
Interestingly, a bit of a rumor that had been circulating around the
dressage ring was put to a final answer. Had Totilas been bred to superstar
American dressage horse Brentina? The rumor was quickly put to rest by Gal
who cheekily said, "That is not a rumor."
Britain's Laura Bechtolsheimer and Mistral Hojris, a 15-year-old Danish
Warmblood gelding, had also wowed the crowds this week with their confident
work that showed exactly how far they had come over the last year or so. In
fact, the pair set their own country's record during the Grand Prix Special
when they posted an 81.708 to bring home Britain's first-ever Individual
Silver medal from the WEG.
She came into the Freestyle with something to prove, and she did just that
posting an amazing 85.350 for her guitar-laden, Western influenced
"First, I'm obviously really, really happy. To get another medal is pretty
indescribable," she said. "When I went into tonight, I was a bit worried
because my horse has always found freestyles a little bit more difficult to
deal with...frankly, he really put in a brilliant effort to stay with me and
concentrate tonight. I had two little mistakes in the two-times and a little
mistake at the end in my piaffe. That kind of thing doesn't normally happen,
but he showed his true colors. The fact that as soon as he realized, 'Oops,
sorry Mommy!' he straight away picked up and carried on and I'm very, very
proud of my horse."
All-in-all, it was an unforgettable night of dressage, and those lucky
enough to have been witness to it will certainly be talking about it for
years to come.
For complete results, visit
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