Articles: Horse News
U.S. Olympic Dressage Team Finishes Sixth; Peters Advances to Freestyle
Steffen Peters and Ravel
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2012
By Joanie Morris
Greenwich, UK - It was an historic day at Greenwich Park. Less than 24 hours
after the British Show Jumping Team won it's first Olympic Team Gold medal
in 60 years, the British Dressage Team won it's first Olympic medal ever,
and it was Gold. They finished on a score of 79.979 to win Gold over
Germany. The Netherlands won Bronze.The U.S. Dressage Team made a valiant
run at a Team medal at Greenwich Park with some strong performances, but it
simply wasn't to be and they ended up sixth on a score of 72.435, behind
Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. Steffen Peters
led the way for Team USA scoring 76.254% to place seventh overall in the
Grand Prix Special with Ravel.
Peters (San Diego, CA) rode last for the U.S. Team and he did everything he
fight back into Team contention. Together with Four Wind Farms' 14-year-old
Dutch gelding, Peters was fourth Individually at the 2008 Olympic Games, he
will look to go better than that in the Freestyle on Thursday, which will
decide the Individual medals.
One mishap marred an otherwise lovely effort by the veteran pair in the
Grand Prix Special, when Ravel stumbled at the end of the test after the
first canter pirouette meaning he started his one-time changes late. Peters
managed to pull off the movement despite the mis-step.
"Without that (stumble) it would have been right around a 78% which is right
about where he has been (in this test) his whole life," said Peters.
The rest of the test was textbook Ravel. The veteran went to work and moved
through the test with ease.
"He was right on," said Peters. "The half-passes felt great, I pushed the
changes a bit more than I did the first day and the pirouettes felt really
good. The piaffe even felt better than it did the first day. I'm just so
excited that he still wants to do it after all these years."
Ravel has been undefeated in 2012, but Peters knows that to win an
Individual medal in the company they're keeping at these Olympic Games will
be no small feat. He also knows that Ravel is close to the end of his career
although no official announcement of his retirement has been made. Peters
has no expectation for the freestyle other than the hope that Ravel can put
in one more test of a lifetime.
"This might be the last time Ravel goes down centerline," said Peters. "I
hope I can get one more really exciting freestyle out of him... he doesn't
owe us anything, but we owe him everything."
Tina Konyot (Palm City, FL) preceded Peters into the ring on Calecto V. This
pair have had a long career together and although they have a great track
record, a few small mistakes kept them from the scores of which they are
The 14-year-old Danish Warmblood stallion is co-owned by John Byrialsen.
Their test suffered from a mistake in the one-tempi changes and a transition
from piaffe to passage that wasn't as good as Calecto's capabilities. They
scored 70.651% for 25th place.
"We had some mistakes but there were some very nice things," said a visibly
disappointed Konyot after her test.
Jan Ebeling got the day started on Amy Ebeling, Beth Meyer and Ann Romney's
14-year-old Oldenburg mare Rafalca. They put in another consistent effort,
scoring 69.302% for their lead-off test.
"I'm really happy with it, I wish the scores were a little bit higher," said
Ebeling after his ride. "She felt good - she's been really good all week,
she's peaking and I'm really happy. She's given it her all."
Because of the involvement of Romney, whose husband Mitt is making a
presidential bid, Rafalca and Ebeling have been at the center or a flurry of
media attention for the sport of dressage. Ebeling is pleased with the fact
that the profile is on the rise.
"I think having Mrs. Romney and having a the visibility of the mainstream
media report on our sport so much has really been a good thing," said
Ebeling. "If just one young kid picks up riding and makes it to the
Olympics, hey, I've done my job."
The Freestyle is the last Equestrian competition of the Games. Peters and
Ravel are one of 15 combinations going forward to the freestyle.
Times and results are available at http://www.london2012.com/equestrian/
For more information about the U.S. Olympic Equestrian Team visit
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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
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