Articles: Press Release
US Dressage Riders Shine in Grand Prix Special; Peters and Ravel Fourth,
King-Dye and Mythilus Eighth, Heading into Freestyle at 2008 Olympic
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2008
Hong Kong, China - The dressage riders temporarily reclaimed the ring
from the show jumpers tonight at Sha Tin and although Germany continued
to rule... the Americans put in an impressive showing.
Two US riders were in the fold and Steffen Peters and Ravel (who is
owned by Aikiko Yamazaki) were first of the pair in the ring. Their test
was brilliant, with no mistakes, Peters did a masterful job in the
piaffe and passage and guided the relatively inexperienced horse with
"I couldn't be happier," said Peters after his ride which scored 71.80%.
"All the trot work felt great, he was much more relaxed in the walk than
he was the last time."
The San Diego, CA based duo were ranked tenth individually in the team
portion of the competition on Thursday but today everyone started with a
clean slate. The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding was undefeated in
the US and was the convincing winner of the USEF Selection Trials prior
to coming to theses Games, and he certainly did not disappoint his
"That was my expectation," said Peters. "It's just great. I feel like I
had more horse tonight than in the Grand Prix, I'm beside myself. He was
Peters is looking forward to the freestyle on Tuesday and is hoping for
a duplicate performance to his winning effort at the Selection Trials in
June. His music starts with The Rolling Stones' Sympathy for the Devil,
which has a very appropriate opening line for the new star.
"I'm hoping he does a freestyle like he did in San Juan Capistrano,"
said Peters of his winning performance at the selection trials. "Then
I'll be happy."
In a testament to the strength of the US team's character, Peters
dedicated his ride tonight to his fellow teammate Debbie McDonald.
McDonald and Brentina did not make the individual final after an
incredibly uncharacteristic performance in the team portion of the
competition. Peters and McDonald have been teammates repeatedly and
share medals from the 2006 World Equestrian Games.
"I dedicate this to Debbie and Brentina," said Peters. "I feel so
terrible about what happened to her, and I admire their performances so
The second US pair was Olympic rookie combination Courtney King-Dye and
Mythilus. They looked very comfortable in the ring for only their second
time in the Olympic spotlight. King-Dye knew she had nothing to lose in
the ring and she demonstrated lots of confidence during her test.
"Only the top three scores count," said King-Dye of her score of 70.80%.
"So why not go for it?"
The New Milford, CT pair performed beautiful extensions and very
accurate canter work, their score suffered from the judge at E, Gotthilf
Riexinger, who ranked them 13th, the other judges all had them in the
"I think Mythilus was peaking before we came here," said King-Dye. "Then
I lost a little bit of time (with the trip). He still feels really fit."
Mythilus, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the Harmony
Sport Horse Foundation, has been competing at this level for a year and
developed into a world-class horse. They currently sit eighth in the
world going into the freestyle. King-Dye designed new canter music for
her freestyle which will debut here, The whole test is based around the
song Sad Lisa by Cat Stevens.
Overall winner tonight was again German rider Isabell Werth and Satchmo,
but their performance was not without incident. The 13-year-old
Hanoverian stopped and resisted badly in the piaffe and was in danger of
backing up into the side of the arena. Werth did a masterful job
rescuing the test. Her scores had been up over 80, but the pair settled
Reining Olympic Gold medalist from The Netherlands, Anky van Grunsven
rode Salinero to a score of 74.960% despite breaking twice to canter in
the trot half-passes. Their score left them second going into the
Another German combination: Heike Kemmer and Bonaparte slipped in front
of Peters with a score of 72.40%.
The Individual medals for dressage will be decided on Tuesday, August 19
when the top 10 horses return to the ring for the Freestyle.
The show jumpers return to the ring for the next two evenings to battle
it out for the Team medals, the US was the best of the group in last
night's First Individual Qualifier so they have the most advantageous
draw, going last tomorrow night.
For more information, please contact Joanie Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For complete results please see: www.equestrian2008.org
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of excellence from the grassroots to the Olympic Games, based on a
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