Steffen Peters Rules the WorldBy Paula Parisi March 25, 2011
Steffen Peters danced his way to his highest score ever at the 2011 World Dressage Masters in Palm Beach, Florida, March 11. Riding to a collection of rock songs including Sympathy For the Devil and Viva La Vida, the San Diego-based Peters and Akiko Yamazaki’s 13 year old KWPN Dutch Warmblood gelding Ravel captivated the sold out audience and received a winning score of 84.550% from the FEI ground jury.
Having won the Grand Prix at both the 2009 and 2010 WDM Palm Beach but having then settled for third and then second place, Peters was thrilled to have finally achieved a WDM freestyle victory. “Maybe there is some truth to ‘three is a charm’,” he said. “Last year was very close between Salinero and Ravel. Certainly it was one of my goals to win World Dressage Masters and I’m happy that it happened tonight.”
Peters is an Olympic and World Equestrian Games medalist and 2009 World Cup Final Champion. In Palm Beach, he also rode away as the winner of the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award, presented by Heidi Zorn, president of Premier Equestrian. Zorn called Peters’ performance breathtaking, and said, “Steffen really proved what he is during the Masters. Ravel is a truly talented horse and the pair rode to their trademark Coldplay and Rolling Stones music during the freestyle. It is a ride I will remember forever.”
She added that he exemplifies good sportsmanship. “Steffen was extremely gracious to his fans, and his benevolence towards perfect strangers convinced me that good sportsmanship includes being courteous with other competitors as well as the public. Steffen is a good sport and I am so proud of what he just did for American dressage.”
Peters, as usual, praised Ravel. “I’m appreciative of what a great horse I have,” Peters said. “It was great show and a fantastic atmosphere. Ravel has never been better and that says a lot about the footing and the facility. I also set a record score for myself in the Grand Prix and it really was a fantastic weekend.”
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