Steffen Peters & Ravel Win FEI World Cup Grand Prix

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Steffen Peters and Ravel winning the FEI World Cup Final Grand Prix. Photo: Ken Braddick
Steffen Peters and Ravel winning the FEI World Cup Final Grand Prix. Photo: Ken Braddick

LAS VEGAS Nev-April 16- Steffen Peters and Ravel of the United States convincingly won the Rolex FEI World Cup Final Grand Prix Thursday, a feat unmtached by an American on their home soil in the history of the only annual global championship for dressage. The pair posted their highest ever score of 77.915 percent and will be hot favorites for Saturday night’s Freestyle to music.

Nine-time World Cup champion Anky van Grunsven on IPS Painted Black of the Netherlands finished second on 74.170 per cent while Germany’s Isabell Werth and Satchmo placed third with 73.745 per cent. The Netherlands’ Hans Peter Minderhoud on Exquis Nadine was fourth with 73.064 per cent and Ashley Holzer and Pop Art of Canada fifth with 72.511 per cent. (See Photo Gallery for more images of the World Cup Grand Prix)

When the pair came out of the ring, Peters had tears in his eyes as he embraced Akiko Yamazaki, the owner of Ravel.

A tearful Steffen Peters with Akiko Yamazaki, owner of Ravel, after the FEI World Cup Final Grand Prix. Photo: Ilse Schwarz
A tearful Steffen Peters with Akiko Yamazaki, owner of Ravel, after the FEI World Cup Final Grand Prix. Photo: Ilse Schwarz

Peters was overwhelmed by the result, saying: “I have to keep looking at the score to make sure it really happened. I’m beside myself.”

He said he had learned with Ravel that sticking to an exact routine was important. During the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Palm Beach in January, he had watched sone of the freestyle rides before his on Ravel and he changed the way he warmed up with a result that was disappointing. Anky told him at the time that he should stick to their routine no matter what.

After Wednesday’s warm-up in the arena that was near flawless, he followed their routine during Thursday’s competition.

“He didn’t look at anything,” he said. “He was with me all the way. He did not react to the atmosphere.

“I have to give Ravel all the credit to Ravel. He made me look good. He offered all the movements and I didn’t have to push him too hard.”

This World Final, he said, was the right time for them to post their highest ever score together.

The Grand Prix in the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Thomas & Mack Arena was filled with drama in addition to the unfamiliar placings for van Grunsven and Werth.

The USA’s Leslie Morse and Kingston, the second ride in the competition, was eliminated when the stallion was determined to be unsound shortly after the start of their test, while the USA’s Jan Ebeling and Rafalca, who had been first in the ring, spooked so frequently during the ride that the pair were awarded 53.830 per cent to finish in last place. Under FEI rules, a rider needs a minimum score of 58 per cent in the Grand Prix to move onto the Freestyle so Ebeling and Rafalca will not show Saturday night.

After Kingston was eliminated, the US Equestrian Federation issued a statement saying that dressage veterinarian Dr. Rick Mitchell had Kingston under his care since the horse arrived in Las Vegas last Monday. Dr. Mitchell, in his typical routine at a horse show with the US horses, observed Kingston in the warm-up and then went to the arena to watch Morse’s fellow American Jan Ebeling.

When Kingston began his test it was clear that he had some discomfort in the left front leg, something that was a surprise to all connected with the horse, as he has had no problems in this leg during the preparation for this competition.

“I had the most powerful amazing ride yesterday,” Morse said. “It felt like eight or nine years of togetherness had come together to such a fun time. Today in the warm-up he started where he left off yesterday. I could tell in the first corner he felt unbalanced and I knew he wasn’t right. We respect the Ground Jury’s decision to ring the bell and we all agreed it was absolutely in the best interest of the horse which is always the most important consideration. Kingston has just been a gift for the last nine years and has introduced me to this level of competition.”

Prior to the start of the grand prix, the young Dutch star Adelinde Cornelissen withdrew after Parzival, the winner of three World Cup contests in the highly competitive West European lerague in winter, was lame during Wednesday’s warm-up.

Isabell Werth riding Satchmo in a championship for the first time since the 2008 Olympic Games where their Grand Prix Special and Freestyle were marked by resistance, asked photographers at ringside in the midst of her ride Thursday not to “click” as her horse had spooked during the first pirouette.

In an arena that was not full–unlike the World Cup Finals at the same venue in 2005 and 2007–the dressage competition was as wide open as predicted.

RESULT

RK CNR HORSE RIDER USD E H C M B Total Perc.
1 715 RAVEL – KWPN
Gelding\Bay\1998\Contango x Democraat\
Steffen PETERS (USA) 23,300.00 78.723
(1)
80.000
(1)
76.383
(1)
76.595
(1)
77.872
(1)
1831.00 77.914
2 707 IPS PAINTED BLACK – KWPN
Stallion\Black\1997\Gribaldi x Ferro\
Anky VAN GRUNSVEN (NED) 14,250.00 74.680
(2)
74.680
(2)
73.617
(3)
74.893
(2)
72.978
(3)
1743.00 74.170
3 705 SATCHMO – HANN
Gelding\DarkBay\1994\Sao Paulo x Legat\
Isabell WERTH (GER) 10,750.00 73.404
(3)
74.468
(3)
74.680
(2)
73.404
(3)
72.766
(4)
1733.00 73.744
4 709 EXQUIS NADINE – KWPN
Mare\Chestnut\1995\TCN Partout x Roemer\
Hans Peter MINDERHOUD (NED) 9,250.00 72.553
(4)
73.617
(4)
72.766
(4)
72.766
(4)
73.617
(2)
1717.00 73.063
5 702 POP ART – KWPN
Gelding\Chestnut\1997\Amsterdam x Cabouchon\
Ashley HOLZER (CAN) 8,250.00 71.276
(5)
73.404
(5)
72.766
(4)
72.340
(5)
72.766
(4)
1704.00 72.510
6 708 NARTAN – KWPN
Gelding\Bay\1995\Jazz x Le Faquin\
Jeanette HAAZEN (NED) 7,150.00 70.851
(6)
70.638
(7)
68.723
(8)
69.787
(8)
71.914
(6)
1654.00 70.383
7 704 WHISPER – BAWUE
Gelding\Chestnut\1998\Welt Hit I O x Weltstar\
Monica THEODORESCU (GER) 6,150.00 70.000
(7)
70.851
(6)
69.787
(6)
70.638
(7)
69.574
(8)
1649.00 70.170
8 711 BJORSELLS BRIAR 899 – SWB
Stallion\Chestnut\1991\Magini x Krocket\
Jan BRINK (SWE) 5,150.00 69.574
(8)
70.425
(8)
69.787
(6)
70.851
(6)
69.574
(8)
1646.00 70.042
9 712 DON CHARLY 1052
Stallion\Chestnut\1997\Don Gregory x Inschallah\
Minna TELDE (SWE) 4,150.00 67.021
(9)
69.787
(9)
67.872
(10)
69.149
(9)
71.063
(7)
1621.00 68.978
10 710 RANDON – PHBA
Gelding\Bay\1997\Czuwaj x Famino\
Michal RAPCEWICZ (POL) 3,650.00 66.808
(10)
67.659
(10)
68.723
(8)
69.149
(9)
68.297
(10)
1601.00 68.127
11 701 REGARDEZ MOI
Stallion\Black\1996\Rubinstein\
Heath RYAN (AUS) 3,150.00 63.829
(11)
64.042
(12)
65.957
(11)
64.680
(11)
64.680
(11)
1519.00 64.638
12 703 DIAMORE – DWB
Mare\Chestnut\1996\Diamond x Fruhling\
Marco BERNAL (COL) 2,650.00 63.617
(12)
64.468
(11)
60.638
(12)
61.276
(12)
62.766
(12)
1470.00 62.553
13 713 RAFALCA – OLDBG
Mare\Bay\1997\ARGENTINIUS x RUBINSTEIN\
Jan EBELING (USA) 2,150.00 56.170
(13)
52.340
(13)
54.680
(13)
52.553
(13)
53.404
(13)
1265.00 53.829
714 KINGSTON – DWB
Stallion\Bay\1992\Voltaire\
Leslie MORSE (USA) *ELI