Steffen Peters Receives “Lot of Emails” When Not Included in Equestrian & Horse of Year Nominees

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Steffen Peters and Ravel at the World Equestrian Games. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Steffen Peters and Ravel at the World Equestrian Games. © 2010 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Steffen Peters who rode Ravel to an historic two individual medals at the 2010 World Equestrian Games said Wednesday he had “received a lot of emails” over the absence of the pair from the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s Equestrian and Horse of the Year awards, but he was grateful for past honors.

As the most successful American combination in the three Olympic disciplines contested at the WEG in Kentucky, the omission of Steffen and Ravel from the nominations which are decided by USEF member voting, sparked widespread reaction from the dressage community.

Steffen, of San Diego, California, who won the Equestrian of the Year award for 2008 and again in 2009 when he and Ravel won the World Cup Final and became the first U.S. competitors to sweep the CDIO at Aachen, Germany, said:

“Because of Ravel and the entire Ravel team I received the award in previous years. We are very grateful for his accomplishments and I personally would like to thank Ravel for a lot of life time memories.

“All 2010 nominees have shown fantastic accomplishments and have achieved them with outstanding sportsmanship.”

His second award in 2009 for the federation’s highest honor equaled the only other two-time winners, Beezie Madden two-time Olympic team gold medalist (who won in 2005 and 2006) and USEF President and 2000 Individual Olympic gold medalist, David O’Connor (who won in 2000 and 2002), as the only two-time winners of the federation’s highest honor.

The sole nominee from any of the three Olympic disciplines for 2010 was McLain Ward, who rode the superstar mare Sapphire to success at top competitions in Europe and the United States, including the HITS Pfizer $1 million event. Aside from McLain Ward, the eight nominees for Equestrian of the Year included WEG double gold medal reining winner Tom McCutcheon of Aubrey, Texas, and his horse Gunners Special Nite was among the five Horse of the Year nominees.

A USEF spokesperson said of the nominating process, “After much discussion, the Awards Committee selects the winners for the year end awards based on their accomplishments throughout the year. This selection is made from many nominations submitted for the respective categories from the national affiliates and the breed and discipline committees.”

The ad hoc awards committee includes U.S. Dressage Federation President George Williams of Delaware, Ohio, who is also chairman of the USEF High Performance Dressage Committee.

The Federation will acknowledge all of the WEG medalists at the Media Luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 22, during the USEF Annual Meeting.