Ravel Celebrates 20th Birthday, Looking Good

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Ravel posing for his 20th birthday portrait. Courtesy Akiko Yamazaki

June 5, 2018

Ravel, one of the most successful horses for American dressage, celebrated his 20th birthday Tuesday, showing off his good condition in a photo at the Northern California farm of owner Akiko Yamazaki where the KWPN gelding retired after the 2012 Olympics.

Ravel (Contango x Democraat) was bought as an Olympic and championship prospect for Steffen Peters of San Diego, California.

After just three CDIs in Southern California in the winter of 2008, Ravel and Steffen went to the 2008 Olympics to place third in the Grand Prix Freestyle and fourth in the Special behind Anky van Grunsven on Salinero and Isabell Werth on Satchmo that totally dominated the sport and ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. The format at those Games combined the results of the Special and Freestyle for the individual medal and the American pair were eclipsed by a fraction of a percentage point for the bronze.

Six months later in Las Vegas, the pair became only the second American combination to capture the World Cup, the first being Debbie McDonald and Brentina. The duo then went to the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, the globe’s premier horse show, to capture the CDIO title, a head-to-head competition of the three Grand Prix levels of the best in the sport, and never before (or since) won by an American.

At the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky in 2010, Steffen and Ravel won bronze medals for the Special and the Freestyle, the only American to have stood on the individual medals podium in the history of the WEG.

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