Out of a field of five horses in cross disciplines and breeds with world class accomplishments Akiko Yamazaki’s Ravel ridden by Steffen Peters won the coveted Horse of the Year award elected by the officials, media and USEF membership. Accepting the award, Yamazaki said it was truly an American win. “With a horse which was born in Holland, a rider born in Germany, a Mexican groom (Rafael Hernandez Carillo) and Mexican Veterinarian, and myself of Japanese decent, we accept this award." Only in America can you have a success story like this,” she said. “I would like to thank the USEF, Jim Wolf – thank you so much and Jessica Ransehousen for her wonderful coaching. Go USA!”
After winning the US National Grand Prix Championship and coming within a fraction of standing atop the Olympic medal’s podium in 2008, Ravel returned to competition in 2009 and was determined to take no prisoners. Not only did the horse, along with rider and Equestrian of the Year nominee Steffen peters, win big, the duo set some new records for standards in the record books.
The pair became the first U.S. horse and rider to win the Rolex FEI World Cu on American soil in Las Vegas before a thunderous crowd of admirer, taking the win in the Grand Prix and the Freestyle Final. They were also the first Americans to sweep all three testes at the CDIO Five Star in Aachen, Germany in a breathtaking performance of harmony and classical correctness.
We congratulate the Yamazaki family, Steffen and Shannon Peters, Ravel, his faithful groom Raphael, and the entire team for this well deserved honor. It was a pleasure and a privilege to witness dressage at it’s finest this year at Aachen.