He represented the US at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong with Ravel, and put on a performance that brought down the house with his freestyle. The pair ended up fourth, missing an individual medal by the narrowest of margins.
Ravel is reasonably inexperienced, 2008 was his first year at the highest level of the sport, but under Peters’ tutelage he was undefeated leading up to the Olympic Games, including winning the USEF Selection Trials for Dressage. “He is my very best friend,” said Peters of Ravel. “What he did for me in Hong Kong was unbelievable. He certainly deserves most of the credit.”
Peters commitment to the sport and integrity under pressure is exemplary. He turned from athlete to super fan in Hong Kong once the dressage finished and stayed to watch and celebrate show jumping’s Team Gold.
“The value of somebody’s life is not defined by money,” said Peters. “It is about the people around you. I can think of all the people who supported this award and the people who supported Ravel and me, I’d have to say I’m one of the richest guys in the whole world.”
Peters (who also won the William C. Steinkraus Trophy), despite every ounce of effort was conducting a dressage symposium and logistics made it impossible for him to be two places at once. He was seriously disappointed to miss the celebration in his honor but his character shown through in a video clip sent from Florida.
“To win the Equestrian of the Year award was a huge honor,” said Peters. “Especially when you look at the other people who have won this award.”