Ravel and Steffen Peters Walk to Open Door in Rolex FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Both Anky van Grunsven and Isabell Werth left the door open for Steffen Peters in the exciting Freestyle Final of the 24th Rolex FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final. The first of the three, Olympic silver medal horse Satchmo showed by Isabell Werth, had beautiful extensions and half passes. However Satchmo didn’t show the contact to his advantage all moments of the test and had a mistake in the two tempi changes. Steffen Peters walked to the open door as his 11 year old gelding Ravel offered everything almost effortlessly again just like in Thursday’s Grand Prix. While the audience went completely wild during the test, Ravel seemed to be unaffected by the cheering and showed his amazing possibilities in collecting and extending. The choreography of his test was highlighted by symmetry and had very difficult transitions. Of course also some mistakes could be seen but the overall impression was a very impressive one and Steffen Peters no doubt had included well takes risks. Steffen Peters was very happy: “It didn’t quit sink in yet, it’s just an incredible feeling to have won. I again have to credit Anky as she advised me earlier to stick to my routine and do nothing special. And so I did. I also have to include Ravel in my words. Ravel has an amazing mind. He learns fast and I don’t have to push him. He is naturally very solid and extremely confident. I am grateful to have a horse born with this mind. Even with the electricity in the crowd he kept a part of his ears towards me all the time.”

Steffen Peters walked to the open door as his 11 year old gelding Ravel offered everything almost effortlessly again just like in Thursday’s Grand Prix. Picture Dirk Caremans www.hippofoto.be

The black stallion IPS Painted Black looked very rideable and willing and showed by Anky van Grunsven he struck the audience by his lightness and had highlights in his half passes. However some mistakes occurred in the tempi changes as well and in the end she could not be a serious threat for Steffen Peters.

Nine time World Cup™ winner Anky van Grunsven: “IPS Painted Black was very concentrated on me and I was happy with my test. Of course my degree of difficulty can be higher and I had a mistake in the two tempi changes. As this is his first important championship, I didn’t expect a third position, so I am happy. I think we will be able to improve. We’ll keep on practicing!”

Isabell Werth reacted differently: “It was very close and a hard competition. I hope next time I will have one judge more to decide for me. I think mr Ernes will have to explain something. He gave even more points to Steffen Peters than mrs Zang. Satchmo was very well with me and I was very happy with our performance.”

From all the other pairs performing, the fantastic piaffes of the last pair Pop Art showed by Canadian Ashley have to be mentioned. The audience already got wild during the first ride, the ride of the sympathetic Australian Heath Ryan performing his nice Pirates of the Caribbean-Freestyle. The light themed music of the mare Exquis Nadine showed by Hans Peter Minderhoud also brought the audience to ecstatic reactions. Hans Peter Minderhoud commented afterwards: “The enthusiasm of the audience almost frightened me as they got wild in the first extended trot and I didn’t know whether Nadine would behave. They continued applauding in the  second extended trot and even in the extended canter! For that extended canter I received the mark 10 from Katrina Wüst. Fortunately Nadine stayed at my side. Only in the end she became a little hectic and then I decided to simply refrain from the last piaffe and continue the passage to the final halt.”

Jeannette Haazen praised her horse as well. “I know it even can become better when the moment will be  there that I will be able to let him move more spectacular. But for now I am happy with the control and the nice feeling.”

A special end was created by Polish Michal Rapcewicz and Randon by doing a piaffe and out of the piaffe the final halt. Eight time finalist in a FEI World Cup™ Final Jan Brink and Briar performed their test on the music of ‘My number one’ for the very last time. Jan Brink commented: “Briar was back in his young days today as he escaped in the test. I don’t blame him for that. It felt very special to perform for the last time with him.”

Emotions ran the high when the American hymn played for Steffen Peters. It was a memorable end of an evening which was all about music, performance, highlights and emotion!

More Winner Quotes

Steffen Peters on being superstitious: “No, I’m not. However I still wear the same tail coat as when I was 18. In Hong Kong I was offered to have a new one tailor fitted, which offer I refused. So in that aspect I am superstitious.”

Steffen Peters on the changes in his Freestyle: “My choreography stayed the same since the Olympics. I only have altered the trotting music as I had Asian styled music fitted for the Olympic occasion and not so well for the Las Vegas experience.”

Facts and Figures

  • Two personal records in the Freestyle score Grand Prix for Steffen Peters riding Ravel (84.950%) and Hans Peter Minderhoud riding Exquis Nadine (81.050%)
  • First American to win in a World Cup™ Final on American soil in the history of 24 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals
  • The price money of US dollar 330,000 was rewarded to 11 riders, including 104,600 for the winner.
  • 11 competitors entered the arena originating from 8 countries including USA (1), NED (3), GER (2), SWE (1), CAN (1), COL (1), POL (1), AUS (1).
  • Best performing studbook KWPN having five horses in the Freestyle: Ravel (1), IPS Painted Black (3), Exquis Nadine (4), Pop Art (5) and Nartan (7).
  • Third Rolex FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in the Thomas and Mack Centre in Las Vegas
  • Number of visitors in the Thomas and Mack centre: 7,669