One of the most accomplished dressage horses in U.S. history
United States -
With high intelligence and competitive drive underlying each of his performances in the ring (according to owner Akiko Yamazaki), the talented dark bay Ravel is one of the most accomplished dressage horses in U.S. history. Foaled in 1998, the Dutch warmblood gelding (sired by Contango out of Hautain) was discovered by Steffen Peters as an 8-year-old. The two rode to great success together, including coming closer, in 2008, to an individual Olympic dressage medal than any American pair and making history at the 2009 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas as the first Americans to win the World Cup dressage title on home soil.
Despite an injury delaying his grand prix debut, Ravel racked up wins against top international competitors once he stepped into the show ring. He was victorious in every grand prix he entered in 2008, including the USEF Grand Prix Championship, and was the country’s leading dressage horse by the time the U.S. Olympic team was named that year. During the Olympic Games – which were his international debut! – he earned tenth in the Grand Prix, fourth in the Grand Prix Special, and third in the Freestyle, finishing in fourth place overall, just 0.305 of a percentage point away from the podium.
Ravel’s incredible performances continued in 2009, the year he was named USEF Horse of the Year and earned his first of three consecutive titles as USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year. In Las Vegas, he and Peters joined Brentina and Debbie McDonald as the only American winners of the FEI Dressage World Cup Final. Ravel and Peters then went on to become the only American combination to sweep the CHIO Grand Prix at the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen.
Ravel and Peters continued to build on their impressive record. Brilliant tests in both the Grand Prix Special and the Freestyle earned them double Individual Bronze medals at the 2010 FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. Then they had back-to-back wins at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach in 2011 and 2012. Ravel also finished second by a narrow margin against Gold medalist Totilas at the CHIO Aachen in 2011 and repeated his USEF Grand Prix Championship the same year, sweeping all three classes to win by over six percentage points.
Talented in all three gaits but most remembered for his outstanding trot half passes, Ravel was retired in a ceremony at the 2013 Del Mar National Horse Show.