7 things you didn’t know about Steffen Peters, from army service to famous owners

  • Steffen Peters is one of the USA’s most successful dressage riders – former World Cup champion and the holder of six Olympic and world medals, including most recently team silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games.

    We find out a bit more about Steffen…

    1. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and his wife Akiko Yamazaki are long-time supporters of Steffen. They owned his great horse Ravel, who won the World Cup final in 2009, and also his current top ride, Suppenkasper.

    2. That World Cup final victory was in Las Vegas, so Steffen has “amazing memories” from the event and was particularly looking forward to returning to compete there in this year’s World Cup final – a plan that was kiboshed by the event’s cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    3. Steffen grew up in Germany and first visited America to work for trainer Laurie Falvo in the summer after he left school. He had to return to Germany to do two years army service, but saved up all his holiday so he could return to the USA as early as possible. He has made his home there ever since and gained US citizenship in 1992.

    4. The US rider was third in all three tests at the 2010 World Equestrian Games (WEG) in Kentucky riding Ravel. He took individual bronze medals for his performances in the special and freestyle, as well as finishing in the same position individually in the team grand prix. The individual top three were the same in every test, with Steffen beaten by Edward Gal on Totilas and Britain’s Laura Bechtolsheimer (now Tomlinson) on Mistral Hojris.

    5. Steffen has ridden at World Championship and Olympic level on five different horses: Udon (1996 Olympics in Atlanta), Floriano (2006 WEG in Aachen), Ravel (2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, 2010 WEG in Kentucky, 2012 Olympics in London), Legolas 92 (2014 WEG in Caen, 2016 Olympics in Rio) and Suppenkasper (2018 WEG in Tryon).

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    6. When Steffen was in the process of trying and buying Suppenkasper for Jerry and Akiko, he drove three hours each way daily for several weeks to watch the horse’s then-rider, Helen Langehanenberg, ride him. “If you have a sponsor who is so generous and willing to buy a horse, you have to do your duty – you have to spend every minute you can to assure them this could be a team horse.”

    7. Steffen’s wife Shannon is also a grand prix dressage rider and has taken 15 horses to grand prix barefoot.

    Read our full interview with Steffen, including how he has overcome recent mental health problems, in this week’s Horse & Hound magazine (dated 16 April). 

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