Steffen Peters and Ravel have overcome a lot of obstacles in their career and they overcame another, albeit small, one tonight, April 30, with a win (74.51%) in the Del Mar CDI Grand Prix, held in Del Mar, Calif.
“Usually one of our biggest hurdles is the passage to canter transition, especially when he’s a little nervous or has a little more energy, that can be quite explosive,” Peters said. “That went perfectly today. He was very relaxed and did one of his best transitions into the canter ever.”
Ravel, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contango—Hautain) owned by Akiko Yamazaki, made no major mistakes in the Grand Prix and the harmonious and fluid test easily placed him over Jan Ebeling and the elegant black mare Sandrina (67.10%). Along with being pleased over Ravel’s passage to canter transition, Peters was thrilled with Ravel’s half-pass, passage and general attitude.
“Overall, I’m quite happy,” he said. “He was very relaxed. I actually had to wake him up a tiny bit in the warm-up, but he offered quite a bit in the test, and I was pleased. It was one those tests that, honestly, if everything works out, I wouldn’t mind riding in Kentucky. It was one of those.”
It was Ravel’s first time competing since March, and Peters has spent the little bit of downtime working on his extended trot and left canter pirouette. The practice obviously paid off in the Grand Prix test, with Peters’ taking the blame for Ravel’s only minor bobble—a slightly less than perfect right canter pirouette.
“I could have prepared that right canter pirouette a little better,” Peters said. “We had a very big flying change at X, and I took a little too much time not preparing for the right canter pirouette. So, we could have used a couple little pilot improvements, but I think Ravel did a hell of a job.”
Peters, San Diego, Calif., lives only a few minutes from the Del Mar Fairgrounds and always tries to compete at the annual FEI show, held in conjunction with the Del Mar National Horse Show.
“It’s a really, really fun night on Saturday night,” Peters said. “There’s a huge crowd, and to do that on our home turf is really fun. We’ve supported this show for many years, and we’re only based five minutes away from here. Del Mar has always been one of my favorite shows.”
Steffen Peters was thrilled to win the Grand Prix test on Ravel. However, the victory wasn’t the highlight of his day—that honor went to his win in the Prix St. Georges class on a younger horse, a Westphalian gelding named Weltino’s Magic.
“To be honest, that made my day today,” Peters said. “I was obviously very happy with Ravel, but Magic is a new kid on the block and a horse that can be quite a handful, with lots of energy. Until early this year he never took his work too seriously. He still thought it was playtime. He understands now that this is pretty serious business, and he felt absolutely wonderful. I’m thrilled the judges liked it as much as I did.”
Full results available at Fox Village.