The U.S. Equestrian Federation has approved a request from Steffen Peters to skip the USEF Dressage Selection Trial for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, to be held at the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Festival of Champions in Gladstone, N.J., Aug. 6-8 and Aug. 13-15.
Peters, San Diego, Calif., requested not to attend the Trials due to logistical reasons.
Initially, after the Trials, selected horse-and-rider combinations were required to stay in Gladstone until traveling to Lexington, Ky., for the WEG. The Selection Committee later decided to allow the pairs to leave Gladstone and return on Sept. 4., where they will participate in a mandatory training session and remain until the WEG.
“It’s a pretty good decision,” Peters said. “I thought, if we have until Sept. 4, it would be really cool to keep Ravel in the same environment, with the same feed and the same temperature, to keep him in the best possible shape for the training session at Gladstone and then Kentucky.”
Peters and Ravel, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Contango-Hautain), are in first place on the USEF Final Ranking, with a Grand Prix average of 77.25 percent. Sue Blinks and Robin Hood are in second place, with an average of 69.93 percent.
Despite skipping the Trials, Peters is confident about his horse’s chances at the WEG.
“Ravel has been great,” he said. “I had the chance to watch the main [dressage] competition in Aachen (Germany). It was fantastic, and we have our work cut out for us, but my horse is in great shape, and I think we can be competitive.”