Eye on the Ride – Episode 1

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What is a dressage musical freestyle, and why do we do them?

SPetersWelcome to our premiere episode. For our first foray, we are going to give a brief overview of dressage and musical freestyles.  Steffen Peters took time to talk to us at the 2010 selections trials for the last World Equestrian Games.  We asked him to define dressage and to explain the special connection a horse and rider need to establish in order to achieve the ultimate in harmony, balance and rhythm. Frank Maddlone of EquiChord will also be joining in an informal discussion to recall how he was introduced to dressage and freestyles, and what inspired him to start designing them.  Part One of Three.


 Steffen Peters on Ravel
©FEI Catalogue


 BIO – Steffen Peters

Steffen Peters was born in North Rhine – Westphalia, Germany. He began riding and competing at the age of seven.  When Steffen was 16 years old, his father purchased Udon, a 3-year-old KWPN gelding by stallion Darling Boy. Peters and Udon trained at Jo Hinnemann’s barn in Voerde, Germany, and went on to successfully compete on an international level.  In 1985, Peters brought Udon to the United States, and in 1991 he opened his own barn in Del Mar, California, which he continues to operate to this day with his wife, Shanon. Peters became an American citizen in 1992, and won his first Olympic Bronze medal on Udon at the 1996 Atlanta Games.

Peters’ most successful pairing to date has been with TC Ravel, a Dutch warmblood acquired by Akiko Yamazaki for Peters to compete in the 2008 Olympic Games. In 2009, the pair reeived the highest scores in all three portions of the Aachen World Equestrian Grand Prix competition – the first American pair to be named Grand Prix Champions.  Ravel and Peters followed that success 2009 by winning that year’s World Cup Final, and garnering two Bronze Medals at the 2010 World Equestrain Games in Lexington, Kentucky. Peters retired Ravel after achieving over 40 Grand Prix wins.  Ravel was inducted into the United States Equestrian Federation Hall of Fame.

Peters and his horse, Legolas 92, are currently the top ranking American dressage team in the world. He has been in three Olympic games, earning a bronze medal in 1996.  He is the first American to have won the Aachen Grand Prix Championship, and the first person to be awarded the USEF’s Equestrain of the Year award on three separate occasions.  Peters and Legolas are heavily favored to lead the American team at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games to be held in Normandy, France on August 25-29 (dressage portion).

Event Date Starting Time Event Details
25 August 09:00 Grand Prix Day 1
26 August 09:00 Grand Prix Day 2
27 August 09:30 Grand Prix Special
29 August 13:35 Grand Prix Freestyle



EquiChord is a veteran-owned, multi-faceted production company that successfully integrates technology, education and creativity. Their projects encompass film, instructional video, rich media education, instructional design, and musical productions from inception to final editing. Successfully operating within the public and private sectors, EquiChord has fulfilled the diverse requirements of its clients by assessing the needs of the project and providing the highest level of production value and educational insight.