2009 USEF Horse of the Year

©Arnd Bronkhorst

The bay Dutch Warmblood gelding Ravel made his indelible impression on the dressage world after winning 10 out of the 11 FEI classes he entered in 2009. Ridden by Steffen Peters, Ravel's historic win in the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the 2009 FEI Dressage World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Nevada, made the U.S. entry the first ever to win the title on American soil in front of an excited home crowd of 7000.
Owner Akiko Yamazaki of Four Winds Farm bought the horse as an Olympic prospect in 2006. After spending most of 2007 recovering from injury, in his first year of Grand Prix level dressage, he finished just out of the medals as the highest-placed U.S. entry at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Then at the 2009 World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, Germany, he was the first U.S. entry, in the almost 80 years of history of the show, to sweep all three tests. Ravel and Peters finished out their spectacular year with the highest of honors. Peters was named US Equestrian Federation 2009 Equestrian of the Year for the second year in a row.


Ravel's Breyer model



Out of the 130,000 horses registered with the USEF, Ravel was voted USEF 2009 Horse of the Year. Ravel was also U.S. Dressage Federation Horse of the Year, KWPN-NA (Royal Dutch Warmblood) Horse of the Year and Chronicle of the Horse, Horse of the Year, inspiring his proud owner to call him a horse that "made a dream, she didn't even know could have, come true!"