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Dressage Horse Ravel named 2009 Horse of the Year

by U.S. Equestrian Federation

Louisville, KY – January 15, 2010 – Amid the grandeur of the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) annual meeting and gala awards ceremony, Dressage Champion Ravel was named the 2009 Farnam® / Platform® • USEF Horse of the Year. Ravel was selected from among all USEF breeds and disciplines as the nation’s most exceptional horse for 2009.

Owned by Akiko Yamazaki, Ravel and rider Steffen Peters became the first U. S. horse-and-rider to win the Rolex FEI World Cup on American soil.

“Ravel made a dream come true – a dream I didn’t even know I had,” said Akiko Yamazaki, Ravel’s owner. “Ravel consistantly excels at what he does – as he did in Aachen this year when he swept all three classes,” said Chris Jacobi, senior vice president of Farnam Horse Products, sponsor of the awards program. “It is this spirit of dedication and exceptional talent for which this award was established.”

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As winner of the 2009 Farnam® / Platform® • USEF Horse of the Year, Dressage Champion Ravel joins a very exclusive club of previous winners: Brentina, the 2005 dressage superstar; Authentic, the 2006 jumping sensation; the late Theodore O’Connor, the 2007 eventing great; and Jamaica, the Dutch Warmblood who excelled in 2008 as a Four-in-Hand combined driving horse.

After winning the U.S. National Grand Prix Dressage Championship and coming within a fraction of standing atop the Olympic medal’s podium in 2008, Ravel returned to competition in 2009 determined to take no prisoners. Not only did this 11-year-old bay,  along with Equestrian of the Year nominee and rider Steffen Peters, win big, the duo set some new standards for the record books.

The pair became the first U.S. horse-and-rider to win the Rolex FEI World Cup on American soil in Las Vegas before a thunderous crowd of admirers, taking the win in the Grand Prix and the Freestyle Final. They were also the first Americans to sweep all three tests at the CDIO Five-Star in Aachen, Germany, last year. These were just a few of the titles the dynamic duo scored, as well as titles at the Del Mar Classic CDI and the 2009 Bank CDI-W in Burbank, Calif.

USEF Members, media and the USEF Board of Directors voted to select Ravel for this prestigious honor – presented at the Horse of the Year gala at the Louisville Marriott Downtown Hotel in Louisville, KY, on Jan. 15, 2010. The trophy – a 39-inch bronze sculpture on permanent display at the USEF headquarters in Kentucky – was commissioned by well-known equine artist Alexa King. Bronze replicas of the trophy were presented to the owners of the winning horse and crystal trophies were presented to the finalists. Other finalists for the award were: Courage to Lead, a Morgan Mare, owned by Beverley Lesher; Kripton-Seni II, an Andalusian Stallion, owned by Joe and Nancy Latta; CH Our Charming Lady, an American Saddlebred Mare, owned by Jack and Donna Finch; and Sapphire, a Belgian Warmblood Mare, owned by McLain Ward and Bluechip Bloodstock.

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