Born: September 18, 1964
Hometown: San Diego, California
Originally from Germany, Peters moved to the U.S. in 1985 and began riding for his adopted country in 1992. Since this time, Peters has represented the U.S. at numerous championships and earned many National Titles.
Steffen Peters celebrating a Bronze Medal at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games. (Photo by Shannon Brinkman)
Peters won his first Olympic medal, a Team Bronze, at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games aboard Udon. He and Floriano were the alternates on the 2004 Athens Olympic team. In 2006, Peters and Floriano swept all three phases of competition at the 2006 Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF National Grand Prix Dressage Championship in Gladstone, N.J., landing them the anchor spot on the Bronze medal-winning team at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games.
2007 was a breakout year for Peters and Lombardi 11. They traveled to New Jersey from California to win the USEF/Collecting Gaits Farm Festival of Champions at the Grand Prix level and traveled to Aachen, Germany, to represent the U.S. in the CDIO3*.
With Ravel, Peters amassed a remarkable record. Under Peters’ expert guidance, the Dutch Warmblood gelding went from strength to strength during their partnership. Ravel won every single competition he entered leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, including the 2008 USEF Selection Trials for Dressage. At the Olympic Games, he ended up fourth by the slimmest of margins, behind horses far more experienced. It was Ravel’s first competition outside the United States.
Ravel and Peters dove into 2009, winning the Grand Prix at the Exquis World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Fla., with an impressive effort. At the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, Ravel and Peters re-wrote history, beating out nine-time (and defending) World Cup champion Anky van Grunsven and Isabell Werth, to win both the Grand Prix and the Freestyle. In July, Ravel and Peters traveled to Germany for CDIO Aachen, where the pair won all three tests: the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix Freestyle. This impressive sweep marked the first time an American combination had ever achieved this feat.
In 2010, Ravel and Peters traveled to Wellington, Fla., to take part in the Exquis World Dressage Masters. They beat some of the very best in the world on their way to winning the Grand Prix Test and placing second in the Freestyle.
That fall the pair was the anchor for the U.S. Team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Ky. Peters collected the first Individual Championship medal of his career when he rode Ravel to the Bronze in the Grand Prix Special. Two nights later, Peters and Ravel put in another heroic effort to capture the Bronze again in the Freestyle.
Ravel and Steffen Peters - winners of both the Grand Prix and Freestyle at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club. (Photo by SusanJStickle.com)
Peters and Ravel started the 2011 season by doing something that had eluded them in the previous two years at the World Dressage Masters Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club. They were victorious in the Grand Prix Test, for a third consecutive year, and the following evening won the Freestyle after having been second the previous two years.
At the Collecting Gaits Farm/USEF Dressage Festival of Champions, Peters dominated in the Grand Prix, Intermediaire I, and Prix St. Georges divisions. With Ravel, Peters took home top honors in the Grand Prix Test, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle. He and Weltino’s Magic won the Intermediaire I Test, Intermediare I Freestyle, and the Prix St. Georges Test.
Peters partnered with Weltino’s Magic to represent the U.S. at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. The pair performed beautifully, bringing home Team and Individual Gold Medals for the U.S.
In 2012, Peters and Ravel swept the World Dressage Masters CDI4* Palm Beach presented by International Polo Club, winning the Grand Prix Test and Grand Prix Freestyle. Peters competed on Legolas 92 in the 2012 USEF Dressage Festival of Champions and Selection Trials for the U.S. Dressage Team, where the pair nearly swept the Grand Prix, winning three of the four rounds and defending his 2011 Championship with an overall score of 77.653%. Later that summer, Peters and Ravel traveled to the United Kingdom, where they participated in the 2012 London Olympic Games for the United States, Ravel's final competition before retiring.
Peters kicked off 2013 by winning the Grand Prix Test and Grand Prix Freestyle at The Dressage Affaire CDI3* with Legolas 92. The pair traveled east and won the Grand Prix Test at CDI5* Wellington, as well as finishing second in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Peters and Legolas tested out their partenrship overseas and earned second-place finishes in both the Grand Prix Test and Gran Prix Freestyle at CDI4* Hagen. The pair then helped the U.S. team finish third in the CDIO5* Aachen, coming in fifth individual in the Grand Prix Test. Peters and Legolas 92 closed out the year by claiming top honors in The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship, Peters' seventh National title.
In 2014, Peters began the year with top placings yet again. He and Legolas 92 won the Grand Prix Test and Grand Prix Special at the Mid-Winter Dressage Fair CDI-W. They continued their winning ways at the Festival of the Horse, by taking home top honors in the CDI3* Grand Prix Test and Grand Prix Freestyle. Peters was on a roll at the 2014 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp, winning The Dutta Corp/USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship with Legolas 92, his eighth National Grand Prix title and second consecutive title with Legolas 92. For their efforts, Peters and Legolas 92 were named to the Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) U.S. Dressage Team. Peters also claimed the top two spots in The Dutta Corp/USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship with Roasmunde and Apassionata, respectively.
Peters traveled to Europe and maintained his top form as he prepared for the 2014 WEG. At CDI4* Fritzens-Schindlhof, he won the Intermediaire I and Prix St. Georges Tests with Rosamunde and finished second in the Grand Prix Test and Grand Prix Freestyle with Legolas 92. Peters then traveled to CDI3* Verden with Legolas 92 and won the Grand Prix Test and Grand Prix Special.
Peters and his wife, Shannon, operate a busy training facility in the San Diego area.