Let’s meet the US dressage team!
With all eyes on the upcoming Olympics next month in Rio, the United States is presenting a strong team of veterans and newcomers to dressage in this summer’s games. With four horse-and-rider teams selected by the USEF (United States Equestrian Federation), each pairing has their eyes set on a spot at the podium.
Allison Brock with Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s Roosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion
From a young age, Allison’s love for horses was evident as she took dressage lessons, rode horses and eventually moved to the mainland at the age of 17 to work with dressage leaders including former Olympian, Sue Blinks. Here, Allison gained invaluable experience in the field as well as learning how to be a successful competitor on the highest level. Eventually, moving on to work with Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, dressage enthusiasts, she is currently their head trainer at DeerMeadow Farms. Most recently, Allison and Roosevelt placed third in the CD13* Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special.
Laura Graves and her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding
The youngest pairing on the team, this duo has been together since Verdades was a foal. Having trained what has been known to many as an unruly and easily frightened horse, Laura and Verdades have formed a successful partnership under the tutelage of several top trainers. Virtually unknown until a few years ago, they jetted to the top when they took the Reserve Champion title behind Olympic teammate, Steffen Peters in 2014 at The Dutta Corp./USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship. Riding high since then, they won the same competition in 2015, won the CDIO5* Grand Prix Special, and placed second in the CDIO5* Grand Prix.
Kasey Perry-Glass with Diane Perry’s Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding
Raised in Northern California, her family’s involvement in a community barn drew her into the sport. Training early on with Gina Miles, Kasey decided to pursue dressage full-time while in high school. Training throughout college while earning her degree in business entrepreneurship, she sees herself as a tough competitor with a drive to stay an elite and sportsmanlike athlete. Working with Dublet since 2012, the pair train with former Olympian Debbie McDonald and received the Team Gold in the CDIO5* Nations Cup and won the CDIO5* Grand Prix at CDIO5* Compiègne.
Steffen Peters with Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92, a 2002 Westphalian gelding
Undeniably, the most experienced and decorated athlete of the team is Steffen Peters, who will be making his fourth appearance at the Olympics in Rio. Born in Germany, Peters became a U.S. citizen in 1992 after moving to San Diego a number of years prior to work and falling in love the area. Now, he and his wife, Shannon operate Arroyo Del Mar, a busy training facility near San Diego. Winning medals with other mounts at the Olympics in Atlanta and Hong Kong, he and Legolas have been on top of the ranks helping achieve Team and Individual Gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto.
No doubt, a lot of hard work has helped these teams earn their spot on the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team.
From trainers to stable managers, there is a lot that goes into a competitive sport with a whole line of equipment and apparel to maintain as well. While we viewers at home may not have the Team USA emblem on our riding coats, rest assured we will be there in spirit.
Cavallo Ladies Dressage Show Jacket – Pikeur Ladies Candela Breeches – Toggi Cartwright Riding Boot
To get your own version of Team USA’s polished look in dressage, check out some of our favorite picks available at Country and Stable. Best of luck to each of group, and we look forward to seeing strong performances in Rio!