Five Highlights from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Team USA celebrates winning the silver medal. Left to right: Adrienne Lyle, Steffen Peters, and Sabine Schut-Kery (Diana De Rosa photo)

As the dressage phase comes to a close, the United States made a prolific showing at the Tokyo Olympics. USDF wishes to congratulate all of our athletes, we are so proud of our team, and look forward to honoring our outstanding athletes at the 2021 Adequan®/USDF Convention. Join us as we look back on some of the highlights!

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino Make a Strong Showing

Qualifying early in the second day of qualifiers, Adrienne Lyle and Salvino put in a strong performance, with a solid 74.876%, earning them a spot in the Grand Prix Freestyle for Individual Medals. Adrienne and Salvino’s Freestyle dreams were cut short however, when they chose to withdraw the morning of the Freestyle competition, stating that the morning of the Freestyle, “Salvino did not quite feel like his usual self“.

A veteran of the 2012 London Olympics with Wizard, Lyle is also an NAYC Young Rider, NAYC Coach, and a USDF Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medalist.   

Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper earn a personal best 77.766%

Olympic veteran Steffen Peters and first-timer Suppenkasper rode a conservative test as one of the last rides in the qualifying round, earning a 76.196% and securing Team USA’s berth to the Grand Prix Special the following day. To follow up that solid ride, the pair put it all on the line for the Grand Prix Special, earning a personal best 77.766%. On the final day of competition in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle for Individual Medals, Peters and Suppenkasper danced to their upbeat arrangement, earning an 80.968%. Suppenkasper left it all in the arena, giving Peters every ounce of cooperation with their clean ride.

Suppenkasper is the reigning Adequan®/USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year, while Peters, in addition to having served as both rider and featured clinician at numerous USDF educational events, has been the pilot of multiple Adequan®/USDF Horse’s of the Year and Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame equine inductees.

Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo Earn FEI Competition Personal Best Scores

In their first Olympic appearance, the dynamic duo of Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo (a familiar name in USDF year-end award standings) put on quite the performances. Scoring an FEI competition personal best of 78.416% on the first day of qualifying competition, they returned to the ring earning a career-high 81.596% in the Grand Prix Special, anchoring Team USA and securing an impressive podium placing.

Riding to music put together by her husband, and competing their freestyle for the first time since 2018, Schut-Kery and Sanceo earned their third personal best of the week in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle for Individual Medals recording an 84.300%.

Team USA Takes Silver in FEI Grand Prix Team Competition, and Top Ten Individual Placings

For the first time since the 1948 London Olympics, the US Dressage Team was adorned in Olympic Silver, while Germany captured the Gold, and Team Great Britain danced their way to Bronze.

As the final pair’s freestyle music faded, Sabine and Sanceo found themselves in fifth place, while Steffen and Suppenkasper’s sentimental ride earned them a tenth place finish in the individual standings.

Debbie McDonald Leads Team USA as Chef d’Equipe

Olympian and USDF Young Rider Graduate Program Mentor Debbie McDonald fulfilled the role of Chef d’Equipe, lending her experience and support to this outstanding group of athletes. In her final press conference, she was quoted as saying,

“What an incredible few weeks we’ve all had together, and I am just so proud of this entire team,” said McDonald. “We came into these Olympics knowing that we could really deliver on the world stage and this historic silver medal is a testament to all of the hard work everyone involved in this program has built upon over the last several years. I am thrilled with our team and the continued momentum we’ve seen year over year at this level.

Related Links:

Dressage at the Olympics Through the Years

Get to Know the 2021 US Olympic Dressage Team

The Straight Shooter

The Fairy-Tale Horse

Steffen Peters Improves The Schooling Pirouette


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