The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) will be inducting Michael Poulin and Ravel into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame (HOF) at the Salute Gala and Annual Awards Banquet, on December 8, 2012, during the USDF Annual Convention in New Orleans, LA.
Induction into the HOF is an honor bestowed on horses and individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the sport of dressage in the United States.
Michael Poulin has shown a lifelong commitment to furthering dressage, and dressage education, in the U.S. He has been a well known and successful competitor, trainer, instructor and judge. Part of the U.S. bronze medal team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Michael rode 1997 USDF Hall of Fame Inductee Graf George, and shared the limelight with one of his students, Carol Lavell. Michael was instrumental in the founding of the USDF Instructor/Trainer Program and founded The Dressage Foundation's "Advanced Young Rider Olympic Dream Program". An FEI 4*/I and USEF "S" Judge, Michael has also served, and continues to serve, in various volunteer roles within several equine organizations, including USDF, USEF and The Dressage Foundation.
Ravel, a 14 year-old, dark bay, Dutch Warmblood gelding has awed crowds nationally, and internationally, since he entered the competition arena in 2008, with his rider Steffen Peters. Akiko Yamazaki and her husband, Jerry Yang, purchased Ravel in 2006 from Tim Coomans, Netherlands, with the goal of Ravel being Steffen's mount at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The pair went on to meet that goal, representing the U.S. at the Beijing Games and placing fourth individually. In 2009, Ravel and Peters took first at the World Cup, beating out Anky van Grunsven. Later that same year, the pair went on to write history once more by placing first in all three tests at CDIO Aachen. This was the first time an American combination had ever achieved this feat. Ravel's list of accomplishments also includes being named the 2009 USEF Horse of the Year; 2010 Horse of the Year; 2009, 2010 and 2011 USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year; individual bronze medalist at the 2010 World Equestrian Games and competing in the 2012 Olympics in London.
USDF President George Williams said, "It is a real pleasure, this year, to be honoring two Olympians. One is a horseman and the other a horse. Even though their Olympic debuts were sixteen years apart, they have a lot in common. Not only were their contributions to the sport in the U.S. outstanding, but each of them had an impact on the international scene as well. Both continue to inspire us, as they have shown what can be achieved through hard work, talent and generosity."
Photos © Mary Phelps - Astrid Appels
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