Allison Brock and Rosevelt
Born in Hawaii, Allison (“Ali”) Brock started her riding career at age 7 and took part in both English and Western riding. Growing up, she was an active member of her local Pony Club and began taking dressage lessons at age 10. She worked hard throughout her youth to fund her riding habit and developed a strong work ethic as a result. In 1997, Ali left Hawaii at 17-years-old to pursue a career in dressage in the continental United States. She eventually became a working student for Sue Blinks in Wellington, Florida. At the time, Sue was aspiring to be on the 2002 U.S. World Equestrian Games team. Ali got the opportunity to groom for Sue on her journey to WEG, which included training in Germany. In addition, during Ali’s time with Sue she developed her first FEI horse from start to finish, along with improving her own training and horsemanship. This foundation helped prepare Ali for her future endeavors.
Ali branched out in mid-2003 to start a freelance training business in Wellington, as well as continuing to work for Sue part-time. In fall of 2004, Sue moved to the West Coast, and Ali took a job as head trainer for Fritz and Claudine Kundrun, two passionate dressage enthusiasts. Ali found Sue again in 2006 when she trained and competed under her for seven months in Southern California. In 2008, Ali spent a year training with Jan Brink in Sweden, and she trained with Kyra Kyrklund and Richard White for over a year in the UK beginning in 2011. During this time, Ali competed her upcoming Olympic partner, Rosevelt, in England at Intermediaire II before returning to Wellington in 2012 to compete on American soil. Ali and Rosevelt ended their Intermediaire II career on 75 percent and moved up to Grand Prix level in spring of 2013. The pair went on to win the 2014 Dressage at Lexington Grand Prix $1,000 Challenge with 77 percent. That fall, Ali and Rosevelt won the CDI Grand Prix at Dressage at Devon. Since then, Ali has won the 2015 U.S. Nations Cup Team Gold and has had multiple wins at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, most recently in April 2016. Ali currently trains under Michael Barisone, and the Rio Olympics are her first Olympic games.
Laura Graves and Verdades
Native to Vermont, Laura Graves has been training and competing in dressage for over 20 years. However for much of her life, dressage was more of a hobby for Laura than a lifestyle. Up until 2008, Laura had a career as a hairstylist, but that all changed when she saw a video of Verdades. At only six months old, he was unpredictable and hard to train, but he was within Laura’s budget. Verdades was temperamental with an explosive nature, so much so that there were days when Laura couldn’t even ride him. But when she did manage to get on his back, the pair clicked. It was then that Laura decided to give up hairdressing and transition to dressage full-time.
Laura had a dream of riding for the U.S. team, and she was determined to make it happen. Laura and Verdades moved up through the ranks, and in 2014 the pair started competing at the Grand Prix level. Robert Dover, the chef ?équipe of the U.S. Dressage Team, noticed Laura’s talent as she finished successfully at numerous well-known international competitions. He reached out to Laura, and her dreams became a reality when she represented the United States at the 2014 World Equestrian Games aboard Verdades. Here the duo scored an exceptional 82.036 percent, as only three other U.S. pairs have ever scored above an 80 in a world championship. The team placed fourth, and individually Laura won fifth place in the Grand Prix Freestyle and eighth place in the Grand Prix Special. She went on to compete in the 2015 FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, where she placed fourth. In that same year, Laura competed in the Pan American Games held in Toronto and finished with a Team Gold medal and a Silver medal individually. Laura likes to care for Verdades herself, and is reluctant to hand him over to grooms during competition. Today, Laura and Verdades are ranked 11th in the world by the FEI as they prepare to make their Olympic debut in Rio.
Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaard’s Dublet
This California native began her equestrian career at the age of 5 and grew up riding at a small community barn, where she joined the U.S. Pony Club at 8-years-old. Kasey Perry-Glass evented throughout her childhood and teens and trained with big names in the sport such as Carmela Richards and Gina Miles. In high school, she realized her love for dressage while training with Gina Duran and went on to pursue dressage full-time under Christophe Theallet. Kasey continued riding throughout college, and she got her degree from California State University Sacramento. Upon graduation, Kasey moved to Spokane, Washington to train with Christophe full-time.
In 2013, Kasey competed at the Golden State Dressage Festival with Goerklintgaard’s Dublet and won the CDI*** Intermediaire I and Prix St. George levels before moving up to Grand Prix competition. In 2014 Kasey won the Grand Prix at Dressage at Devonwood, and in 2015 she won the Palm Beach Dressage Derby also at Grand Prix level. Kasey and Goerklintgaard’s Dublet took second place at the CDI-W Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special during week seven of the 2016 Global Dressage Festival. At the CDIO*** Grand Prix Freestyle in Wellington, Florida, Kasey and Goerklintgaard’s Dublet won the Individual Silver, and at the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup they won the Team Gold. Leading up to the Olympics, the pair took the Team Gold in the CDIO***** Nations Cup in Compiègne, France and the Team Silver in the CDIO***** Nations Cup in Rotterdam, Netherlands. In addition to riding upper level dressage, Kasey enjoys running and has competed in many half and full marathons over the years. This will be her first Olympic games.
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92
Steffen Peters was born and raised in Wesel, Germany, and this is where his riding career began. During his teenage years, his father bought him a 3-year-old KWPN gelding named Udon, and this was the first of a number of remarkable horses that Steffen has ridden throughout his lifetime. He and Udon trained at Jo Hinnemann’s barn in Germany where he was introduced to American trainer Laurie Falvo. She invited Steffen to work at her barn in San Diego over the summer of 1984. The next year, Steffen decided to move with Udon to California and spent the next five years working for a variety of horse people. In 1991, he started his own business, and in 1992 he became a citizen of the United States. Lila Kommerstad noticed Steffen while he was riding in a clinic, and she became his first sponsor.
Steffen represented the United States at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where the team won a Bronze medal. He continued competing internationally, and in 2006 Steffen helped the U.S. Team win a Bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games. Leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Steffen and Ravel won every single competition they entered, including the USEF Selection Trials. The pair finished fourth in the Beijing Olympic Games. In 2009, Steffen won the FEI Rolex World Cup Finals and then went on to win the Grand Prix, the Grand Prix Special and the Freestyle at Aachen with Ravel. This accomplishment is something that no American had ever done before. At the 2011 Pan American Games, Steffen and Weltino’s Magic won both the Team and Individual Gold medals. Steffen and Ravel went on to compete in the 2012 London Olympics where the U.S. Dressage Team placed sixth. Steffen began riding Legolas 92 in 2013, competing in the Exquis CDI***** Grand Prix Freestyle at Florida’s World Dressage Masters. The pair won third place with an 80.175 percent. At the Dressage Affaire in Del Mar, California, the duo won the Grand Prix Freestyle. They went on to win the Team and Individual Gold medals at the 2015 Pan American Games. Steffen continues to compete on the international circuit as well as running his own farm, Arroyo Del Mar, as he prepares for his fifth Olympic Games.