Photo courtesy of Amy McCool/USEF Archive
(1990 – )
Owned by Stephen & Laurelyn Browning
Inducted: 2013


The American Dressage superstar Floriano may have taken his time developing, but what he had to offer was well worth the wait. Melanie Pai imported Floriano from Germany and invited Steffen Peters to begin riding the talented gelding in 2003 - a decision that transformed Floriano from a green Grand Prix mount in 2004 to world-class just two years later. Steffen and Floriano were selected as the first alternate for the 2004 Athens Olympics and won the Invitational Championship at the 2005 FEI World Cup Final in Nevada. Stephen and Laurelyn Browning bought Floriano shortly after the World Cup.

At the peak of his career in 2006, when he was 16 years old, a series of inspiring performances in the United States and abroad earned the courageous competitor recognition as a United States Equestrian Federation 2006 Horse of Honor.

The year started on a promising note for Floriano, and he got better with every performance. He began by dominating CDI competitions in California, where he collected wins in the Grand Prix at Del Mar and the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at Burbank. In June, Floriano traveled to New Jersey for the Collecting Gaits Farm/U.S. Equestrian Federation National Grand Prix Championship, where he put in his strongest tests to date to win the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle.

But the best was yet to come for Floriano. His stellar results earlier in the year earned him a place on the United States team for the FEI World Equestrian Games, held that year in Aachen, Germany. As an enthusiastic crowd of 50,000 cheered him on, Floriano channeled his energy into thrilling, electric performances that brought down the house. His power and elegance secured him fourth place in the Grand Prix Special and sixth in the Grand Prix Freestyle. He finished as the highest-placed American horse in the field, surpassing many of the top dressage horses of his time as he helped the United States team to a bronze medal. Floriano won over both the international spectators who saw him compete and the American fans who celebrated his achievement.

2006 was undoubtedly a hard year to match, but the ever-determined Floriano did his best in 2007, opening the season with double victories in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle at the U.S. League Final in Burbank, California. Floriano’s wins were particularly emotional for his connections, as he had overcome a career-threatening suspensory injury after the World Equestrian Games. His U.S. League success showed that he was still at the top of his game, and he was given the chance to compete at the World Cup Final in Las Vegas.

At the 2007 World Cup Final, Floriano laid his heart on the line against the international dressage stars of his era. He stepped up his performance from the U.S. League Final to give Europe’s best a run for their money. A precise test in the Grand Prix earned him second place behind Warum Nicht, ridden by multiple Olympic gold medalist Isabell Werth. Werth and Warum Nicht repeated their winning effort in the Grand Prix Freestyle to take the title, while Floriano put in a powerful test to finish third, less than two tenths of a point behind second-placed pair Imke Schellekens-Bartels and Sunrise.

Now that his competitive days are over, Floriano is living the good life on the California ranch of owners Stephen and Laurelyn Browning, who enjoy the company of their world-famous dressage competitor. "Floriano has a wonderful, wonderful home in Agua Dulce," Laurelyn Browning said. "He's a big star here, and he certainly knows it! He's still hot blooded, but he is also very gentle and sensitive - and a real ham for the camera."

"Flori deserves the best," Browning continued. "He has a lifelong companion that's with him now, and acres to run, and a fabulous life. He runs the whole ranch. You just can't know how much he means to us."

"He's an incredible horse."