Laura Graves and Verdades Score 80% in FEI Grand Prix CDI 5* at AGDF
Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.
Wellington, FL – February 9, 2017 – Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades climbed to the top of the leaderboard in Thursday’s FEI Grand Prix CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms, during the fifth week of competition at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.
2016 Olympic Bronze Medalists Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Florett AS x Liwilarda) owned by Graves, ended their day with a winning score of 80.080%.
“This is pretty monumental for us,” said Graves. “We’ve been working at 80% in every test for a while now, probably since our first year at Grand Prix. Knowing what was possible with this horse and to be rewarded today while still feeling like I may have some improvements left, it’s encouraging to have the judging panel be generous and my horse be so generous, and for us to have such a great show to come out and compete at.”
The score was Graves’ first one above 80% in a FEI CDI 5* Grand Prix, putting her alongside U.S. Olympic teammate Steffen Peters as a member of the “80% Club,” which counts only 14 riders in the world as members.
Placing second to Graves in in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 5* was fellow 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Steffen Peters (USA) and Rosamunde, a 2007 Rhinelander mare (Rock Forever x First Lady) owned by Four Winds Farm. They scored 73.820%.
“I had a very electric horse under me today, so the first halt was certainly a reflection of that,” said Peters. “Overall I have to say that there were lots of things that felt absolutely wonderful. Sometimes she can be a bit unsteady in the bridle, and she was just perfect in the connection today.”
He continued, “It’s taking time with ‘Rosie’. She is ten and is still a firecracker – nothing different than with Legolas when he was ten. Horses at that age, they need to have the spark to be brilliant later. She is super honest and is a bit of an overachiever. It’s now about the exposure for her.”
Third place was awarded to Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE) and Paridon Magi, a 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Don Primero x Napoli x Napoleon 625) owned by Lövsta Stuteri, with a score of 73.700%.
Vilhelmson Silfven commented on her ride, “I was very happy with Magi today. He ran a little out of gas. Maybe I warmed him up a little too long, but overall he’s so ambitious and tries to do his best every time.
“I must also say, when Laura got her 80%, I got goose bumps,” Vilhelmson Silfven added. “It’s a cool thing to have. I was really happy [for her]. It was my best memory from today.”
Earlier in the day, Steffen Peters (USA) and Bailarino, a 2008 Oldenburg gelding (Breitling x Schila x De Niro) owned by Four Winds Farm, captured a win in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1*, presented by Engel & Völkers, with a score of 72.719%.
Coming in second place was Jane Cleveland (USA) and Monique, a 2009 Danish Warmblood Mare (Temptation x Kaprice x Matador) owned by Cleveland, with a score of 71.886%. Third place was awarded to Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Horizon, a 2007 Hanoverian mare (Hotline x Don Schufro) owned by Elizabeth Juliano, with a 70.482%.
The FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, was won by Chase Hickok (USA) and Sagacious HF, a 1999 KWPN gelding (Welt Hit II x Judith x Cocktail) owned by Hyperion Farm Inc., with a score of 71.667%.
Second place was awarded to Megan Lane (CAN) and San D’Or, a 2002 Hanoverian gelding (De Niro x Rosana M x Regazonni) owned by Jill Irving, with a 70.647%. Placing third was Susan Pape (GBR) and Harmony’s Don Noblesse, a 2007 Hanoverian stallion (Dancier x Descana x Don Davidoff) owned by Harmony Sporthorses, with 70.608%.
“This is our first year jumping up into the Open Grand Prix,” said Hickok. “We were trying to make sure that he stayed really calm and relaxed, and then today we kind of added a little more jazz and a little more excitement, and I think the score really reflected that.”
After competing at Devon last fall, the pair took some time off to work on preparation for the bigger classes.
Hickok commented, “Every time he comes out, he gets better and better, and I’m stepping up to the plate a little bit. It’s wonderful to have a horse like that, one that can show you the ropes through the U25 and now the Open Grand Prix. He’s just the best competitor you could hope for.”
For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.