Tag Archives: Laura Graves

Laura Graves and Verdades Secure Third World Cup Qualifying Score

Laura Graves and Verdades © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 1, 2019 – The “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W presented by Havensafe Farm ended a day of top dressage competition with a sweep of the top three places by U.S. women at week 8 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), which continues through Sunday, March 3.

Friday night also showcased the final round of the Palm Beach Derby presented by Havensafe Farm, and a nations parade for the riders in the Florida International Youth Dressage Championships.

Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades rode to a score of 84.535% to secure their third qualifying score for the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final and to win the freestyle. “I don’t count anything until it’s for certain,” said Graves. “Once I went down centerline, I thought, ‘OK, hopefully this is my ticket to Sweden.’”

Christoph Koschel Captures Win in Palm Beach Derby

Christoph Koschel (GER) defended his title and for the third time won the Palm Beach Derby presented by Havensafe Farm, picking up an $3,000 check as his portion of the $8,000 prize money on offer. Koschel rode Action Ace, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Ijsselmeer owned by Janice Murdoch, and the new pair earned a score of 72.316% in the final round of the Derby.

“It’s great to win the third time in a row,” said Koschel of his success. “It’s really challenging. I think that is what we all enjoy as professional riders, to get a horse that we don’t know and find in four to five minutes the right buttons. To get to know the horse a little bit and then try to ride a test.”

Karen Lipp (USA) also rode Action Ace in the final round and took second place with a score of 68.713%. Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Karen Pavicic (CRO) tied for third place after being “knocked out” by Koschel and Lipp in the initial round of competition. Lyle and Flash Dancer IM 1175, a 16-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Londonderry owned by Patricia Koschel, earned a score of 67.999%. Pavicic and Leuchtfeuer DE, a 14-year-old Swedish Warmblood stallion by Dion Romantica owned by Dressage Grand Ducal, earned a score of 67.705%.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Laura Graves and Verdades Start Off AGDF Week 8 with Win in FEI Grand Prix CDI-W

Laura Graves and Verdades. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 28, 2019 – Week 8 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), The Palm Beach Derby, kicked off with top CDI-W and CDI3* dressage competition. Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades returned to AGDF and won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W presented by Havensafe Farm. The pair earned a score of 80.239% to qualify for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W presented by Havensafe Farm tomorrow night, where they plan to secure their last qualifying score for the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals in April.

“I thought he was relaxed, but I also at the same time maybe warmed him up too much,” said Graves of her 17-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Florett AS. “We have this technique we’ve been using where we give him a very short warm-up and just send him in. Sometimes the longer you warm him up he gets tired, and then he gets hotter in his mind, but tired in his body.

“He was very, very clean today. I thought he was very very honest,” continued Graves, who last competed with Verdades at AGDF 3. “I was super happy with my zig-zag. I just remember looking up at one point and how much ground we had covered sideways, and I thought ‘Uh oh, can I do that the other way?’ I pushed, and sure enough he went that far. The canter tour felt really secure, and I’m happy with his relaxation.”

Graves noted of her goal for Friday night, “[It] is our last qualifier for World Cup, so just want to check that off of the list and know that we have a ticket to Sweden.”

Graves’s FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 teammates, Kasey Perry-Glass and Adrienne Lyle, finished in second and third place, respectively. The three riders shared their laps of honor by trotting down the centerline side by side. “We’ve been waiting for this,” Graves shared. “We’ve been planning [that] for weeks and weeks and weeks. The three of us are such good friends that we’ve been hoping for a sweep like that. It was fun to be able to laugh with each other and go down centerline, to have such amazing teammates.”

Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Diamond Hit x La Costa and owned by Diane Perry, placed second with a score of 78.630%. In third place was Lyle riding Salvino, a 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Sandro Hit x Dynastie and owned by Betsy Juliano LLC. They received a score of 74.543%.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Laura Graves and Verdades Capture Another Win in “Friday Night Stars” Grand Prix Freestyle

Laura Graves and Verdades. © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 25, 2019 – U.S. dressage stars and currently ranked number two in the world, Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades performed a beautiful test and earned a score of 84.935% to win the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by the U.S. P.R.E. Association on Friday, January 25, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.

“This freestyle was nice. This was the second time I’ve ridden to this music. I’m definitely feeling a little more comfortable with it,” commented Graves, who has captured medals at the Olympic Games and World Equestrian Games with Verdades, her 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS. “I’m glad to add another good score to qualifying [for the World Cup Finals]. In a normal year we’d be qualified by now, but we have one more show to do so we’ll be back at the end of February, I believe, to hopefully qualify.”

Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding by Diamond Hit owned by Diane Perry, came in second with a score of 82.425%.

“The weather was great for Dublet. He loves the cold weather,” said Perry-Glass of her 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (WEG) team silver medal-winning partner. “It really gets him a little bit more amped. I’m just very proud of him for this show, to come out and score a personal best in [yesterday’s] grand prix out of WEG. Unfortunately, I had a little bit of a spook coming in [the freestyle], so that kind of put me a little behind my music. I felt a little rushed throughout my choreography, but he nailed everything.”

Shelly Francis and Danilo (USA), a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding by De Niro x Annabella owned by Patricia Stempel, earned a score of 80.535% and came in third place in the freestyle.

“I just feel like my horse is really kind of liking this freestyle,” commented Francis about Danilo. “He kind of gets a little pumped up tonight with the cooler weather. It was good. He felt really fun and awesome though; he was just trying to do everything. The piaffe and passage and pirouettes are always getting better, and he’s always been pretty good about the changes. He’s kind of coming into himself.”

Judge at C, Michael Osinski, pointed out – and it was confirmed – that for the first time in a dressage competition in the U.S., the top three earned above 80%. Osinski commented, “It just was an honor to watch all three of you, such elegant, harmonious, beautiful riders. It was just great, and I wish them all the best.”

AGDF Director of Sport Thomas Baur also pointed out that Adrienne Lyle (USA) and Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE) placed fourth and fifth with top scores above and near 79%.

“I think that we did not have many qualifiers in the Western European league this year or last year, that were that strong,” he noted. “I think we have come a long way here, and it’s pretty amazing.”

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

USET Foundation Celebrates 2019 Award Winners at Gold Medal Club Reception

The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to recognize the generous support of their Gold Medal Club (GMC) members. The GMC is the lifeblood of the USET Foundation, accounting for nearly 80 percent of individual contributions each year and is comprised of members who contribute a minimum of $1,000 or more annually. On Friday, Jan. 18, the USET Foundation hosted the Gold Medal Club Reception at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida, where GMC members who have made the USET Foundation a priority in their charitable giving for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40 years were recognized.

USET Foundation Presents 2019 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to Rising Star Daisy Farish

The USET Foundation is pleased to honor the talented young show jumping athlete Daisy Farish of Versailles, Kentucky as the recipient of the 2019 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy. This prestigious award is presented annually to a junior/young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who demonstrates the team’s values of sportsmanship and horsemanship.

USET Foundation Awards 2019 Whitney Stone Cup to Dressage Icon Laura Graves

The USET Foundation is pleased to announce that dressage star Laura Graves is the recipient of the 2019 Whitney Stone Cup. The award is presented annually to an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition as well as high standards of sportsmanlike conduct, while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.

S. Tucker S. Johnson Honored with R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award

In 2015, the USET Foundation announced the creation of the R. Bruce Duchossois Distinguished Trustee Award in honor and recognition of the late Bruce Duchossois. On Friday, Jan. 18, S. Tucker S. Johnson was presented with the 2019 award during the USET Foundation’s Gold Medal Club Reception held at the International Polo Club in Wellington, Florida.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.

Verdades and Cobra Win at 2018 Horse of the Year Gala

West Palm Beach, Fla. – US Equestrian is pleased to share that Verdades, owned by Laura Graves and Curt Maes, has been voted the 2018 International Horse of the Year, and Cobra, owned by Marsha Hartford-Sapp, has been voted the 2018 National Horse of the Year.

Verdades (Florett AS x Liwilarda/Goya), a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, affectionately known as Diddy, began his journey to international success in 2014 after garnering attention from his reserve-champion finish at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. Since his launch into the spotlight with his life-long rider and trainer Graves, Verdades’s achievements and continued success are profound. In 2018, Verdades again proved why he is one of the best horses to grace the international dressage ring as he won the Grand Prix at the FEI World Cup™ Dressage Finals in Paris and helped the U.S. team earn a silver medal in the FEI Dressage Nations Cup™ Germany. He and Graves then rode for silver medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (WEG) Tryon 2018.

Since being rounded up in the mountains of Nevada at the age of six, Cobra’s trainer and owner Marsha Hartford-Sapp has been devoted to the 14-year-old mustang gelding and proceeded training him with caution and respect for his instincts, creating a deep bond. Their mutual trust has seen them through competitions in both classical and Western dressage, where Cobra’s versatility and talent for each has been apparent. As one of the founding horses of USEF Western dressage competition, Cobra was one of the first recipients of the 2015 Horse of the Year awards in that discipline and has continued to collect numerous accolades ever since.

“It wasn’t even about that moment when the Olympic medal was placed around my neck. It was about the joy. Despite hardships, heartbreaks, and massive, massive life failures, always overwhelming joy… [and] the fact that this great horse brings so much joy to so many people.” – Laura Graves on her 2018 International Horse of the Year

“Several years ago, I stood in the middle of a round pen with a horse that was six years old, rounded up by a helicopter, and never touched by human hands.” – Marsha Hartford-Sapp

© 2019 US Equestrian Federation

Laura Graves and Verdades Wow Spectators with Freestyle Victory at “Friday Night Stars”

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 11, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival concluded its second day of competition on Friday, January 11, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL with the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades wowed the crowd with their freestyle and won the class.

Graves and Verdades, her 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS, came out on top with an 83.220% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services.

Graves said, “I wasn’t what sure which music I was going to do tonight. In the end, I’m very, very glad I chose to do my new music. I don’t know what else I would have been saving it for. I’m just glad that the timing worked out; I haven’t ridden to it yet. It’s supposed to be about the same as my last one, so I just crossed my fingers and hoped that it worked out and it did. I’m so lucky that Terri Gallo just takes whatever idea that I have.”

Speaking of her test, Graves explained, “[I had] a big mistake in my final pirouette. I came at him a bit strong in the spur. And then in the piaffe fan, which we haven’t touched since Aachen last year, I was a bit greedy and selfish in the warm-up. He let me know that he knows his job. He gives such a good feeling when he does go well that any little bump in my hand or my leg is shocking to me.”

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Laura Graves and Verdades Open 2019 Adequan Global Dressage Festival with Victory

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo © SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – January 10, 2019 – The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started with its first day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), in Wellington, FL, on Thursday with a win for Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades in the FEI Grand Prix CDIW, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. The first week at AGDF, the Lloyd Landkamer Memorial, features CDI-W competition from January 10-12.

Laura Graves (USA) won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W with a score of 80.065%. Graves rode her own mount, Verdades, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS.

Graves said that her ride was “a good way to put the first show into perspective after we haven’t been out since the [World Equestrian Games] was called off before the freestyle, so it’s been quite a bit since we’ve been in the arena. It always feels like, ‘Okay, we still know what we’re doing.’” She remarked, “He obviously still has a ton of gas in the tank. I’m really, really excited with how today went.”

Her favorite part of her ride was that Verdades “saved [her] today in the zig zag.” She continued, “I poked him on five and he said, ‘Mom, you gotta wait for 6.’ And so I was just really lucky that he saved me there and it’s nice to know that you can count on a horse like that.

“He gets even more electric here than he does at any other huge venue in the world,” said the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (WEG) silver medalist. “We want to see more relaxation in his free walk because we lose some points there when he has such a good walk in the school. And again, just tidying things up so my transitions are on time so I can really feel safe to push.”

Graves and Verdades will be debuting their new freestyle created for WEG on Friday evening.

Michael Klimke (GER) started off the season by winning the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI3*, presented by Triple Crown Nutrition with a score of 70.265%. Klimke rode Harmony’s Diabolo, a nine-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Desparadis owned by Harmony Sporthorses.

Klimke also won the FEI Grand Prix CDI3*, presented by MTICA Farm with a score of 68.435%. Klimke rode his own mount, Royal Dancer 33, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding by Royal Blend.

For more information and a full list of results, visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

US Olympic Committee Announces Best of September Finalists for Team USA Awards

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Colorado Springs, Colo. – The United States Olympic Committee announced finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, Best of September, which recognize the outstanding achievements of Team USA athletes from last month. Fans are invited to vote for their favorite athletes and teams at Awards.TeamUSA.org through midnight Monday, Oct. 8.

A total of eight sports – including basketball, equestrian, Para-equestrian, paratriathlon, shooting, triathlon, volleyball, and wrestling – are represented among the 13 finalists across men’s, women’s and team categories. The finalists’ collective accomplishments tell the inspiring story of U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes year-round.

In addition to Dow, the presenting sponsor, the Team USA Awards are supported by Dick’s Sporting Goods and USG.

SEPTEMBER FINALISTS

Male Athlete of the Month

Matt Anderson (West Seneca, New York), Indoor Volleyball
Named best opposite at the FIVB World Championship, finishing as the second-leading scorer and second-leading attacker and helping lead Team USA to its first world championship medal – a bronze – in 24 years.

Mark Barr (Davis, California), Paratriathlon
Capped his undefeated season with a gold medal in the men’s PTS2 at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships.

G’Angelo Hancock (Colorado Springs, Colorado), Wrestling
Earned the gold medal in the 97 kg. division of the Pytlasinski Memorial International after pinning 2016 Olympic champion and three-time world champion Artur Aleksanyan in the semifinal in 27 seconds.

Vincent Hancock (Eatonton, Georgia), Shooting
Won his fourth world championship title in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, tying the world record in qualification by shooting a perfect 125-125 targets, and tying the finals world record by missing only one target.

McLain Ward (Brewster, New York), Equestrian
Aboard Clinta, anchored the U.S. Jumping Team at the FEI World Equestrian Games, helping Team USA win the gold medal in a jump-off to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Female Athlete of the Month

Caitlin Connor (Winnfield, Louisiana), Shooting
Won her first career international gold medal in skeet shooting at the ISSF World Championships, edging six-time Olympic medalist and U.S. teammate Kim Rhode in the final, 57-56.

Laura Graves (Geneva, Florida), Equestrian
Aboard Verdades, claimed the grand prix special individual silver medal and the team silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games, becoming the first U.S. dressage combination to lead the FEI Dressage World Rankings.

Rebecca Hart (Wellington, Florida), Para-equestrian
Earned the bronze medal in the individual test and silver in freestyle at the FEI World Equestrian Games, marking the first-ever WEG medals won by a Team USA para-equestrian individual rider.

Allysa Seely (Glendale, Arizona), Paratriathlon
Earned the gold medal in the women’s PTS2 division at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships, completing her season sweep of the ITU World Paratriathlon Series.

Katie Zaferes (Hampstead, Maryland), Triathlon
Finished third at the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final, capturing the ITU World Triathlon Series overall silver medal.

Team of the Month

USA Women’s World Cup Team, Basketball
With just two practices with its complete, 12-member team, won its third straight world cup title – and 10th overall – at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup, becoming the second women’s basketball team to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Jumping Team, Equestrian
Won a historic gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in a thrilling jump-off against Sweden – marking the first world title for the U.S. since 1986 – and secured a national team quota spot for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

U.S. Men’s World Championship Team, Indoor Volleyball
Earned a historic bronze medal at the FIVB World Championship, marking the first world championship medal for the U.S. in 24 years.

SELECTION PROCESS
Each National Governing Body may nominate one female, one male, and one team per sport discipline. An internal nominating committee selects finalists to advance to the voting round. Votes received from NGB representatives and select members of the media account for 50 percent of the final tally, with the other half determined by online fan voting via Awards.TeamUSA.org.

From the United States Olympic Committee Communications Department

Laura Graves and Verdades First Americans to Top FEI Dressage World Rankings

Photo: Laura Graves (FEI / Martin Dokoupil)

Lausanne (SUI), 1 October 2018 — Olympic bronze medallist duo and American sweethearts, Laura Graves and Verdades (a.k.a. Diddy), have topped the FEI World Dressage rankings thanks to their double silver medal placings last month at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon. The famous combination has become the first American partnership to be ranked world number 1, as they took home silver in the Grand Prix Special and the Grand Prix competitions, boosting their ranking points to 2714 points, and placing them one point ahead of Germany’s Isabel Werth and Weihegold Old.

Isabel Werth (GER) and Weihegold OLD have held the number one position for almost two years, when they took over from fellow German Kristina Bröring-Sprehe in November 2016. This ground-breaking change to the top spot has now pushed them back to second place with a total of 2713 points. Isabel Werth can be found in three more positions in the ranking list, at the third with Emilio 107 (2680 points, previously ranked 2nd), at the fourth with Bella Rose 2 (2586 points, previously ranked 51st) and at the 11th with Don Johnson FRH (2291 points, previously ranked 8).

The FEI World Equestrian Games™ were an opportunity for several combinations to move up in the rankings, with Charlotte Dujardin (GBR) and Mount St John Freestyle moving from 10th to 6th place (2416 points), whilst Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) and Goerklintgaards Dublet jumped from the 20th to the 14th position (2267 points).

A number of other well-known combinations have soared into higher ranking positions this month, with Jessica Von Bredow-Werndl (GER) and TSF Dalera BB moving from the 53rd to 22nd position (2148 points) and Great Britain’s Carl Hester and his mount Hawtins Delicato made an enormous leap from the 130th to 23rd spot (2145 points). Hans Peter Minderhoud (NED) with Glock’s Dream Boy N.O.P. previously ranked 211th managed to get to 41st place (1891 points), and Sönke Rothenberger (GER) with Cosmo 59 jumping to 43rd place from 256th (1884 points).

As the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Western European League starts on 17 October in Herning (DEN), we will no doubt see some dramatic changes throughout the season, as these top international Dressage riders give good chase and maintain their world ranking positions.

The FEI Dressage World Ranking list can be found here.

US Equestrian Names Dressage Team for World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team for the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018, which will take place September 11-23, in Mill Spring, N.C.

After competing in designated Observation Events throughout the summer, the following athlete-and-horse combinations have been selected to represent U.S. dressage at the WEG under the leadership of Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover (in alphabetical order):

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she owns with Curt Maes

Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion

Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Rosamunde, Four Winds Farm’s 11-year-old Rheinlander mare

The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team will compete beginning September 12 and 13, with the Grand Prix Team competition and Individual Qualifier. On September 14, teams will contest the Grand Prix Special, and the Grand Prix Freestyle on September 16.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department