Tag Archives: Laura Graves

Laura Graves and Verdades Record Another Win at AGDF’s “Friday Night Stars”

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 27, 2017 – Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades, 2016 Rio Olympic Games bronze medalists, took their second victory gallop of the 2017 season in the “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by U.S. PRE Association, at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) on Friday.

Laura Graves (USA) and her 2016 Rio Olympic Games mount, Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Florett AS x Liwilarda) owned by Graves, topped the leader board once again, with a show stopping performance and a score of 80.728%.

Graves’ and Verdades’ performance marks the sixth time that a score of 80% or above has been recorded at AGDF, and the pair holds three of those scores.

“This horse has a heart of gold, and he loves to come out here. There is nothing that I can really take credit for. I’d like to say that he was born this way and maybe I’ve nurtured it or not taken it out of him, but he’s just a magical character,” said Graves, who also won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Yeguada de Ymas, as well as Friday night’s Owner and Groom Awards.

Of her ride and her time back at AGDF, she commented, “It certainly feels good to start the season on an 80%. That’s been our goal by the end of a lot of our previous seasons, so that’s great. It just feels so good to be back here at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. I’ve ridden in a lot of stadiums now, and there is nothing compared to this.”

The second place finish of the night was awarded to Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén (SWE) and her mount Paridon Magi, a 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Don Primero x Napoli x Napoleon 625) owned by Lövsta Stuteri, with a 77.517%.

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Paridon Magi

“I was very pleased with Magi today. I just wanted to make sure the judges were awake, so I drifted a little from my floor plan in the beginning to scare them a bit,” she joked. “Because of that I couldn’t get the highest grade myself, but the horse was super tonight. It’s a great atmosphere to ride in here, so it was nice.”

Arlene “Tuny” Page (USA) and Woodstock, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Havel x Mirania) owned by Page, rounded out the top three with a score of 74.020%.

Page echoed Graves’ appreciation for the current state of competition. “Without this organization (at AGDF), American dressage would not be where it is today. Being here (at AGDF) has elevated us internationally, like we’ve never been before,” she said.

Judge Lee Tubman said of the new Degree of Difficulty scoring used in the freestyle, “The new system that has been established, (and) overall I think this will work very well. I’m happy to have been a part of it tonight and to have a better understanding, and I look forward to working with it again in the future.”

Allyn Mann, Director of Adequan®, said, “After all of these years, it just continues to be one of the most enjoyable experiences ever. There are great people, great horses.”

The night also featured a special retirement ceremony for two-time Olympic PRE stallion Grandioso (Adelante x Sevillano IX), owned by Kim Boyer. The stallion competed for the Spanish team with rider Daniel Martin Dockx (ESP) at the London Olympics in 2012, and then again at Rio in 2016.

Other classes of the day included the FEI Young Rider Team (CDIY), sponsored by Yeguada de Ymas, and won by Codi Harrison (USA) and Katholts Bossco, a 2007 Danish Warmblood gelding (Blue Hors don Schufro x Katholts Farceur x Michellino) owned by Harrison, with a score of 69.763%. Victory in the FEI Intermediate II 16-25, sponsored by Diamante Farms, went to Juan Matute Guimon (ESP) and Dhannie Ymas, a 2007 Hanoverian gelding (Don Crusador x Welina) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., with a score of 68.000%.

The FEI Junior Rider Team class, sponsored by The Axel Johnson Group, awarded the win to Natalia Bacariza Danguillecourt (ESP) and Rihanna Ymas, a 2008 Brandenburger mare (Relius x Akira x Akzento) owned by Yeguada de Ymas S.L., with a score of 67.730%. The winning score for the Intermediate I CDI1*, presented by Chesapeake Dressage Institute, was captured by Lindsay Kellock and Royal Prinz, a 2001 Oldenburg stallion (Royal Diamond x Mystica x Dream of Glory) owned by Teresa Simmons, with a score of 70.132%.

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

Laura Graves and Verdades Victorious as Week 3 Kicks Off at AGDF

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo Credit: ©SusanJStickle.

Wellington, FL – January 26, 2017 – 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Laura Graves (USA) and her horse Verdades won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Yeguada de Ymas, on the opening day of the third week of the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). The competition, which runs from January 26-29 and is presented by the US PRE Association, is held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.

Coming in on the top of the leaderboard in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W, presented by Yeguada de Ymas, was Laura Graves and her 2016 Rio Olympic mount Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Florett AS x Liwilarda), earning an impressive score of 76.660% and a standing ovation from spectators.

Graves commented, “This is now his (Verdades) fourth year doing the big tour, and if I’ve learned anything, it’s that you have a plan and you also have ten other plans. He’s a super honest horse. His pirouettes can always be very good. I thought he was very rideable in those today. His half passes were nice.”

This was the pair’s first time in the show ring since their Team Bronze Medal win for the USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“He’s notorious for being super sensitive. I was really thrilled about how he came out and he schooled super, and then went through the test really trying his best,” said Graves.

Regarding the future and her goals, Graves said, “I really hope to qualify for the FEI World Cup Finals. Hopefully because it is so close, we can make it happen this year!”

Placing second was 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 75.080%. Third place was awarded to Charlotte Jorst (USA) and mount, Kastel’s Nintendo, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion (Negro x Rodieni R x Monaco) owned by Kastel Denmark, with a 73.080%.

Fourth place finishers Kathrine Bateson Chandler (USA) and Alcazar, a 2005 KWPN gelding (Cantango x Polina) owned by Jane Forbes Clark, were awarded the only 10 of the day, on their final halt from Judge Christoph Hess (GER) at E.

Earlier in the day, Jaimey Irwin (CAN) and mount Donegal V, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Johnston x Remy x Gribaldi) owned by Team Irwin Supporters Group, captured a win in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1*, presented by the Chesapeake Dressage Institute, with a score of 70.746%.

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

Laura Graves Leads US in Dressage Individual Final at 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Excitement filled the air as the final day of dressage got underway at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center on Monday. The top 18 competitors from eight nations competed in the Grand Prix Freestyle, the deciding competition for the Individual medals. Only three athletes from each nation were eligible to compete. After winning the Bronze medal with teammate Kasey Perry-Glass on Friday, Steffen Peters, Alison Brock, and Laura Graves entered the sun-filled stadium to perform the Freestyle set to personally-chosen music. All three had fantastic performances, with Graves coming in again as the highest-placed U.S. rider and finishing just outside the medals in fourth place.

The pressure was on for Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding. The combination was competing in its first Olympic Games, and turned in personal bests in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special, leading the U.S. to the Team Bronze medal. The pair was the penultimate combination to go in the Freestyle and produced a breath-taking performance to earn 85.196%, which put them in third place with Germany’s Isabell Werth left to go. Although Werth’s ride on Weihegold Old dropped Graves to fourth, it was a fabulous finish.

The pair executed many high-risk movements throughout the test, including two-tempi canter flying changes on a half-circle leading into one-tempi changes, which earned multiple 9s from the jury, as did their double canter pirouettes, harmony, degree of difficulty, and music.

“I’m thrilled with the score,” said a beaming Graves, who earned three personal-best scores while competing in Rio. “Because Verdades is really honest, the degree of difficulty is something that I can play with and so you have to highlight those moments. We did them twice, showing that it’s not just luck, and the judges obviously rewarded us for it today.”

In regards to how Verdades felt in the arena, Graves commented, “I don’t feel like I had quite as much horse as I’ve had over the past couple days. It’s very hot and we’ve been here just over two weeks, so it’s been a long time for us to keep our horses going like this, but he was ready. He stayed really honest, and I couldn’t have asked for more.”

“I’m just so happy,” continued Graves. “I believe in a system, following a routine, and finding a trainer you trust and staying with them. I’m so blessed that both Robert [Dover] and my personal trainer, Debbie McDonald, have sacrificed so much of their time this summer to be over in Europe with the Team and it really has made a difference.”

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Peters (San Diego, Calif.), competing in his fourth Olympic Games, and Legolas 92, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Four Winds Farm, were the first combination into the arena Monday morning. The pair set the bar high from the start. Opening with the well-known song “Under Pressure”, the pair’s well-executed and harmonious test captured the audience and seven judges’ attention. The jury gave the pair several 9s for their music, choreography, and degree of difficulty, and Peters earned a final score a 79.393% for a 12th-place finish.

“I’m super happy, and it’s super exciting!” said Peters with a grin from ear-to-ear. “I added a few extra degrees of difficulty to the test today. The double pirouette before the canter-piaffe transition is a new one, and I hadn’t done the piaffe-pirouette on center line in a while. I knew if I’d be slightly ahead of the music I would do a double pirouette after the extended canter. Since he did all the other piaffes very well, I thought we’d take a risk and see if he turns with the music and especially in the piaffe-pirouette to the left. He was dead-on with the music, and even there I already had a big smile on my face, and today was 99% less pressure than the previous days, so honestly I had a blast in there – I just loved it.”

“I hadn’t been first into the ring for years, so it was my time!” added Peters with a laugh. “I was hoping for a score of around 80% and the judges agreed with me, so I’m super happy! Legolas just had a fantastic three days at the Olympic Games. I wish I could put into words how much winning the [Team] Bronze medal means to me and also how much it means to me how well Legolas did here.”

Third into the arena was Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and the 14-year-old Hanoverian stallion Rosevelt, owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun. They performed a lovely Freestyle to score 76.160% for 15th place in their first Olympic Games.

“I’m really happy with my test and Rosevelt was very good, bless his heart,” said Brock. “I just love that music – I think it really suits him very well. It’s a really beautiful compilation of music from a group called Tanghetto. The canter music is from ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’. It’s the type of music that doesn’t overwhelm the audience and it draws you into the horse. I’m really happy.”

Graves summed up all the U.S. riders’ feelings at the end, saying, “This has been an incredible experience to be here with this Team, and we have such a huge family of supporters who came this far just to be with us all. We sometimes forget that it’s more than just us and the horse. We have so many people around us who make this happen and to watch what they sacrifice for our dreams is something that is very emotional for everyone.”

Defending Olympic Champions Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain and her mount Valegro, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding, who are also World and European Champions, claimed their second consecutive Olympic Individual Gold medal, topping the field with an impressive score of 93.857%. Germany’s Isabell Werth and the 11-year-old Oldenburg mare Weihegold Old, claimed the Individual Silver with a score of 89.071%, making Werth the most decorated Olympic equestrian of all time with a record 10 Olympic medals (six Gold and four Silver). Teammate Kristina Broring-Sprehe and the 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion Desperados FRH took the Individual Bronze medal with a score of 87.142%.

Show jumping returns to action on Tuesday with the first half of the two-round team competition, beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET. Watch live on NBCOlympics.com.

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

US Dressage Team Wins Bronze Medal at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The U.S. Dressage Team won the Bronze medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Friday following the conclusion of the second half of team competition, the Grand Prix Special. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, the team, comprised of Allison Brock and Rosevelt, Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet, and Steffen Peters and Legolas 92, won the Bronze medal on a final score of 76.667%. Germany won the Team Gold on 81.936%, while Great Britain claimed the Team Silver with a score of 78.595%.

The third day of dressage team competition featured the top six teams and eight individual combinations from the first two days’ Grand Prix at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center. Each team’s top three scores from both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special were averaged together to determine the team medals.

It took a personal best score of 80.644% from anchor rider Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding, to claim the Team Bronze medal as The Netherlands moved slightly ahead of the U.S. before her ride. The pair held fifth place individually going into the Grand Prix Special and their performance was truly spectacular. The duo scored mostly 8s or above throughout the test and earned six 9s for their left canter pirouette down centerline and for their flying changes in canter.

“We’ve captured the elusive 80% – it does exist!” said a thrilled Graves, who was one of only five riders to score above 80%. “I knew the test was going well, but you just always hope that your reflections match up with the judges. I had no idea going into the ring what I needed for a score and to see my teammates so happy and then to achieve my personal best score – and a score I’ve been reaching for – was just icing on our cake today.”

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Peters (San Diego, Calif.), competing in his fourth Olympic Games, rode Legolas 92, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Four Winds Farm. The pair held sixth place individually going into the Grand Prix Special and produced a superb test with one mistake coming at the beginning of the test in the left trot half-pass. The duo quickly recovered to produce a score of 74.622%.

“I’m super happy with Legolas. We delivered for the team; that was my goal and that’s what we did,” said a delighted Peters. “We had a couple of little fumbles – he lost his balance in the left half-pass which is uncharacteristic of him and we had a little delayed reaction into the first piaffe, but then he did it beautifully.

“The rest of the test was very clean,” he continued. “He did his changes very nicely, but I knew that after the half-pass ‘fumble’ that if we had one more mistake in the flying changes then we’d be below the required average score to stay ahead of The Netherlands. I knew going into the ring exactly what score I had to get and I’m super happy that it worked out – but it was close!”

Olympic first-timers Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Rosevelt, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding owned by Claudine and Fritz Kundrun, were the trailblazers as the first U.S. pair to perform its test. The duo executed a solid and confident test, earning a score of 73.824% from the seven judges with many good highlights throughout, earning high marks their first extended trot, flying changes, and extended canter.

“I was really happy with him,” remarked Brock. “He was really good. He was better than in the Grand Prix and did a clean test. That’s what we needed to do to set the stage for my teammates and we did it, so I’m really happy with him. I laughed a little at the end of my test because I said thank you [to Rosevelt] for doing this for me because it got hot in the ring and I just had to give him a lot of credit. He tried really hard. Bless him.”

Second up for the U.S. was Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) and Diane Perry’s 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Dublet. The pair produced a fluid test in the Grand Prix Special with especially beautiful passage work. Unfortunately, the pair had a mistake from the passage into the extended trot, but quickly regrouped and completed with a respectable 73.235% in their first Olympic Games.

“It wasn’t our best, but you know I have to give it to Dublet as he’s really trying to stay with me,” said Perry-Glass. “We have a couple kinks to work out, but it’s our first year and we moved up very fast, so I have to give him credit on that for staying patient and really trusting me in the ring. My plan was just to give him a good experience and also I was thinking about the team. I really wanted to do this for the team, but sometimes it’s just not your day.”

Reflecting on the Bronze medal win, Peters said, “First of all, a big thank you to Robert Dover [U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe], who was also on the team in 2004 [the last time the U.S. Dressage Team won a Team Olympic medal]. Today we knew it had to be above 75 percent and all four riders and horses are capable of delivering 76-77 percent, so we knew we had a chance, but when it actually happened it was amazing! If you wanted to see a 52-year-old guy acting like a 10-year-old boy, you should’ve seen me in the stands when Laura was coming down centerline – I was crying my eyes out and it was just one of those absolutely amazing experiences. There’s a lot of people who are certainly a big part of this medal.”

The top 18 competitors from the Grand Prix Special will now go on to compete in the Individual final, the Grand Prix Freestyle, on Monday. Only three athletes from each nation are eligible compete in the Freestyle, which ultimately decides the Olympic Champion. Graves, Peters, and Brock all qualified.

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

US Dressage Team Moves Up Leaderboard after Second Day of Grand Prix Competition

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The second day of dressage competition at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games had sunshine beaming down on the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center as the remaining 30 athlete-and-horse combinations took to the main arena to perform the Grand Prix test, the first of two tests in team competition. The U.S. team, which held fourth place after the first day of competition on Wednesday, has moved into third in the team standings on an average of 76.971% after anchor riders Steffen Peters and Laura Graves performed excellent tests aboard their experienced mounts. Of the 11 nations competing in the team competition, Germany is in the lead on an average of 81.295%, while Great Britain is in second on 79.252% going into Friday’s final phase of the team competition, the Grand Prix Special.

Peters (San Diego, Calif.) made his fourth Olympic Games appearance aboard Legolas 92, a 14-year-old Westphalian gelding owned by Four Winds Farm. The pair competed during the first half of the competition Thursday morning and performed a spectacular Grand Prix test, earning high marks from the seven-judge jury for their piaffe-passage tours, achieving a well-deserved score of 77.614%. This strong showing put them into sixth place individually going into Friday’s Grand Prix Special.

“Legolas delivered everything that I dreamed of,” said a delighted and emotional Peters. “I’m just so excited that he did one of the best tests of his life – probably one of the best tests of my life – and it’s always been my dream to deliver for my team! It’s the Olympic Games and we are 90% about the Team medal and the other 10% – or maybe even less – about the Individual medal. It’s been a difficult road with him – sometimes I don’t know exactly which horse is going into the show arena, but he did not change one single bit from the warm-up arena to the show arena today, and there was not one single point that we gave away.

“Legolas’s half-passes in the trot felt amazing and the trot extensions got better, which has always been a weak point,” remarked Peters on his favorite parts of their test. “His piaffe-passage were very high today; I was able to keep the 15 steps of piaffe in place. This was the test that I dreamed of for my team. It was just one of those awesome days!”

Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Laura Graves and Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding, impressed in their Olympic debut, performing an outstanding test to become the highest-placed U.S. rider with a score of 78.071%, good for fifth place individually. The pair’s fluid and powerful test earned a plethora of 8s throughout the performance, as well as several 9s for her right half-pass, left canter pirouette, and passage down the last centerline.

“My horse was really super!” said a delighted Graves. “I’m very happy with the feeling he gave me today and the way the training is reflecting in the arena.”

In regards to her favorite parts of her test, Graves remarked, “I’m really happy with the pirouettes and the passage-piaffe, which is a talent for this horse, but not so much in the arena when he’s not sure where to be with his big legs. I feel that’s really improved in the last two months.”

U.S. teammates Kasey Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) aboard Dublet and Allison Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Rosevelt put in impressive performances Wednesday, which put the U.S. into fourth place overnight. After Thursday’s competition Perry-Glass holds 17th place individually with her score of 75.229%, while Brock is in 25th place with 72.686%.

“I can’t say enough good things about our team,” said Graves. “The word team has a lot of different meanings, and for us as equestrians, I think the Olympics is very special, as we have a large team of people including our trainers, friends, family, as well as each other, and I couldn’t ask to be here with a better group of people. Here we also get to be Team USA, which is also really special, and it’s definitely a memory that we’ll all have for a lifetime.”

“It’s going to be a tight, tight horse race, so to speak,” commented Peters about the team standings. “Tomorrow is another day, but today I just couldn’t be happier. There’s so much comradery on our team. We’ve been training together for three months, and every day we all watch each other. It doesn’t matter if it’s 6:30 in the morning, every single team member is there, and it’s the same here in Rio. Every day we come to the barn and there is a big group hug. I’m just so honored to be with these talented girls as part of the team.”

The dressage team competition continues Friday with the Grand Prix Special. The top six teams from the Grand Prix will move forward to the Grand Prix Special, after which each team’s top three scores from both tests are added together to decide the Team medals. The top 18 competitors from the Grand Prix Special will go on to compete in the Individual final, the Grand Prix Freestyle, on Monday, August 15. Only three athletes from each nation are eligible compete in the Freestyle, which will ultimately decide the Olympic Champion.

NBCOlympics.com Morning Live Stream
NBCOlympics.com Afternoon Live Stream

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

US Dressage Team Prepared for Competition at Rio Olympic Games

Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Dressage competition at the Rio Olympic Games got underway at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center Monday with the horse inspection. A total of 59 athlete-and-horse combinations representing 18 countries are set to compete in Wednesday’s Grand Prix, the first test in team competition. The U.S. has drawn eighth in the order of 11 teams and will be represented by Allison Brock, Laura Graves, Kasey Perry-Glass, and Steffen Peters. The U.S. team is led by U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, a six-time Olympian and winner of four Team Bronze medals.

“I have been thrilled with all of the riders,” said Dover. “Individually, Allison Brock and Rosevelt have been ramping up day-by-day to show more and more brilliance. Kasey Perry-Glass has been thrilling to watch and truly, for a young person at her first Olympic Games, the learning curve, even here during the last week, has been awesome to watch. Verdades [ridden by Laura Graves], has scope beyond scope and Laura is paying the greatest attention to the minutia, the details that tend to set apart the very, very best from everybody else with nice horses. And then of course Steffen Peters, here at his fourth Olympic Games with Legolas, has actually found new strengths, new scope, and abilities and so I’m just very, very hopeful and really proud to be a part of their team.”

U.S. team will compete in the following order.

Day one, Wednesday, August 10: Leading the way for the U.S. will be Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.), a first-time Olympian, who will ride Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s Rosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion. This longtime partnership has been developing at the Grand Prix level over the past three years with consistent successes in the U.S. and Europe. This spring at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the pair capped off the season by winning the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special in the CDI3* presented by Stillpoint Farm.

Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.), a first-time Olympian, will be next in the order with Diane Perry’s Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding. Following a solid career at the Small Tour level, the pair moved up to the Grand Prix this winter and has had remarkable success in just a few short months. The pair placed in the top three in all of its 2016 CDI outings during the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, including as members of the Gold medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at CDIO3* Wellington presented by Stillpoint Farm, where they also won Individual Silver. This summer in Europe, Perry-Glass and Dublet won the Grand Prix at CDIO5* Compiègne as part of the Gold-medal winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team.

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Day two, Thursday, August 11: First in the ring for the U.S. on day two of the Grand Prix will be Peters (San Diego, Calif.), a four-time Olympic veteran with a Team Bronze medal (1996). He will ride Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92, a 2002 Westphalian gelding. Last summer, Peters and Legolas 92 represented the U.S. at the Pan American Games, winning Team and Individual Gold medals. This winter, the pair won in all of its West Coast CDI outings. Competing in Europe this summer, the pair won the Grand Prix at CDI4* Roosendaal.

Anchoring the U.S. team will be first-time Olympian, Graves (Geneva, Fla.), riding her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding. 2015 was an immensely successful year for the pair as it finished fourth in its first Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final appearance, earned Team Gold and Individual Silver medals at the Pan American Games, and was crowned The Dutta Corp./USEF Dressage Grand Prix National Champions. Competing at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival earlier this year, the duo won both the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Special at the CDI5* presented by Diamante Farms, the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle at the CDI4* presented by Havensafe Farm, and were members of the Gold medal-winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at the CDIO3* Wellington presented by Stillpoint Farm, where they also won Individual Gold. This summer, the pair was a part of the Gold-medal winning The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team at CDIO5* Compiègne, and the Silver-medal winning U.S. team at CDIO5* Rotterdam where they also topped the Grand Prix Special.

The first test in team competition, the Grand Prix, runs August 10-11. The second and final test of team competition, the Grand Prix Special, will follow on August 12. Dressage competition concludes on August 15, with the Grand Prix Freestyle.

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department

USEF Names US Olympic Dressage Team for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Clockwise from top left: Laura Graves, Steffen Peters, Allison Brock, and Kasey Perry-Glass.

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team and one traveling reserve athlete-and-horse combination for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. One direct reserve horse has also been named. A direct reserve horse would be an automatic replacement should the original horse on which the athlete was named need to be substituted. Dressage competition at the Olympic Games will take place August 8-15, 2016 at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The following athlete-and-horse combinations will compose the Team (in alphabetical order):

Allison Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s Rosevelt, a 2002 Hanoverian stallion

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades, a 2002 KWPN gelding

Kasey Perry-Glass (Orangevale, Calif.) with Diane Perry’s Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding

Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) with Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92, a 2002 Westphalian gelding

Direct Reserve
Four Winds Farm’s Rosamunde, a 2007 Rheinlander mare

The following combination has been named as the traveling reserve:

Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) with Patricia Stempel’s Doktor, a 2003 Oldenburg gelding

Further information regarding the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team selection process can be found on USEF.org. All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

From the USEF Communications Department

Laura Graves and Verdades Mark Historic Night in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Juan Matute Jr. Sweeps Small Tour with Win in FEI Intermediaire I CDIO 3*

Wellington, FL – April 1, 2016 – Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades made history tonight at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), as the pair earned an 82.800% from the judging panel for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3* presented by Stillpoint Farm, the highest score ever earned at the facility in international competition. Graves and Verdades were followed by their Nations’ Cup teammates Kasey Perry-Glass (USA) and Goerklintgaards Dublet, who also scored above 80%, with an 81.325%. Belinda Trussell (CAN) and Anton finished in third place with a 76.350%.

Competition at AGDF concludes Saturday with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 1*, presented by YellowBird Farm, the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses, and the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses.

Graves and Verdades sent the crowd into a roaring cheer after they halted for their final salute, performing a fluid, harmonious, and accurate test. Graves and Verdades have been one of the United States’ strongest combinations for nearly two years and tonight, the pair not only added a facility record to their accolades this season, but also reached a new personal best in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle.

“It’s amazing. It’s obviously a goal we have every time we go into the arena, and it was an incredible atmosphere here tonight,” said Graves. “I could not ask for a better high to end our season with, team gold, individual gold, and a several personal bests. It’s very exciting, and I’m really looking forward to the rest of this year with the amazing Team USA we’re creating.”

Graves rode to her new freestyle with Verdades for only the second time so far this season, earning a massive 82.800%, while Graves noted there are still places of improvement in the test. When asked what the most challenging or technical part of her test would be, Graves commented that she tailors the difficulty of the choreography to the strengths and weakness of “Diddy”.

“Your first year at Grand Prix you’re learning what your strengths are and what your horse’s strengths are. The more times you do that, the more you learn, the faster you learn, and the better you can make decisions,” she explained. “This new freestyle is very similar choreography to our last, but we did put in the risk where we felt comfortable, with where this horse could succeed.”

Watch Laura Graves and Verdades set new AGDF record with an 82.800% in Nations’ Cup Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3* here!

“You want to add difficulty in a way that you’re not going to over-face your horse or actually make your choreography look difficult,” she continued. “The biggest risk for us is taking the two-tempis on the circle and then going into the one-tempis. We do it twice. It’s a lot of counting, but he’s pretty honest. You have to play on your horse’s strengths and make them feel confident where they’re weak.”

Graves’ music change was inspired by her love for the movie “Rudy,” which provides the musical soundtrack for her freestyle. The message derived from the famous movie is something that Graves personally connects with. She explained, “My final centerline, which is my favorite part of the entire freestyle, is to the music they play when they finally put Rudy in the game and let him play.”

Perry-Glass has amassed impressive scores in her first year at Large Tour with Goerklintgaards Dublet, but tonight, the pair hit a new stride, scoring a personal best of 81.325% to take second place behind teammates Graves and Verdades. It was an emotional night for Perry-Glass, as her effort and determination to reach the top levels of the sport have made her a breakout star on the AGDF circuit this season.

“First I want to thank all of the sponsors, Adequan®, Stillpoint Farm, Tim Dutta and The Dutta Corporation, my coach Debbie McDonald, my mom,” Perry said, wiping tears from her eyes at the press conference. “I’m so blessed. I couldn’t have asked for a better year.”

Perry-Glass and “Dublet” have worked towards reaching a point where they both felt comfortable and confident in the ring as they experienced Grand Prix for the first time together. Exceeding all expectations, the pair has become a strong and consistent force in Large Tour competition.

“I think at the beginning of the season I went into the ring knowing that this was my first season at Grand Prix and I never went into my rides thinking I’m going to go for it,” she explained. “When I would come out of the ring, Robert [Dover] would say to me that I needed to go there a bit more. It was a certain sense of progression through the season. Dublet and I really formed a relationship where we’re having a conversation in the ring.”

“He knows and trusts me enough to push him. He showed that tonight. I put my leg on a little bit and he said ‘How high?'” expressed Perry-Glass. “I think things are only going to get better for us, and I believe in that. I think that we both are very patient and in it for the long haul. Keeping him happy and healthy is my goal right now.”

Representing Canada, Trussell and Anton secured their first-ever individual medal in Nations’ Cup competition, while they too reached a personal best score tonight. With several consistent performances in Large Tour this season at AGDF, Trussell was thrilled with their end to the circuit, as well as with their freestyle under the lights.

“I’m so excited to be on the podium. It has always been a goal for me to try to be an individual medalist and to do that I’m thrilled. This was my first time to be an individual medalist,” noted Trussell.

“Anton was a little bit wound tonight and he gets a little bit tight, but also more expressive, so that’s nice. He was really again with me. I’m always so blessed with this horse that whenever he gets like that, he still stays with me. It’s thrilling to be here, and I’m proud to be representing Canada alongside these two great Americans. This is a super show, and I can’t thank Tuny [Page], Stillpoint Farm, Adequan®, and all of the sponsors enough for making this what it is.”

Judge Stephen Clarke of Great Britain believes that dressage in the North America, but especially in the United States, is on the upward swing, as he was incredibly moved by the performances of the top three competitors.

“During that class, the hair on the back of my neck was standing up. It was just fantastic,” commented Clarke. “I think the level was amazing, and you guys just really went for it. We saw such harmony, risk-taking, and really a high degree of difficulty, with beautiful musical interpretation. It just was a super class. For me it was very fun to judge.

“That is what is so exciting for the sport because worldwide, every country you go to, it’s getting better and better. Here, I think the progress to have these really young riders suddenly coming with such beautiful riding and artistry, it’s really a joy to watch. I think this country is very exciting at the moment,” he continued.

Representing Stillpoint Farm and also finishing in fourth place in the individual portion of competition, Arlene “Tuny” Page commented on Stillpoint Farm’s continued support of the FEI Nations’ Cup competition at AGDF, and what it was like to ride for Team USA throughout the week.

“Stillpoint Farm is one of the many sponsors and many people who put not just their money and their expertise, but their time and effort, into this. It takes that kind of teamwork to make a venue like this work and bring the kind of atmosphere to this place. I’m very proud to be in that group. Many of them are here celebrating tonight and for us it’s a great opportunity to be a part of it. I’m very grateful.”

As for her ride aboard Woodstock in tonight’s class, Page finished the evening with a 75.925%, adding another personal best score to tonight’s historic competition at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

“I’m thrilled with my horse tonight. He was very honest and very brave out there. I’m happy for our personal best, but most importantly, I have a happy, healthy horse who was very consistent throughout the week. That makes me feel very good moving forward towards Europe,” expressed Page.

It has been a year of massive growth for the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, as entry numbers reached record highs, and the quality of horse and rider combinations shows more promise with each year. Allyn Mann, representative for Adequan®, noted that historic milestones, as seen tonight at AGDF, are not possible without an array of people who help to bring the show together.

“It really comes down to being part of a much bigger picture for us. Laura, Kasey, Belinda, these are the true stars and their horses are just amazing animals,” stated Mann. “For Tuny, to be up here as a fourth place finisher and personal bests for all four of our riders sitting here, how cool is that, to end a show the way that we did with tonight? We’re just a piece of the puzzle. We’re very honored to be a part of this. I love this community and all of these owners, riders, and their horses. I feel so blessed to be here.”

Adequan® has sponsored a number of special awards this season recognizing the owners, riders, and grooms who are truly the backbone of the sport. Tonight, Adequan® recognized Elizabeth Juliano of Havensafe Farm, owner of Horizon, ridden by Adrienne Lyle, who earned the AGDF 10 National Show High Score award for their 77.059%. Jane Wareham was awarded with the FEI Prix St. Georges Owner Award for Svalegards De Luxe and rider Lars Petersen’s win in the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1* presented by YellowBird Farm. Laura Graves, owner and groom for Verdades, accepted the Grand Prix Freestyle Owner Award presented by Adequan®, as well as the Groom’s Initiative Award presented by Michael Stone, President of Equestrian Sport Production on behalf of Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Wellington Equestrian Partners.

Thomas Baur, Director of Sport at AGDF, has been an essential component of AGDF and its success over the past few seasons. Baur announced that Graves and Perry-Glass now hold record scores for the facility and in the history of the competition.

“That was really an amazing last night. Thank you for this season,” said Baur.

Juan Matute Jr. Sweeps Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup Small Tour Competition with Win in FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm

The young Juan Matute Jr. (ESP) took a clean sweep of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup Small Tour competition this week, as he piloted Dhannie Ymas to three consecutive wins, and captured the individual gold medal for this year’s FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDIO 3*, presented by Stillpoint Farm, with a score of 74.550%. Katharina Stumpf (AUT) and For My Love finished in second place with a 70.925%, while Raul Corchuelo (COL) and Beckham earned the bronze medal with a score of 70.900%.

Juan Matute Jr. and Dhannie Ymas
Juan Matute Jr. and Dhannie Ymas

Matute Jr. and Dhannie Ymas have competed steadily in the FEI Young Rider division offered at AGDF, and the pair have now successfully showcased their talent and poise representing their home nation of Spain in Nations’ Cup competition.

“I really enjoyed being a part of this Nations’ Cup competition. We were here in 2013 and 2014 representing Spain and it’s great to come back this year and have great success as a team and as an individual,” said Matute Jr. “Dhannie and I had a great test, and I have not felt a better test from us together. It was powerful and ambitious, but he also felt relaxed. We had an error in the collected walk; he spooked a little bit, but he felt super.

“I’m proud of our performances throughout the week,” he said. “We’re evolving everyday and getting stronger, as is our bond. I’m thrilled and very excited for the future. It’s a great way to end the season, and my team is excited to fly to Europe next month.”

Matute Jr. noted that the top three horses in the FEI I-1 Freestyle CDIO 3* were started or trained by his father, Juan Matute Guimon.

“This is a very special night for our family. We have three horses on the podium that belonged to my father as young horses, and it’s a huge success for my father as a professional. I’m very proud,” he said.

Katharina Stumpf (AUT) competed as an individual in FEI Nations’ Cup competition this year aboard For My Love, which she has successful campaigned in the open divisions at AGDF this season though she competes as an amateur.

“Thank you to all of the sponsors, officials, and people supporting me. I’m very pleased with my horse, and this whole season has been fantastic for us. We’ve gotten better and better, and it is a fantastic end to the season. I’m just so happy.”

Concluding his first season in Wellington at AGDF, Raul Corchuelo (COL) and Beckham also competed as an individual pair in competition this week, showing consistency and balance through their Small Tour performances.

“This was a very special evening for me because this is my first season in Florida, and I’m very happy with Beckham. I’m thankful to his owner who supported us to get here,” stated Corchuelo. “I’ve been working with this horse for three years now. Yesterday, lol I felt that he was a little bit behind my leg and I wanted to make sure that he wanted to do it today, and he did.”

Thomas Baur, Director of Sport at AGDF, commented on the expansion of the Small Tour competition, as well as the separation of Large Tour and Small Tour competition for individual awards, a new format that may possibly take shape for the next Pan American Games in 2019.

“For me, it’s very special because when the idea came up at the FEI General Assembly last year to split the Intermediaire I Freestyle from the Grand Prix Freestyle, I immediately jumped on board. This is also to have that idea included in the Pan American Games for 2019 and now there is a chance for other countries, outside of the USA and Canada, to go for medals,” explained Baur.

“I’m more than happy that my old friend Raul earned the bronze medal tonight because it shows that countries from Central and South America are able to go for medals,” he continued.

Neve Myburgh (GER) and Belissima 23 captured the FEI Intermediaire I CDI 1*, presented by YellowBird Farm, receiving a 72.368% to secure the win. Joanne Trout, who shows the mare in national level competitions, owns Belissima 23. Jennifer Baumert (USA) and Ramiro finished the class in second place with a 69.737%, while Jane Cleveland (USA) and Monique followed in third place earning a 69.649%.

Competition at AGDF concludes for the season Saturday, April 2, showcasing the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDI 1*, presented by YellowBird Farm, and both the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI 3* and FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses. For more information about AGDF, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $700,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.pbiec.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Carly Weilminster
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com

Graves and Perry-Glass Go One-Two in Grand Prix Freestyle at CDIO3* Wellington

Laura Graves and Verdades (SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, Fla. – Closing out the Adequan Global Dressage Festival on a high note, Laura Graves and Kasey Perry-Glass placed first and second, respectively, in the Grand Prix Freestyle as part of the CDIO3* presented by Stillpoint Farm. The evening capped off a week of great success for The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team, who topped the podium for the fifth consecutive year in the country’s only dressage Nations Cup competition. Graves and Verdades posted their third personal best score of the week, winning the class with a score of 82.800%. Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet also added another personal best to their record, scoring 81.325% for second place. Also representing the U.S. in the Freestyle, Arlene “Tuny” Page and Woodstock scored 75.925%, tying for fourth place.

Graves (Plymouth, Fla.) and her 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding, Verdades, continued their winning ways with a spectacular Freestyle performance, becoming back-to-back double Gold medalists at CDIO3* Wellington, having topped the team and individual podiums in 2015. In a test that garnered huge cheers from the packed house at the International Arena, the pair fed off the electric atmosphere, showcasing brilliant extensions, pirouettes, piaffes, and passage. Graves added the score of 82.800% to her list of new personal bests earned this week. In team competition, Graves won the Grand Prix with a score of 76.860%, and the Grand Prix Special with a score of 78.294%.

Speaking to the feeling of marking the highest score in the history of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival tonight, Graves said, “It’s amazing. Obviously it’s a goal every time we go in the arena. It was an incredible atmosphere here tonight. I could not ask for a better high to end our season with: Team and Individual Gold medals and personal bests. Really exciting looking forward to the rest of this year and the amazing team USA we’re creating.”

Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) and Diane Perry’s Goerklintgaards Dublet, a 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding, completed their first season at the Grand Prix level in commanding fashion. In only the second Grand Prix Freestyle of their career, the pair went into the arena with determination and were rewarded for their effortless harmony and accuracy. With a score of 81.325%, Perry-Glass not only eclipsed her previous Freestyle score, a 75.750%, but produced two personal record setting performances this week, having posted a new best score in the Grand Prix Special with a 74.882%. The pair finished second in the Grand Prix Special and the in the Grand Prix, where they scored 73.000%.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet (SusanJStickle.com)
Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet (SusanJStickle.com)

“I want to thank all the sponsors here tonight, my coach Debbie [McDonald], and my mom [Diane Perry] who is also my owner. I am so blessed. I could not have asked for a better year here,” said an emotional Perry-Glass. “At the beginning of the season I went in [the ring] just thinking ‘this is my first season at Grand Prix’ and never really went for it. It was a progression throughout the season and Dublet and I really formed a relationship to where I can have a conversation with him in the ring. He trusts me enough to push him enough and he showed that tonight.”

Rounding out the performances for the U.S. was Page (Wellington, Fla.) and her own Woodstock, a 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding. The pair, who has been having a breakout season, performed a harmonious test under the lights. Adding yet another record setting personal performance to the night, the pair earned a score of 75.925%.

Head of the Ground Jury, Stephen Clarke of Great Britain, expressed how fantastic the level of competition was this evening. “We saw such harmony, lots of risk taking, high degrees of difficulty, and beautiful music interpretation. Just really super tests.”

Belinda Trussell of Canada and Anton placed third in the class on a score of 76.350%.

Complete Grand Prix Freestyle Results

From the USEF Communications Department

Team USA Reigns at 2016 Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup CDIO 3* at AGDF

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos: ©SusanJStickle.

Allison Brock and Rosevelt Continue with Consistency in FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*

Wellington, FL – March 31, 2016 – Team USA dominated the 2016 Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup CDIO 3* at Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), handily winning the competition with a total team score of 454.698. Canada finished in second place with a total score of 428.708, while Spain rounded out the top three, collecting the bronze medal with a total team score of 414.421. The Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup CDIO 3* continues Friday with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDIO 3* at 4:30 p.m. and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3* beginning at 8:30 p.m. as the final “Friday Night Stars” Grand Prix Freestyle event of the 2016 AGDF season.

Shelly Francis, Laura Graves, Arlene “Tuny” Page, and Kasey Perry-Glass each represented Team USA with class and poise, with two of the four team members earning personal best scores. Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover was pleased with the team’s accuracy and finish through the two days of competition and is excited for the continued expansion and growth of dressage in the United States.

“The Nations’ Cup here in Wellington has been a tremendous competition and growing in quality each year,” said Dover. “One, I’m so thankful to the sponsors of this show, Stillpoint Farm, and of course Adequan® who is incredible, and to the managers of this show at AGDF, which is making it the mecca that it is for our sport.

“With regards to winning this competition, of course I’m extremely proud that the U.S. won this Nations’ Cup again this year, but even more importantly, I was hoping for our riders to achieve personal bests and to do better than they have been doing this season, and with each class grow more confident as we head towards Europe and the Olympics. That’s what I’m seeing from the riders both in this Nations’ Cup and the riders who were so wonderful in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*. I couldn’t be more proud of all of them.”

Laura Graves and Verdades continued their dominance in the competition this week, picking up another major victory in the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3* with a score of 78.294%, which helped to solidify Team USA’s first place finish. The duo continues to near the elusive 80% mark and seemed confident and precise in the ring in the first two days of competition.

“To be invited to ride on a team is something that you just don’t say not to. I love that we’re able to put USA on top of a podium. It’s always a nice feeling to have such a strong team to compete with. It feels very secure and it takes a lot of the pressure of competing off of yourself as an individual. You’re just riding for the team,” said Graves.

Watch Laura Graves and Verdades win the FEI Grand Prix Special CDIO 3* here!

“We had two personal bests in both of the tests that we just did, and I could not be more thrilled. It’s been a long season for us, and this is going to be a long competition,” continued Graves. “I’ll be pleased to take him home and give him a break before we go try to be even better in Europe.”

Arlene Page and Woodstock have had a stellar season, solidifying their partnership and showing the potential the pair has together in Large Tour competition. Page, the owner of Stillpoint Farm, has been impressed with the expansion and development of the Nations’ Cup class at AGDF over the course of the past four years and feels that it is invaluable to the circuit each year.

“I’m really proud of the season that Woodstock has had this year, and it’s been a bit of breakout year for him. We didn’t have a personal best here, but we’ve had two personal bests through the season and I’m proud of that,” commented Page. “I was very proud to be selected to be on the team and very proud to sit amongst these women. It makes it very fun.”

“He was a bit more on his game today and was a little bit more up in his carriage and just in a very good place to develop a whole lot more power and expression. When you get to stand on top of the highest podium, it’s a very good feeling,” she continued.

As the breakout stars for Team USA this season, Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet have surpassed all expectations for the pair’s first season debut in Large Tour competition. Perry-Glass represented the United States in last year’s Nations’ Cup aboard “Dublet”, but in the Small Tour classes.

“I was really proud of Dublet. Yesterday was a little bit lacking expression than today, but I was able to push him harder today and (was) really working towards going for it and finding my grit,” smiled Perry-Glass, as she looked at teammate Graves, who winked back at her. “I think that I have to remind myself that this is his first year, and he’s letting me have a conversation with him in the ring and push him more. I just want to keep him happy, and that’s my biggest goal.”

Francis and Doktor have been incredibly consistent this season, rarely straying from a top five finish. Francis is an experienced and veteran competitor for Team USA and discussed her performances with Doktor over the past two days, stating, “It’s always fun to do this type of competition as a team. I had a little bit of a tough ride yesterday and I started off going gangbusters today and then had a blank moment, but, otherwise it was still a great week and it’s exciting that we get to be in first place and go up there and get that medal.”

Team Canada, who finished in second place, was led by veteran pair Belinda Trussell and Anton, who have collected a number of wins this season at AGDF, continuously showing that they’re a reliable and competitive pair for the Canadian team.

“We’re thrilled to be second again and in great company. It’s wonderful to have a CDIO in North America with as many countries that are involved here. It is a gift that we have it in our continent and haven’t had that in the past,” said Trussell. “It’s developing each year and getting stronger, and that’s exciting. My team was great, and we felt proud to have four Grand Prix horses on the team. It was a really good Nations’ Cup for us.”

As the high point rider for the Small Tour portion of the FEI Nations’ Cup competition, Juan Matute Jr. led Spain to a third place finish. Piloting Dhannie Ymas to two high scores, Matute Jr. feels confident with the progress the pair has made over the course of this season, mostly competing in the FEI Young Rider division offered at AGDF.

“My team and I are thrilled with the results. We managed to get on the podium which was always the goal,” he said. “As for Dhannie and I, I’m very pleased with the results. It’s been a great season and this week has been a great highlight for us. A 74.5% is a great score and a personal best for us. I’m super pleased and looking forward to the future.”

Allison Brock and Rosevelt Continue with Consistency in FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses

Allison Brock (USA) and Rosevelt proved once again that their focus on consistency and communication so far this season is continuing to pay off as the duo earned a 73.700% in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 3*, presented by Harmony Sporthorses. Brock and Rosevelt were followed by Ashley Holzer (CAN) and Breaking Dawn with a 72.680%, and Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett who rounded out the top three with a score of 70.980%.

Allison Brock and Rosevelt
Allison Brock and Rosevelt

Brock and Rosevelt are finally feeling the results of their hard work this season, as both horse and rider have a newfound sense of confidence in the ring together. The pair have scored above 73% in their last two outings at AGDF in the Grand Prix, and Brock is thrilled with the progression the pair has made since the FEI CDI 5* at AGDF in February.

“It was very hot out there today, and he was just really good. He was really honest and trying hard. Yeah, there were small things again, but I’m just so pleased that he’s really manning up to everything,” said Brock. “He’s showing that he’s capable of manning up despite the circumstances, whether its lightning and rain like last week or hot like today. He’s just like ‘Okay, I’ll do it.'”

“I’m really proud of him and at the same time, I think he’s really proud of himself,” she smiled.

“I loved the beginning of my test. I never want to say easy, ever, but he was taking me and he basically ran away with me in he extended canter,” laughed Brock. “I was like ‘Dude, whoa,’ and normally I can really go for it and he goes beautifully and we can come back on a dime, but today I think he thought he wanted to jump!”

Over the past three months Brock has been very candid about the progress the duo has made, despite their small blip at the CDI 5*, where Brock felt the duo did not perform up to their best potential.

“It’s nice to feel that we’re at a point where he’s trained enough, he’s old enough, and he’s seen enough,” she continued. “I’m more seasoned, and I think that is where it really starts to get better as a combination.”

P. J. Rizvi, owner of Breaking Dawn, represented Holzer at the press conference and spoke with only high praise of Holzer’s relationship with Breaking Dawn and their inspiring connection with each other in the ring.

“Ashley brings an experience and a relationship, that we both have with the horse, to the ring. The horse is pretty well loved, and I think it reflects when either of us ride him,” commented Rizvi. “Her highlight today was really the passage, piaffe and the transition. He was really moving from behind.”

Rizvi, who also competes Breaking Dawn in CDI competition herself, gives Holzer the reins when she is out of town or unable to compete. Holzer and Breaking Dawn competed for Team Canada at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England and their return to the competition ring is always special for both Holzer and Rizvi.

“Her zig zags today were perfect, which are always a challenge for me in my tests. She landed with plenty of room and her zig zags and her changes were clean. It was textbook, just perfectly executed,” she continued.

“Honestly, Ashley is like my older sister and she always looks for an opportunity to show. We both have a special relationship with the horse so when I’m gone and she wants to ride him, it’s great for me.”

Competing as an amateur, Rizvi has a strong understanding of the commitment and dedication it takes to stay at the top of the sport, and has the utmost appreciation for professionals who are able to exercise the full potential in the competition arena.

“There’s nothing better for me than seeing someone as talented as Ashley bring out the best of a horse in the ring. That’s one thing that I always look at when I watch these professionals ride. I work really hard and I love this, but what they bring out, there’s nothing more special than to see someone who’s great bring something to the next level.”

Petersen and Mariett, who finished in third place, found the heat a bit difficult, as Petersen noted he felt that he had no gas by the end of the test, which he contributed in part to a long season’s end approaching, as well as the temperatures which soared to the high 80s.

“Normally, she’s not so bad when it’s hot out, but today I just didn’t feel like we had enough energy, but you know it’s that, she’s eighteen years old, and it’s the end of season. It’s probably a combination of all of those factors I think,” said Petersen.

“I thought most of our canter tour was pretty good and I was happy with it, but I think we lacked the energy we needed in the piaffe and the passage,” he noted.

If all goes according to plan for Petersen and Mariett, the duo will look to travel to Europe this spring in hopes of competing at the Danish Championships in June.

Competition continues at AGDF Friday with the FEI Intermediaire I CDI 1*, presented by YellowBird Farm, as well as individual competition in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations’ Cup CDIO 3*, with the FEI Intermediaire I Freestyle CDIO 3* starting at 4:30 p.m. and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDIO 3*, the final “Friday Night Lights” of the 2016 AGDF circuit, beginning at 8:30 p.m. For more information, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

About the Adequan Global Dressage Festival:

The Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) is one of the world’s largest international and national dressage circuits featuring 7 FEI Dressage events, including a 5* and the only FEI Nations’ Cup Series CDIO in the Western Hemisphere. The AGDF offers more than $700,000 in prize money for the seven international competitions, making it one of the richest circuits in the world. The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center facility includes the Van Kampen covered arena (made possible by Kimberly and Frederic Boyer and family) and four outdoor arenas with world-class footing, 200 permanent stalls, and a VIP seating area.

Please visit
www.globaldressagefestival.com
www.pbiec.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Carly Weilminster
Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
info@jenniferwoodmedia.com