Tag Archives: Laura Graves

Graves and Verdades Victorious in Stillpoint Farm CDIO3* Freestyle

Laura Graves and Verdades (SusanJStickle.com)

Wellington, Fla. – The Stillpoint Farm CDIO3* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival came to a close on Saturday afternoon with Laura Graves and Verdades claiming top honors in the Freestyle on a score of 80.175%. Originally scheduled for Friday evening but postponed due to weather, the Freestyle hosted 11 Small Tour combinations and a further four Big Tour competitors. Led by Graves, the U.S. secured six of the top 12 placings.

In their final competition before the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, to be held in Las Vegas, Nev., April 15-19, Graves (Plymouth, Fla.) and her 13-year-old KWPN gelding produced the second highest Freestyle score of their career. With their victory on Saturday afternoon, the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games veterans added Individual Gold to the Team Gold medal they won with their USA I teammates on Thursday night.

“To hear it called double Gold medal winning is an amazing feeling,” said Graves recapping on her weekend. Additionally, she was extremely pleased with Verdades’ performance on Saturday. “He felt great in the test; I had one hiccup in the right half-pass when my rein got stuck on my boot but he’s matured so much and couldn’t have cared less. I couldn’t be happier with my horse.”

Allison Brock and Rosevelt (SusanJStickl.com)
Allison Brock and Rosevelt (SusanJStickl.com)

Allison Brock (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Claudine and Fritz Kundrun’s 13-year-old Hanoverian stallion, Rosevelt, produced their personal best Freestyle score of 73.950% in a test that featured a high degree of difficulty in the one-time changes and piaffe. They finished the Freestyle in fifth place.

Kim Herslow (Stockton, N.J.) led the way for the four U.S. Small Tour combinations, earning a score of 73.800% for a solid effort from Kiroli Enterprises LLC’s 10-year-old Hanoverian gelding, Rosmarin. The 2013 Intermediaire I National Champions finished in overall sixth place.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (Reston, Va.) and her own Rassing’s Lonoir, who were making their U.S. Team debut competing on the Small Tour, produced their third impressive performance of the week to finish in seventh place with a mark of 73.675%.

Small Tour combination, Kasey Perry (Orangevale, Calif.) and Diane Perry’s 12-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding Goerklingtgaards Dublet, were the third American competitors to go on Saturday, producing an energized test to score 73.225%, resulting in an ninth-place finish.

Chris Hickey (Wellington, Fla.) and Cecelia Stewart’s nine-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, Ronaldo, were the first U.S. combination to head down centerline on Saturday and performed a technically difficult Freestyle, which included three-time changes on a half circle both directions. They finished overall in 12th place on a score of 70.975%.

By Helen Murray

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team.

US Team 1 Holds Strong Lead in First Day of Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* Competition

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Lisa Wilcox and Galant Capture PSG CDI1* Win

Wellington, FL – March 25, 2015 – The first half of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* competition began today at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) with Team 1 of the USA leading the way after their overall performance in the FEI Prix St. Georges and the FEI Grand Prix classes. The team composed of Allison Brock, Kimberly Herslow, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz, and Laura Graves reached a total score of 223.304 for the first portion of the competition. The Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* will continue tomorrow with competition in the FEI Grand Prix Special for Large Tour pairs and the FEI Intermediaire-1 for Small Tour entries, after which the team medals will be awarded. Canada Team 1 currently sits in second place, while USA Team 2 is in third. The final week of AGDF, sponsored by Stillpoint Farm, Martha Jolicoeur and Maria Mendelsohn of Illustrated Properties, and Regal Horse Products, continues through Saturday, March 28.

Watch the test for Laura Graves and Verdades! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.

USA Team 1 put in a dominant performance to handily take the lead in the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* after the FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Grand Prix classes. The team, which is composed of two Large Tour combinations and two Small Tour pairs, performed spectacularly. Not a single member of Team 1 scored below a 70.000% overall. Chef d’Equipe for Team 1, Robert Dover, was thrilled with the performance of the team as a unit and the statement they made about the resurgence of dressage in the United States. “First of all I’m so proud of all of our American riders. They have made everyone so proud,” he said. “The riders themselves came to this arena to do a job, and they will continue to go on doing that job until the end of the competition. They showed why we are ready to be ranked among the best nations in the world.”

Laura Graves and Verdades put in another solid performance, giving them another great prep test for their FEI World Cup Finals debut in April. Verdades is becoming incredibly consistent at the Grand Prix level. Graves, who went last in the class as the team’s anchor rider, felt that their late ride time was to their advantage. “I like going last, especially when it’s hot like this and the class is at this point in the day I think it’s an advantage for us,” she remarked. “I’m so lucky to be on a team with three other women who are equals and incredible competitors. I’m really very proud to be a part of this team.”

As the pair has major international plans ahead of them, Graves hopes to remove all of the kinks from their routine now so that they can get the most out their performances. “We’re still green at this. Hopefully by the end of this year, which will be our second full year riding Grand Prix, I think we will be able to ride a bit more confidently,” she noted.

Allison Brock and Rosevelt
Allison Brock and Rosevelt

Allison Brock and Rosevelt had the second-highest score, just behind Graves in the Grand Prix, with another very stellar test from the young stallion. Brock has taken her time with Rosevelt, as he is very sensitive and reactive. “He got a little hot in the warm-up with some of the commotion, but he came back to me and I was just trying to gauge with the heat how much time I needed. I wanted to take a horse in that still had gas, but wasn’t too reactive. I think we did a good job feeling that out,” said Brock. “My goal was to go and have a really clean test and for the most part he was very honest, and he went for it. He was with me, and I’m really pleased with him.”

The first to go for Team USA, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz felt some pressure before leading off, but said that “Lono” made some great improvements and it was the most extravagant test, movement-wise, he has shown so far this season. “We did have a few uncharacteristic bobbles in the test, but he was still fabulous and continued to settle as the test went on, which is great to know that he is progressing to where he can do that,” she remarked.

Kimberly Herslow, who continues to search for the perfect warm-up routine with Rosmarin when the weather is hot, felt that considering the time the pair had to warm-up today, their test went very well. “We both tend to lose a little bit of focus in the heat because it’s hard to push for the max in that, but I’m really happy with how he went considering last time it was this hot, I couldn’t create power,” she remarked. “I don’t feel like we’re maxed out at all, and I am really happy with where we are. I know he has a lot more to give still and we’ll keep building off that.”

Kasey Perry and Goerklintgaards Dublet, members of USA Team 2 in Perry’s debut international team competition, impressed in the Prix St. Georges class scoring a 73.816% to lead that class. “Dublet” came in very hot to the test, but Perry rode beautifully to keep the talented gelding composed. “It is so comforting to be on a team when something like that happens because there are so many people around you, and it really calms your nerves,” she said. “Right when I went down the centerline though, I felt him check in with me, and I knew that I had his attention and we were good to go. He never missed a beat, and he was with me the entire time.”

For LaGoy-Weltz, Brock, and Perry, this is their first international team competition, and all three felt that the team environment changed not only their attitudes about the competition, but their mentality and focus. “You feel the pressure. You’re learning the process and wanting to do well for everyone else; that’s what makes it a team thing,” said LaGoy-Weltz. Graves, who has participated in team competition before, was quick to express her pride in being named to this specific team with her fellow competitors. She expressed, “(It’s great) being with my teammates in the barn all day and feeling like we’re all in this for the same reason, and we love our horses. Having such a strong team has shown what everyone is working towards and that we are growing the depth in our sport.”

Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Galant, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding, topped the FEI Prix St. Georges CDI 1* class, presented by Regal Horse Products, with a score of 69.868%. Diane Creech (CAN) and Diana C followed in second receiving a 69.368%, and Mary Rollins (USA) aboard Royal Prinz was third with 68.553%.

Lisa Wilcox and Galant
Lisa Wilcox and Galant

Wilcox, who has been steadily improving aboard the fiery chestnut gelding all season, was thrilled with their performance in the first class of Small Tour competition this week. They were the first to go in the large class, meaning they led from start to finish. “The early bird gets the worm, as they say. It’s cooler and when you feel the temperature now, during the day, there are advantages to going early. It was helpful for us this morning,” she remarked. “I was really happy with him. We’ve been going through a phase where he’s almost too light. He was wonderful, and we’re at a great point in our development.”

Wilcox and Galant have had success at AGDF before as they took home wins in the FEI Prix St. Georges and FEI Intermediaire-1 last year, but this was their first CDI win so far in 2015. “We’ve had him since he was four, and he’s nine now so it has been a real journey. The development between him and me and the amount of trust we have in our relationship is immense. He’s very horse shy, and things that we would find difficult in the past have greatly improved this season,” said Wilcox. “I’ve seen so much growth in him this year alone, and I have noticed that I can keep his focus and the relationship between the two of us has really been built upon.”

Galant, who is a typically nervous horse, has truly settled for Wilcox in the warm-up and as a result, in the ring, which is why she feels their improvement has been so consistent this season. “I always felt like I had to choreograph my warm-up to what other horses in the ring were doing because he would get nervous when he felt his space was being invaded,” she explained. “The best thing for him and for us was to get out and do it this season and constantly feel surrounded by it. He finally, at some point, just let go and even though it’s still there, it’s manageable and that’s been a huge turning point for us.”

Competition at AGDF continues through Saturday March 28. Team medals will be awarded on Thursday evening, and the finale of the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nations Cup CDIO3* will be individual medals following the freestyle classes on Friday evening. FEI CDI3* and CDI1* competition continue through the week for the conclusion of the 2015 AGDF circuit. For more information and full results from the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival, 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 $650,000 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.equestriansport.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Laura Graves and Verdades Impress with Another Win in AGDF 10 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle

Laura and Verdades with Ashley Holzer, Diane Fellows, judge Gary Rockwell, and Allyn Mann. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 13, 2015 – It was another spectacular evening for Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades, as the duo won the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival’s “Friday Night Stars” FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W3* presented by Today’s Equestrian and Diane & George Fellows. Lisa Wilcox (USA) aboard Pikko del Cerro HU placed second with a 76.075%, and Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett finished in third receiving a 74.550%. Competition will continue tomorrow at AGDF with several classes in the Florida International Dressage Youth Championships as well as the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W3*.

The crowd went wild for Graves and Verdades after they finished their performance and the best is yet to come from this duo. Working closely with Robert Dover and Debbie McDonald, Graves has fine-tuned several areas of her routine that she feels she could still improve upon. She explained, “We’ve tweaked some things a bit in the past few days as a group, like getting that piaffe right on the spot, and I felt really confident in there today and it was amazingly fun to ride.”

Watch the winning ride for Laura and Verdades! Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.

Wilcox and Pikko del Cerro HU have had somewhat of a roller-coaster season here at AGDF, but when the pair is on they’re successful. Wilcox though, has remained patient throughout and is elated with the consistent performances the duo put in at both AGDF9 and AGDF10 Grand Prix Freestyles. “It’s the second time we’ve ridden that choreography, and he absolutely loves it. He’s so engaged in it, and there’s not a minute he has free. It really shined through this weekend. He had no mistakes and everything will continue to get more crisp and more powerful,” she commented.

Petersen and Mariett concluded their 2015 AGDF run with a third place finish tonight in the Grand Prix Freestyle. Mariett and Petersen amassed an incredible amount of wins and top finishes this season and the mare has earned a great break before hopefully gearing up to attend FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in April. “I’m happy for Mariett with how she did. It’s a lot of shows and it’s a long season for her, but I’m so happy with all of our performances this season.”

All three riders will now look towards World Cup Finals, except Graves who was also selected to represent the United States on one of two teams in the Large Tour at the Stillpoint Farm FEI Nation’s Cup at AGDF 12. The duo will continue to iron out pieces of their routine and expect an ever better ride in two weeks. “We’re working on the quality in the passage half-passes. It was something we snuck into the routine before the World Equestrian Games,” she revealed. “It happened a little bit then and now it’s happening more, so hopefully by Nations Cup it will be a more of a real passage half-pass and by World Cup Finals it will hopefully be very exciting to watch.”

Gary Rockwell, Judge at C from the United States, was pleased with the number of consistently smooth rides throughout the night. He noted, “The judging gets better when the rides are good and usually we all agree if the rides are smooth and accurate tests. Everyone tonight had a good ride and the quality was very high, truly just an overall enjoyable evening.”

The sponsors for the AGDF 10 Large Tour, Ashley Holzer of Today’s Equestrian and Diane Fellows, were both on hand at the press conference, delighted that the night was such a success. Holzer and Dressed in Black placed fourth in the class. “Sponsoring something so wonderful as this venue and these events brings together horses and riders from around the world and makes them available for the public to see,” said Holzer. “I think it is so important that we support our own sport and that we all, as riders, do our part and sponsor events like this, if we can, to make it an even better event. I’m so glad to be a part of it and to be able to support it.”

Fellows, a longtime supporter of Holzer, agreed with the sentiment and is so proud of where the event has come. “We are so excited to say that we’re a part of this and to see how AGDF has grown over the years,” she said. “Sponsorship is a joy; owning a horse and watching a talented rider bring your horse to this level is so exciting, and I would tell anyone who is able to: ‘Sponsor a horse, a rider, a venue and come watch and enjoy.’ It really enhances your life.”

Allyn Mann of Adequan®, title sponsor for the entire AGDF series, continues to be impressed with the atmosphere and competition at each Friday night event and gave his utmost respect to the riders and sponsors. “It’s people like Ashley and Diane that make an event like this happen and to all of the owners who make this sport what it is; they’re really the backbone and without them none of us would be sitting here,” he commented. “It’s a blessing to be involved in the sport and to watch beautiful animals and riders, and we’re so glad that we can help to continue making this event even better.”

Numerous awards were given out throughout the night as Charlotte Jorst received the “Winner of the Prix St. George Owner’s Award” presented by Jill Irving for her win aboard Kastels Adventure. Adrienne Lyle accepted the “Best Horse Owner for Overall Highest Score” presented by Jill Irving, on behalf of Pam Jones. The Best Horse Owner Award for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty was given to Laura Graves for her win aboard Verdades. The pair also picked up the Adequan® High Score Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle presented by Allyn Mann.

Charlotte Jorst (USA) and Kastels Adventure continued their fairytale run at AGDF 10 with a win today in the FEI Intermediaire 1, presented by Michael & Roz Collins. The pair, who has steadily improved throughout circuit, continues to add to their remarkable 2015 season at AGDF, and Jorst’s infectious smile brightens the day for everyone on the grounds. The pair won the class on a 72.868% followed by Shelly Francis (USA) and Rubinio at 71.395%, with Brittany Fraser (CAN) and All In finishing third with a 71.132%.

AGDF 10 continues to play host to the Florida International Dressage Youth Championships this week, and the competition is heating up as both Team and Individual classes are underway at the AGDF grounds. Juan Matute, Jr. (ESP) took home the win in yesterday’s FEI Junior Team competition aboard Dhannie Ymas with a 71.297%. Chase Hickok (USA) and Sagacious HF took first in the FEI U-25 Intermediaire II on a 70.421% as well as the FEI Young Rider Grand Prix receiving a 69.767%. Amanda Mcauliffe (USA) and Da Kiekste won the FEI Pony Team class today receiving a 63.590%. Rising European star Dana van Lierop (NED) captured the win in the large FEI Young Rider Team class with Equestricons Walküre.

Competition will continue at AGDF tomorrow with several classes contributing to the Florida International Dressage Youth Championships, sponsored by Pana Cavallo, Hampton Green Farm, and Dressage4Kids, as well as the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W3*, presented by Today’s Equestrian and Diane and George Fellows. For more information on 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 $650,000 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.equestriansport.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Graves and Verdades Amaze with a Top Score in AGDF 10 FEI Grand Prix

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photo copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 12, 2015 – Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades will clearly be a force to be reckoned with this season, as the duo continues to improve and impress. In just their second show back since the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) this past August, the pair scored a remarkable 76.680% in the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W 3*, presented by Today’s Equestrian and Diane and George Fellows, to start competition in the Large Tour off with a bang at Week 10 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival. Lars Petersen (DEN) and Mariett placed second with a 72.500%, and Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfven (SWE) and Benetton Dream captured third, receiving a 70.760%. The highlight class, “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, will begin tomorrow night at 7pm at The Stadium at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

The test was a big step in the right direction for Graves and Verdades, as they knocked their competition rust off last week at AGDF 9. “This was much better for us tonight than it was last week. I think we kind of felt like we were rookies last week, even with our experience last year,” commented Graves. “Tonight I felt like we are actually headed where we want to be, and I’m hopeful that at Nations Cup we will see a Grand Prix test that is even a little bit tighter.”

The pair took home the win in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle last week but still felt there was more to improve upon in the ring. “We went back home to our farm in Orlando and I, just all by myself, said, ‘Where do we get this feeling?’ I figured it out over those two days. They were necessary for me,” she explained. “I think when you know you’re confident in your own mind then you can take the advice of your trainers. When it is coming from so many different places and you’re on so many different pages, you get caught up and forget to ride.”

The pair’s test was the highest scored ride in an FEI Grand Prix this season at AGDF, and Graves hopes that consistency will continue with them for the rest of the season. “He was really with me through the half-halts today and I know that we still leave a good 5-10% in the warm-up, so there will come a day when we bring it all,” she smiled.

Lars Petersen and Mariett are veterans on the circuit this season, and the mare will get a long vacation after this weekend’s competition. “This is a long circuit, and I’m really happy with how she’s been. I’ve done a lot of shows and she is not as fresh as she was in February and she has really earned her time off,” he said. “With her getting older I need to be careful of what I do with her and make sure that we don’t do too much. You always get smarter by the end.”

Vilhelmson-Silfven had a beautiful ride aboard Benetton Dream in just the young stallion’s fourth FEI Grand Prix test to date. As she continues to work through the test, it improves and he is clearly becoming more comfortable in the ring. “I am extremely happy with him today. He’s continued to get better and better with each show. With this short week in between the two competitions I was a bit worried, but he handled it well,” she commented. “He lost a little bit of power towards the end, but that’s because he still isn’t strong enough. I couldn’t ask for anything more from him, and I don’t want to ask for anything more right now.” Vilhelmson-Silfven and her team will head back to Sweden next Wednesday and will continue to compete in Europe this summer.

Competition at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival continues with the Florida International Dressage Youth Championships throughout the week and the highlight “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, presented by Today’s Equestrian and Diane and George Fellows, tomorrow night at 7 pm. For more information on 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 $650,000 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.equestriansport.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

American Women Sweep Top Three at AGDF 9 FEI Grand Prix Freestyle

Laura Graves and Verdades. Photos copyright SusanJStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – March 6, 2015 — Three American women were victorious at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival’s (AGDF) Week 9 “Friday Night Stars” FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W, presented by Everglades Dressage. Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades scored an incredible 78.875% to take the win, followed by Lisa Wilcox (USA) and Pikko del Cerro HU in second with a 76.325%, and Shelly Francis (USA) and Doktor in third receiving a 75.950%.

CLICK to watch the winning freestyle for Laura and Verdades!
Video courtesy of Campfield Videos.

The Stadium at AGDF housed another sell-out crowd under the lights with Carla Jablonski, a mezzosoprano from The Metropolitan Opera and a graduate of The Julliard School, performing the national anthem accompanied by a string quartet from the Frost School of Music. Competition at AGDF will continue throughout the weekend with a number of classes including the highly anticipated Derby class, which will begin at 11 am on Sunday.

Laura Graves and Verdades are in their first competition back from their outstanding finish at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) and are making a statement with their performances so far this weekend. Graves, who previously stated that yesterday’s Grand Prix was a difficult test for the two, said she felt much more comfortable with her ride in the Freestyle. “He was a little nervous going in, but every time we get into that box he does not ever fail to impress me and nine times out of ten will behave himself,” she said. “I’m glad to be here and it’s been a really long time, if ever, that I’ve led a victory lap and I’m honored to have had two American women behind me.”

Wilcox and Pikko del Cerro HU have been tested in the past year with their partnership and tonight was a breakthrough moment for the duo. “I am thrilled. For us, he was so fantastic before the year he had off and you never know what you’re going to have bringing them back, but I feel like he is better and stronger than ever,” she explained. “We’re gaining strength from show to show and we can be a little inconsistent still, but overall I am just so happy with where he is going and what he’s becoming.”

Francis and Doktor have been one of the most consistent pairs on the circuit this season, rarely ever out of the top five in any of their classes. The trust between the two is clear as Doktor continues to improve with Francis’ guidance and builds upon his scores each week. “We had a few little bobbles and he was a little bit tenser in the warm-up than usual, but I have been so proud of him that we continue to put in consistent performances. He’s so workman-like throughout each and every test,” said Francis.

Bethany Peslar and Endel Ots of Everglades Dressage, sponsors of the Large Tour classes for Week 9, continue to find ways to grow the sport, especially through their sponsorship of AGDF. “We’re really committed to giving back to the sport and sponsoring an event like this is very exciting for us. We are looking forward to the rest of circuit and to next year,” said Ots.

Allyn Mann of Adequan®, title sponsor for the entire season of AGDF, was on hand to share his thoughts of the night. He expressed, “We have an unbelievable group of women here with us tonight, and I am so proud to see all of them find this success. I’m honored to be sitting here with them and that I am able to see their incredible talent and their wonderful horses. This group of people is really great, and I am lucky to be a part of this opportunity.”

Linda Zang, Judge at C tonight, was impressed with the quality of the tests and the progress the United States is making to strengthen the sport of dressage. “The judges really worked tonight. The riders are progressing and this program continues to make moves towards the top of the dressage world,” she stated. “As a judge, and I speak for the entire panel, we had to work hard. It wasn’t just sitting and giving scores. All of the riders are getting so keen on their points and we’re looking at consistent (scores of) 7, 8, and 9.”

Several awards were given throughout the night, highlighting the hard work of competitors from all divisions of the show, both National and International. The “Best Horse Owner for Overall Highest Percentage”, presented by Jill Irving, was given to Carla Bahr (also the breeder) and Cyrus for their scores at AGDF 5. Cyrus, a 2009 gelding (Contuci x Corthena, Cor Noir), and rider Tom Dvorak (CAN) had a high score of 78.182% in Level Three. Anne Sparks, owner of Gallant Reflections HU, was given the award for her horse’s performances at AGDF 7.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing's Lonoir
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz received the “Winner of the Prix St. Georges Owner Award” also presented by Jill Irving. LaGoy-Weltz also took home the “Carol Lavell Award” presented by Carol Lavell and Dressage Foundation. Laura Graves was presented the “Best Horse Owner Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle” presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, as well as the “Adequan® High Score Award” for the Grand Prix Freestyle.

A special presentation was made to present Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center with a check for $5,000, donated by Wellington Equestrian Realty on behalf of Janne Rumbough, who won the Best Owner Award for the Grand Prix Freestyle at AGDF 7 as owner of My Lady, ridden by Mikala Gundersen.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz (USA) and Rassing’s Lonoir had a spectacular showing in the tremendously large FEI Prix St. Georges class of Week 9 presented by Peacock Ridge. The class, which boasted more than 50 entries, was competitive till the very end with five pairs scoring above a 71.000%. The duo scored an impressive 74.158% to take home the win.

LaGoy-Weltz and Rassing’s Lonoir have had a very strong season so far at AGDF and continue to improve upon their scores from earlier in the season. “Everything came together in this class. It was one of the first rides where I could really trust him. He occasionally can throw in some hot behavior, which is good; it just takes a while to get that under control and harness it together in the right way,” she remarked. “He was so on last night. His confidence has really grown, and it’s clear that he’s starting to feel more comfortable with himself.”

LaGoy-Weltz has been working on controlling the tremendous power of “Lono”, and they nailed it in their test, which speaks volumes to the amount of work LaGoy-Weltz has dedicated to ensuring he is brought up correctly. She explained, “We finally were able to put that power where we wanted it and he wasn’t trying to take over, but we kept it throughout the test, which has been our main goal.”

Competition will continue at AGDF 9 Palm Beach Dressage Derby tomorrow with both the FEI Intermediaire 1 CDI-W, presented by Peacock Ridge, and the FEI Grand Prix Special CDI-W, presented by Everglades Dressage, followed by highlight Derby class on Sunday morning and the FEI CDI-W Intermediaire 1 Freestyle. For more information on 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 $650,000 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.equestriansport.com
or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Adequan Global Dressage Festival is located at
13500 South Shore Blvd, Wellington, Florida 33414

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Equestrian Public Relations

Lendon’s Winter Educational Program Update

Photo by: Mary Adelaide Brakenridge/PSdressage.com.

The Weekend Educational Program is only weeks away. Here are the details:

January 31 – February 1, 2015
Nonnewaug High School, Woodbury, CT
For Riders of All Disciplines and Levels, Instructors, and Parents.
www.dressage4kids.org

Designed for riders of all ages, disciplines, and levels; parents; and trainers, the Weekend Educational Program seeks to include everyone from the horse community, and the two-day event provides great networking opportunities with fellow riders and trainers from multiple disciplines.

This year Dressage4Kids welcomes international dressage competitor Laura Graves as a keynote speaker. At the recent World Equestrian Games, Laura finished 5th in the Grand Prix Musical Freestyle and was the highest placed member of the US Dressage Team. She has brought her outstanding horse, Verdades, from a youngster to competing at Grand Prix. We are so pleased that she can come to talk to us given her busy schedule.

We also welcome inspirational speaker and mountain climber, Donna Decker, who has climbed the highest mountains on all seven continents and completed a successful summit of the world’s tallest mountain, Mount Everest, in 2012. We all learn so much from a successful person in any field, and look forward to hearing from Donna.

Online registration for the Weekend Educational Program is now available:

Online Registration

Discounted rates are available only until January 17th, 2015. Register now to take advantage of the discount!

The tentative schedule is also now available online:

Tentative Schedule for Saturday

Tentative Schedule for Sunday

Please note that Dressage4Kids, Inc. reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or schedule as necessary.

For more information regarding the Weekend Educational Program, please go to www.dressage4kids.org or contact Susan Sieber, Event Coordinator, at ssieber@interstatelumber.com or at (203) 223-4261.

Also of note regarding the 2015 Youth Dressage Festival Required Reading:

Knight Equestrian Books is honoring gift certificates and the Dressage4Kids discount rate, but is no longer accepting online orders. Please contact Janet Blevins at (207) 882-5495 to place your order for the Required Reading Books.

Dressage4Kids, Inc. is a non-profit organization incorporated for the express purpose of providing educational and competitive opportunities for youth riders and the adults who support them.

Click HERE for BROCHURE you can post at your barn <<<.

To see videos of last year’s (2014) programs, CLICK THIS LINK <<<.

The 2015 WEP speakers roster includes:

Carole Baker, BHSI Teacher, Dir. Emeritus Equine Program at Post University

Andrea Beukema

Joy Black

Denise Branecky, Vet Student

Sarah Bronson, Executive Director of Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center

Liz Caron

Beth Clarke, JD and owner of the Equine Business Institute

Donna Cloutier, Photographer

Sydney Collier, Para Dressage rider and competitor at the 2014 World Equestrian Games

David Collins, Dressage trainer and author of Dressage Masters

Dr. Emily Dean, DVM

Donna Decker, Mountain climber who has summited Mt. Everest

Robyn Dolby, Artist

Dr. Matt Eliott, DVM and author of Stallside

Deb Fabiani, owner of Arbitrage Tack

Fern Feldman

Margaret Freeman, USEF “S” Judge

Laura Graves, competitor at the 2014 World Equestrian Games

Lendon Gray, Two-time Olympian

Rachel Greene-Lowell, Eventing Trainer

Ann Guptill, USDF Certified Instructor

Vicki Hammers-O’Neil, USDF Certified Instructor

Steve Kraus, BS, CJF, Head of Farrier Services at Cornell University

Robin Levine, Fitness Instructor

Brian Lomax, founder of PerformanceXtra™ and Mental Toughness coach

Sandra Mendelson, Certified Equine Photopuncture Therapist and Holistic Health Coach

Maureen Pach, BHSAI Certified Instructor and USPC National Examiner

Ron Postleb

Michele Rosa

Carla Sharp

Kristen Soto, Equestrian Vaulting Instructor

Bonnie Stetson, owner of Centaured Massage and massage therapist

Brian Stuart, Equine Dentist

Ayden Uhlir

Jamison Wallace, Centered Riding Instructor

Liz Webb, Horse Management Faculty

Kate Wilson, owner of Dutchess Bridle & Saddle

And many other distinguished guests.

Dressage4Kids, Inc. reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or schedule as necessary.

Have a safe New Year!
Lendon Gray

LendonGray@Gmail.com
914.234.4158

Personal Best for Graves Produces Top Five Finish in Freestyle at WEG

Laura Graves and Verdades (SusanJStickle.com)

Caen, France – The U.S. Dressage Team closed out an extremely successful 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with two top 10 finishes in Friday’s Freestyle. Fifteen of the world’s best combinations headed into the d’Ornano Stadium to stake their claim on the final medals of the FEI World Dressage Championships. Laura Graves continued her meteoric rise to the top level of the sport by earning a fifth place finish on Friday afternoon, while Steffen Peters once again demonstrated why he is so highly regarded with a 10th place finish.

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own Verdades were welcomed into the d’Ornano Stadium by massive cheers by the capacity crowd and did not disappoint as they performed an extremely technical Freestyle. The 12-year-old KWPN gelding matured exponentially over the week as the nerves from earlier in the week were long gone and he looked every bit a championship veteran to score 82.036%.

For the Grand Prix and Special tests, Graves kept singularly focused but on Friday she did allow herself to take in the World Championship atmosphere.

“I try to turn it all off but a little bit today I let myself enjoy it because he’s had such a good two test earlier in the week,” said Graves. “I did let myself look up and take it all in and everyone was just cheering and he just walked in like he’s done it a thousand times.”

Graves has owned Verdades since he was six months old and has diligently prepared the gelding and believes that her long term plan was instrumental in their phenomenal World Championship debut.

“We try to do things really methodically and it proves when you do that plan and doing what you know is right, you get there.”

Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (SusanJStickle.com)
Steffen Peters and Legolas 92 (SusanJStickle.com)

Peters (Sand Diego, Calif.) and Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92 completed their 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games experience by earning a 77.321% in the Freestyle. The three-time National Champions demonstrated their trademark piaffe and passage.

“The piaffe and passage were great; when he’s this excited the walk can be difficult but he was great,” said Peters of the 12-year-old Westphalian gelding. “I’m very happy.”

The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games double Bronze medalist was not only pleased with Legolas 92’s performance in the Freestyle but with how the horse performed throughout the week.

“It (the atmosphere) was good; the crowd was very energetic and wonderful. My hat goes off to Legolas; it’s been a hard three days and he’s still energetic. This is one the best Freestyles he’s ever done and to do that at a major competition like the World Games is fabulous.”

Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro claimed the Freestyle Gold on a score of 92.161% and now the British combination are the reigning World, Olympic, European and World Cup champions. Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill of Germany claimed Silver on a score of 88.286%, with The Netherlands’ Adelinde Cornelissen and Jerich Parzival NOP scoring 85.714%.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the dressage championship at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/2/dressage.

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here.

Graves Produces Career Performance in Grand Prix Special at WEG

Laura Graves & Verdades (SusanJ.Stickle.com)

Caen, France – The U.S. had strong representation in the Grand Prix Special on Wednesday at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, as three American combinations headed down centerline in the d’Ornano Stadium. Riding in front of the Ground Jury of Susan Hoevenaars, Dietrich Plewa, Stephen Clarke, Francis Verbeek, Isabelle Judet, Lisolette Fore, and Elizabeth McMullen, Laura Graves produced a career-best performance, Steffen Peters continued to impress, and Adrienne Lyle closed out her World Championship debut.

With a nearly impeccable performance on Wednesday, Graves (Geneva, Fla.) showed the world that she is ready to go head-to-head with the best in the sport. Riding her own Verdades, the 27-year-old produced a fluid, powerful test with highlights coming in the canter tour as the 12-year-old KWPN gelding demonstrated impressive pirouettes and tempi changes.

The nerves that had plagued Verdades in the Grand Prix and apprehension at the far end arena were nowhere in sight as the partners of 12 years produced a personal best Grand Prix Special score of 77.157% to finish in eighth place.

“There are no words for what it feels like to have a test like this with a horse you know so well,” said Graves. “I was really thrilled with our pirouettes; he stayed in all his changes at that (the far) end of the ring, and his tempis were great.”

With her strong performance on Wednesday, Graves and Verdades are among the 15 combinations which have now qualified for the Freestyle, a position she never imagined being in during her first World Championships.

“This is a dream come true; to have this happen at 27 is a fairy tale. After being so nervous yesterday he was great today,” said Graves. “To make it to the Freestyle is more than I could have imagined.”

Peters (San Diego Calif.) headed into d’Ornano Stadium as the next rider after Graves as she and applause for his teammate welcomed him and Four Winds Farm’s Legolas 92 to the arena. The 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games double Bronze medalist looked to replicate much of his ride from the Grand Prix, while executing clean one-time changes. The three-time National Champions were able to do just that, as they finished in 10th place on a score of 75.742%.

Steffen Peters & Legolas 92 (SusanJ.Stickle.com)
Steffen Peters & Legolas 92 (SusanJ.Stickle.com)

“I got the ones,” said an excited Peters. “It was a very exciting Grand Prix Special for Legolas. This has always been a difficult test for him.”

Peters will join his teammate, Graves, in Friday’s Freestyle, where he will look to continue to produce the solid work the 12-year-old Westphalian gelding has been producing all week.”

“I’m very excited to see two American flags up there heading into the Freestyle. I just hope Legolas goes as well as he has all week.”

Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Peggy Thomas’ Wizard were the first American combination of day, performing their Grand Prix Special during the morning session. The 2012 Olympic Games veterans started off with a strong trot-tour, but bobbles in the latter half of the test resulted in 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding scoring 69.202%.

Lyle felt that her partner of nine years was not on the form he was during her Grand Prix Test on Monday, but is still thrilled with the gelding’s performance in their World Championship debut.

“He was not himself today; I’m not sure what was bothering him today but he just wasn’t himself,” said Lyle. “The focus was on the Team (championship which was determined by the Grand Prix) and that went really well so I’m happy.”

Great Britain’s reigning Olympic, European, and World Cup champions, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro, again showed why they are ranked number one in the world as they added the World Championship Grand Prix Special Gold medal to their names on a score of 86.120. Germany captured the Silver and Bronze medals with Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill and Kristina Sprehe and Desperados FRH on scores of 84.468 and 79.762, respectively.

Dressage will come to a close at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games with the Freestyle on Friday afternoon, Peters will go down centerline at 2:35pm local time followed an hour later by Graves at 3:35pm local time.

By Helen Murray

To learn more about the dressage championship at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, visit: http://www.normandy2014.com/2014-games/the-disciplines/2/dressage.

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here.

Lyle and Graves Finish Equal Tenth in Deutsche Bank Prize at CDIO5* Aachen

Adrienne Lyle & Wizard (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Aachen, Germany – Adrienne Lyle and Laura Graves closed out a strong American effort in dressage competition at CHIO Aachen by tying for 10th in Sunday’s CDIO5* Deutsche Bank Prize. The two members of the Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team both score 76.900%.

Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Peggy Thomas’ 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Wizard, earned high marks for their music and interpretation as well as scoring 8s across the board for their degree of difficulty.

Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her own 12-year-old KWPN gelding, Verdades, also earned high scores for their music and interpretation as well as for the choreography of their Freestyle.

Learn more about CHIO Aachen here.

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here.

Laura Graves Leads US Dressage Effort Saturday in Aachen

Laura Graves & Verdades (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Aachen, Germany – Four members of the Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games U.S. Dressage Team competed for the U.S. at the CHIO Aachen on Saturday. Laura Graves, Adrienne Lyle, and Caroline Roffman rode in the CDIO5* Grand Prix Special, while Shelly Francis rode in the CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle.

Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Verdades led the U.S. effort with an eighth-place finish aboard Verdades in the Meggle-Prize CDIO5* Grand Prix Special. Graves and her own 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding earned a score of 74.784% for a solid performance in an international field. Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Peggy Thomas’ 15-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Wizard, finished in 13th place on a score of 72.902%, while Caroline Roffman (Wellington, Fla.) and her own 11-year-old Hanoverian mare, Her Highness O, were 29th with a score of 61.314%.

Both Graves and Lyle move on to Sunday’s Grand Prix Freestyle as the CDIO5* comes to close.

In the Philips-Prize CDI4* Grand Prix Freestyle, Shelly Francis (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Patricia Stempel’s Doktor, an 11-year-old Oldenburg gelding, had a great performance. The pair executed a solid test to score 71.725% and finish in seventh place.

Learn more about CHIO Aachen here.

Follow the U.S. Dressage Team here.