Laura Graves & Verdades No. 4 In World, Top Pair for USA with Entire Olympic Team in Top
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Sept. 1, 2016
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Laura Graves and Verdades have jumped to No. 4 in the world with Steffen Peters and Legolas in sixth place behind three German Olympic gold medal team combinations, the highest ranking ever for the American Grand Prix champion. The entire United States bronze medal team ranked in the top 30 in the world, surpassed only by Germany with its four team pairs in the top 15.
Laura, 29 years old of Geneva, Florida and the 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Florett AS x Goya) moved up to the fourth spot with 2,462 points from No. 13 at the end of July to become the top American combination on the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) rankings released Thursday. The duo had been the top U.S. pair for a couple of months last year.
Steffen Peters, 52 years old later this month and the top American rider on a succession of horses for most of the past decade, was ranked sixth, up from eighth place a month earlier on Legolas, 14-year-old Westfalen gelding (Lamedon x Florestan II).
Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet climbed to No. 20 from 23rd a month earlier and Allison Brock on Rosevelt to No. 29 from 37th, the highest placings for the other two rider and horse combinations that won the bronze at Rio de Janeiro for the first U.S. Olympic dressage medal since 2004.
Kristina Bröring-Sprehe and Desperados FRH remained atop the world rankings as they have been all year, followed by Isabell Werth at No. 2, who added two medals on Weihegold OLD to become the top Olympic equestrian medal winner of all time with 10, and Dorothree Schneider on Showtime FRH at No. 3. Sönke Rothenberger, the 21-year-old rider on the nine-year-old Cosmo and fourth Olympic team combination for Germany, was at 15th, up one place from July.
Last month’s Olympic results shuffled the world rankings.
Great Britain’s team silver medalists Carl Hester on Nip Tuck moved to 7th place from 11th, Fiona Bigwood on Orthilia dropped a spot to 18th and two-time Olympic individual gold medal pair of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro was at No. 41 from 52nd the previous month with only five results from the past year to count toward their standing. A maximum of the eight best in the past year can be included. Spencer Wilton on Super Nova II, the fourth British team combination. climbed to No. 36 from 58th in July.
Spain’s Beatriz Ferrer-Salat on Delgado slipped one spot to No. 5 but team mate of Severo Lopez on Lorenzo jumped to No. 14 from 27th at the end of July.
Laura and Verdades for two months last year became the first United States combination in a decade to rank ahead of Steffen of San Diego, California on a succession of horses.
Laura started 2016 at No. 15 after being as high as No. 8 in June last year and ninth in July following the Pan American Games when she was on the team that won gold and she and Verdades won individual silver.
The success of Laura and Verdades at the World Games in Normandy in 2014, placing fifth in the Grand Prix Freestyle, boosted the pair into the top 20 in the world.
The pair made their first appearance on the world rankings at No. 458 in February, 2014.
The complete world rankings: https://data.fei.org/Ranking/Search.aspx?rankingCode=D_WR