Wellington CDI5* Grand Prix, Laura Graves & Verdades Win One for Freestyle, Olivia LaGoy-Weltz Takes Other for Special

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Laura Graves rides Verdades to win the CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 8, 2018–Laura Graves and Verdades, the world’s No. 4 combination, came within a whisker of scoring 80 per cent for the second show this year in winning the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Grand Prix for the Freestyle.

Fellow United States team partnership of Olivia LaGoy-Weltz on Lonoir won the CDI5* Grand Prix to qualify for the Special in their first international level performance in six months.

In near summer temperatures of about 85F/29.4C and high humidity, Laura and the 16-year-old KWPN gelding scored 79.543 per cent.

OLivia and Lonoir, a 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, scored 71.957 per cent in their first international competition since competing on two American Nations Cup teams in Europe last summer.

The winners of both 5* Grand Prix train with Debbie McDonald.

Olivia LaGoy-Weltz and Lonoir, the last to go in the CDI5* Grand Prix for the Special which the pair won. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén, the seven-time Olympian for Sweden, on Paridon Magi that competing in Wellington has likely clinched her a start at the World Cup Finals in Paris in April, placed second behind Laura on a score of 73.500 per cent.

Ashley Holzer, the former multiple Olympian for Canada who now rides for the United States, was third on 70.913 per cent.

In the Grand Prix for the Special, the 20-year-old Juan Matute Jr., based in Wellington but who rides for Spain for whom his father was a three-time Olympian, rode Quantico Ymas to place second on 70.804 per cent.

Juan, who has begun online college courses, declared his goal to ride on the Spanish team at the Tryon would championships. He and Quantico swept the Under-25 competition held in conjunction with the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden last August and took the individual bronze medal at the European Under-25 Championships in Austria but missed out on competing in the freestyle because of problems that led to the musical performance being canceled.

Juan Matute, Jr. and Quantico Ymas in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI5* Grand Prix. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Canada’s Brittany Fraser on All In, her 2015 Pan American Games team silver medal mount, was third on 70.761 per cent.

Laura of Geneva, Florida and Verdades that she has brought up from a foal to partner her to the top level of the sport, not only made no excuses for the weather but looked on it as a positive to provide experience for riding at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September where temperatures may be similar.

“At the last show it was much cooler,” Laura said. “We have to gauge our horses’ stamina when it comes to warmer weather and I maybe underestimated how fit my horse is. It was warm today but there wasn’t even a second where he felt like he was tired. That was nice to know as we’re going in to Tryon this year and it’s going to be at least this warm, so knowing he can handle it is a nice feeling.”
The score for the pair was trending above 81 per cent midway through the ride but a slightly-less-than-perfect line of two-time changes dropped the score.
“I felt a bit of a hop behind in the twos,” the 30-year-old rider said, “but the trot tour felt amazing and he’s a super fun horse. I’m learning that even when he’s that hot, I still have to put my leg on. It’s amazing to ride a horse every day who never says, ‘No’.”

Laura also indicated she may not apply for a bye but go to Europe with the squad of up to eight combinations hoping to qualify to make the team of four horses and riders and a reserve for the WEG to take advantage of competing head-to-head with the top Europeans.

She has already garnered the first of two scores she needs to earn a start at the World Cup Final in Paris in April where she wants to challenge defending champion Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD. Laura and Verdades were runner-up to the German superstar in Omaha last April but became the only duo to beat the pair since the 2016 Olympics when they won the Grand Prix Special at Aachen, Germany last summer.

Shelly Francis on Danilo. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
In the Grand Prix CDI3* Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida and Danilo scored 72.870 per cent while Katherine Bateson Chandler of Wellington on Alcazar were second on 69.935 per cent with Anna Marek of Reddick, Florida and Dee Clair third with 66.739 per cent.

Results:

CDI5* Grand Prix Qualify for Freestyle
E: Matthiesen – DEN H: Wuest – GER C: Foy – USA M: Truppa – ITA B: Hoevenaars – AUS
Rider Nat. Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Graves, Laura USA Verdades 79.457 1 80.435 1 79.348 1 81.087 1 77.391 1 79.543 1
Vilhelmson Silfven, Tinne SWE Paridon Magi 72.174 2 74.565 2 74.022 2 75.652 2 71.087 3 73.500 2
Holzer, Ashley USA Havanna 145 70.652 4 72.826 3 69.891 5 71.739 3 69.457 4 70.913 3
Francis, Shelly USA Doktor 70.870 3 71.739 5 70.326 4 69.130 6 72.065 2 70.826 4
Hickok, Chase USA Sagacious HF 68.587 5 72.283 4 71.087 3 71.196 4 69.022 5 70.435 5
Rizvi, P.J. USA Breaking Dawn 67.391 6 69.022 6 67.391 6 70.000 5 68.696 6 68.500 6
Losos De Muniz, Yvonne DOM Aquamarijn 64.022 7 65.435 7 64.348 7 66.196 7 62.935 7 64.587 7

 

CDI5* Grand Prix Qualify for Special
E: Nivelle – GER H: Gansewinkel – NED C: Wuest – GER M: Hoevenaars – AUS B: Truppa – ITA
Rider Nat. Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
LaGoy-Weltz, Olivia USA Lonoir 71.413 4 74.130 1 71.739 3 70.543 2 71.957 2 71.957 1
Matute Guimon, Juan ESP Quantico Ymas 71.087 6 70.326 4 69.891 5 70.543 2 72.174 1 70.804 2
Fraser, Brittany CAN All In 71.630 3 71.304 2 72.609 1 69.130 6 69.130 6 70.761 3
Irving, Jill CAN Degas 12 72.065 2 69.783 5 70.543 4 70.326 4 70.217 4 70.587 4
Lane, Megan CAN Caravella 72.935 1 71.087 3 69.674 6 70.000 5 69.022 7 70.543 5
Lyle, Adrienne USA Salvino 71.304 5 69.457 6 68.152 7 70.978 1 69.783 5 69.935 6
Page, Arlene USA Woodstock 69.130 7 68.804 7 72.174 2 68.152 8 70.870 3 69.826 7
Klimke, Michael GER Royal Dancer 33 66.413 9 66.413 8 64.022 9 68.478 7 67.174 8 66.500 8
Vaughan, Joanne GEO Elmegardens Marquis 66.196 10 65.543 10 63.478 10 65.543 10 66.739 9 65.500 9
Creech, Diane CAN Chrevis Christo 62.783 11 66.370 9 64.739 8 66.478 9 65.935 10 65.261 10
Tzinberg, Ellesse PHI Triviant 2 66.522 8 63.913 11 59.457 11 63.370 11 65.217 11 63.696 11
 

CDI3* Grand Prix Qualify for Special
E: Hoevenaars – AUS H: Warren – USA C: Foy – USA M: Matthiesen – DEN B: Gansewinkel – NED
Rider Nat. Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Francis, Shelly USA Danilo 71.848 1 73.261 1 74.674 1 72.065 1 72.500 1 72.870 1
Bateson Chandler, Katherine USA Alcazar 69.130 2 70.109 2 70.543 2 69.348 2 70.543 2 69.935 2
Marek, Anna USA Dee Clair 67.283 3 67.609 3 67.500 3 65.978 4 65.326 5 66.739 3
Tate, Jessica Jo USA Faberge 63.804 9 65.217 4 64.891 6 65.870 5 66.630 3 65.283 4
Irving, Jill CAN Arthur 65.109 6 65.217 4 66.087 4 63.913 9 65.217 6 65.109 5
Harada, Kiichi JPN Egistar 66.413 4 64.565 7 65.543 5 64.130 6 63.804 7 64.891 6
Trussell, Belinda CAN Tattoo 15 64.348 8 64.565 7 64.891 6 64.022 7 65.761 4 64.717 7
Mendoza Loor, Julio Cesar ECU Chardonnay 64.891 7 65.000 6 64.348 8 66.413 3 62.609 8 64.652 8
Bertschinger, Barbara SUI Rubin Cortes OLD 66.087 5 64.457 9 64.022 9 62.826 10 60.109 14 63.500 9
Hirosh, Sahar Daniel ISR Don Daiquiri 63.152 11 62.935 10 61.848 12 64.022 7 61.196 12 62.630 10
Lane, Megan CAN Zodiac MW 62.500 12 62.609 11 62.717 10 62.065 11 62.065 9 62.391 11
Boo, Heather USA Divertimento 63.587 10 58.370 15 62.500 11 61.630 12 61.304 11 61.478 12
Hill, Debbie USA Zarcita 61.739 13 58.913 13 59.022 13 60.217 13 60.326 13 60.043 13
Harrington, Nicole USA Wizard Of Oz 57.674 14 58.435 14 57.239 15 57.565 15 61.478 10 58.478 14
Bechtloff, Holger USA Clapton JP 57.174 15 60.326 12 57.500 14 57.609 14 57.283 15 57.978 15
Austin, Elisabeth USA Steeped In Luck WD