Laura Graves & Verdades Back to No. 2 in World, Behind Isabell Werth & Weihegold

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Laura Graves and Verdades performing their World Cu[p Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

April 30, 2018

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Powerful performances by Laura Graves and Verdades at the World Cup Final boosted the American pair back to No. 2 in the world while Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD stayed at the top ranking.

Laura and the 16-year-old KWPN gelding jumped to No. 2 from the fifth spot, pushing Isabell and Emilio into third in the standings as of the end of April and to be reported by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) probably this week.

The No. 2 ranking for Laura, 30 years old of Geneva, Florida and Verdades matches the standing of last July and equals the highest by any American in the history of the rankings.

The pair earned the same number of points as Isabell and Emilio but the American had a higher result among the eight highest scores from the previous year,an 89.083 per cent achieved in the Grand Prix Freestyle at the World Cup in Paris that earned the pair their second straight reserve championship.

Laura’s success throughout the winter at Florida’s Global Dressage Festival and the return of German Olympic and European Championship team gold medal partnership of Sönke Rothenberger and Cosmo after an eight-month break jumbled the top of the rankings of about 740 combinations around the world.

Isabell and Weihegold, 13-year-old Oldenburg mare, have been No. 1 for 19 straight months.

With Emilio, she moved to No. 2 in March and now will be No. 3.

Sönke and Cosmo dropped to No. 5, despite a first place on 82.255 per cent in the Grand Prix Special at the Hagen, Germany Horses & Dreams CDI4* last week.

Cathrine Dufour on Cassidy, a star for Denmark since top three placings at last year’s European Championships, stands at No. 4 in the new rankings after climbing to No. 3 in April.

Laura and Verdades will be named among a squad of about eight American horses and riders to compete in Europe in summer to select four combinations for the team for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina in September.

The 2016 Olympic duo is expected to be joined on the touring group by her bronze medal team mates Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet and Steffen peters on either Rosamunde or Suppenkasper as well as the 2012 Olympic team rider Adrienne Lyle on Salvino and Horizon, 2015 Pan American Games team gold medal pair Sabine Schut-Kery and Sanceo, Olivia LaGoy‐Weltz on Lonoir and Shelly Francis with Danilo and Doktor, already competing in Europe after her appearance at the World Cup.

Correction: Cathrine Dufour and Cassidy are ranked No. 4 and Sönke Rothenberger at No. 5 in the latest rankings, correcting the standings reported in an earlier version.