Laura Graves & Verdades on Track to World No. 1 Ranking Based on World Games Results

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Laura Graves on the Tryon World Equestrian Games medals podium. © 2018 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Sept. 18, 2018

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

The World Equestrian Games results for Laura Graves and Verdades that were the best ever for the United States at an Olympics or world championships has put the pair on track to become the first American partnership to be ranked world No. 1, according to calculations by dressage-news.com.

The WEG team and individual silver medal results for Laura and Verdades are calculated to edge out Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD from the top spot by a single point–2,714 for the American and 2,713 for the German when the standings are released at end of this month. Isabell and Weihegold have held the top world ranking for the past 23 months after leading her team to gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Laura of Geneva, Florida and her 16-year-old KWPN gelding that she raised from a foal first moved to world No. 2 in August, 2017, joining Americans Steffen Peters on Ravel, Debbie McDonald on Brentina and Lisa Wilcox on Relevant who have held that ranking in the past two decades. Debbie McDonald and Lisa Wilcox and their mounts were on the 2002 World Games silver medal team while Steffen claimed both individual and freestyle bronze at the 2010 Lexington championships.

The 31-year-old rider and the horse she calls “Diddy” slipped to third in the world rankings in July and August, behind Isabell and Weihegold at No. 1 and Emilio at No. 2 but, according to dressage-news calculations, will leapfrog over the two combinations to become the world’s No. 1 ranked pair.

Isabell, the most decorated equestrian in Olympic history, will skyrocket in the standings on Bella Rose on which she won team and individual gold at Tryon to fourth in the world, behind Weihegold and Emilio, up from 51st at the end of August. That will put the duo slightly ahead of Denmark’s Cathrine Dufour whose Cassidy could not compete at the WEG because of an injury.

Bella Rose, now 14 years old that Isabell admits is the horse closest to her heart, made a miraculous recovery after injury almost four years ago that kept the Westfalen mare from competition until almost three months ago.

Don Johnson FRH that will drop a bit to No. 11 in the world at the end of September with no more changes in results will give Isabell four horses in the top 11.

Charlotte Dujardin who had climbed rapidly in the rankings with the nine-year-old Mount St. John Freestyle since their Big Tour debut in April this year will rank sixth in the world at the end of this month.

Other combinations calculated to move up significantly based on WEG results are Kasey Perry-Glass of the United States on Dublet to No. 14, Sweden’s Patrik Kittel on Well Done de la Roche for three horses in the top 20, Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on TSF Dalera BB along with Unee BB and Zaire-E and Great Britain’s master, Carl Hester on Hawtins Delicato.