Laura Graves Cancels Canadian Clinics Citing “Mismanagement of Funds” by Canadian Organizer

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Laura Graves, the leading United States dressage rider on Verdades. File photo. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Sept. 8, 2019

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Laura Graves, one of the world’s top riders with her Verdades, has canceled two Canadian clinics blaming the organizer, SH Productions, of “mismanagement of funds and unfulfilled contractual obligations.”

A statement released Sunday through her agent but confirmed by Laura to dressage-news.com, the rider who had conducted a clinic in Langley, British Columbia two months ago, said:

“Graves will not attend the clinics which were organized by SH Productions scheduled for Calgary and Eastern Canada due to mismanagement of funds and unfulfilled contractual obligations on the part of SH Productions.

“I am disappointed to have to let everyone know that the remaining SH Production clinic dates in Canada have been cancelled.

“I would like to extend my heartfelt apologies to everyone effected by these cancellations.”

Laura, 32 years old of the Orlando area community of Geneva became the first American to ever reach No. 1 in the world, which she did on her 17-year-old KWPN gelding Verdades a year ago. The Olympic team bronze medalist and World Equestrian Games team and individual silver medalist has also given clinics in Sweden and Australia in the past year.

Scott Hayes, resident in Canada and whose SH Productions organized the clinics, in response to a request from dressage-news.com for comment, denied any mismanagement and said the clinics were canceled because of a lack of ticket sales (see separate report).

Isabell Werth, the German superstar who is ranked No. 1 in the world on Bella Rose and No. 2 on Weihegold OLD, is scheduled to appear at a SH Productions event in Magnolia, Texas Oct. 1-2.

However, the West Coast Dressage Festival series of dressage competitions staged over the past two years has come under a cloud due to widespread reports of financial issues including complaints to the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) that is the governing body of international horse sports.

Two World Cup qualifying events set for Temecula in Southern California in mid-November have not yet received approval from the FEI.

The United States Equestrian Federation is known to have investigated complaints but the findings have not been released.

In addition to the West Coast series that were launched by Scott Hayes to provide an alternative to the successful Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida clinics have been organized in North America for some of the world’s leading equestrian competitors.