Jan. 8, 2020
Laura Graves and Verdades were among the best American combinations in dressage, alongside Debbie McDonald and Brentina and Steffen Peters on Ravel. In 81 Grand Prix starts over about six years, the partnership won Olympic team bronze at Rio de Janeiro in 2016, team and individual silver at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon in 2018, team gold at the Pan American Games in Toronto in 2015 and three times was reserve champion at the World Cup Final. The two became the first American combination to reach No. 1 in the world, which they did for two months in 2018.
Some of the highlights of their career.
The last competition for the USA combination of Laura Graves on Verdades at the 2019 World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. The pair was reserve champion to Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, as they were in 2017 and 2018. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The first major success was at the 2014 US Festival of Champions. Steffen Peters on Legolas were champions and reserve were Laura Graves on Verdades. Laura and Diddy went into the championships as virtual unkowns but made the most of the opportunity. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
The look on the face of Laura Graves says it all after riding Verdades in the World Games Freestyle in Normandy, France in August, 2014, just two months after the USA Championship performance. The American pair were fourth in the freestyle and ranked sixth overall. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves and Verdades in the 2015 World Cup Grand Prix, the first ever indoor competition for the pair. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Later the same year, Laura and Verdades helped USA clinch Pan American Games gold medal. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves and Verdades at the Rio Olympics where the USA team won bronze, America’s first dressage medal at the Games since 2004. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage.news.com
An exuberant Debbie McDonald as Laura Graves and Verdades complete their ride at the 2016 Olympics, with team coach Robert Dover. Next to them is Hallye Griffin, U.S. federation mangaing director of dressage, Betsy Juliano, a major supporter of Laura personally and American dressage. Curt Maes, longtime partner of Laura and soon-to-be husband shouting his support. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves and Verdades at the World Cup Final in Omaha in 2017, the first of three straight reserve championships in the annual Final. © 2017 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves on Verdades at the end of the American pair’s 2018 World Cup Grand Prix in Paris on a personal best score that was also a new American record, and beating reigning champion Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD. Laura and Diddy were reserve champion in the Final. © Ken Braddick/Dressage-news.com
Laura Graves, Equestrian of the Year, beside the USA Horse of the Year award for 2018 won by Verdades. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves on Verdades in their “Coming to America” performance winning the Global Dressage Fesival Grand Prix Freestyle to earn a start at the World Cup final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival was home ground for Laura and Verdades, having competed internationally at Global since Small Tour in 2012. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com