Laura Graves & Verdades Post 1st 80% Score in USA to Win Nations Cup Freestyle

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Laura Graves and Verdades celebrating theirNations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle victory. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Laura Graves and Verdades celebrating theirNations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle victory. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 28, 2015–Laura Graves and Verdades won the Adequate Global Dressage Festival Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle Saturday with the pair’s first score above 80 per cent in the United States and their best result since becoming international stars at the World Games last year.

In only their third Freestyle this year and the last competition before heading to the World Cup Final in Las Vegas, Laura and the 13-year-old KWPN gelding scored 80.175 per cent and earned the pair a second gold medal having won the team competition as a member of USA 1.

The only Nations Cup outside Europe was staged for the fourth straight year at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center and has been sponsored from the inaugural event by Stillpoint Farm of Wellington.

Canada took the silver and bronze medals, Chris Von Martels on Zilverstar with a score of 75.600 in the Intermediate 1 placing second and Belinda Trussell on Anton at Grand Prix in third on 75.475 per cent. No “bonus” points were awarded at Grand Prix level in the individual competition as occurred in the team event.

The score for the partnership from Geneva, Florida was second in the U.S. only to Steffen Peters and Legolas iwho posted 80.925 per cent in California last week to also win a start in Las Vegas. Laura and Verdades, who began their Grand Prix career only 13 months ago, scored 82.036 per cent at the Normandy Games last August.

Verdades being ridden by Laura Graves in the Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Verdades being ridden by Laura Graves in the Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Laura has owned Verdades since her parents bought the horse as a foal based on a video from Holland. She operates a small training and boarding facility in central Florida.

A sponsor to provide financial support for Laura’s campaign for the United States for the Pan American Games and the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016 will be announced within the next few days.

Along with prize money of more than $15,000 that she has earned, the support will enable her to train virtually full-time with Debbie McDonald, who has been her coach for the past year.

Laura said she has no regrets about not competing Verdades before the final two World Cup qualifiers and the Nations Cup in Wellington this month, the first shows for the pair since Normandy last August.

The schedule she set out means that the horse she calls “Diddy” is “fresh” and ready for Las Vegas where she is aiming for a strong performance in the world championship event.

Chris Von Martels said that Zilverstar “has been so consistent” with improving results and victories in all three Freestyles the pair have competed in this season.

Chris Von Martels on Zilverstar in the Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Chris Von Martels on Zilverstar in the Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. © 2015 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

He will return to Canada for international competitions ahead of the Pan Ams that are being held in a Toronto suburb in July.

Results:

CDIO3* Grand Prix Freestyle
E: Storr – GBR H: Jena – SWE C: McMullen – CAN M: Osinski – USA B: Summanen – FIN
Rider Ctzn Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Graves, Laura USA Verdades 82.250 1 79.500 1 80.125 1 79.500 1 79.500 1 80.175 0
Trussell, Belinda CAN Anton 74.625 3 78.000 2 76.375 2 75.125 2 73.250 3 75.475 0
Lane, Megan CAN Caravella 78.875 2 73.250 4 73.875 3 74.375 3 71.750 4 74.425 0
5 Brock, Allison USA Rosevelt 72.750 4 77.750 3 72.750 4 71.500 4 75.000 2 73.950 0

 

CDIO3* Intermediare I Freestyle
E: Storr – GBR H: Jena – SWE C: McMullen – CAN M: Osinski – USA B: Summanen – FIN
Rider Ctzn Horse E Rk. H Rk. C Rk. M Rk. B Rk. T Pl.
Von Martels, Chris CAN Zilverstar 77.000 1 74.750 3 76.250 1 75.750 1 74.250 2 75.600 0
Herslow, Kimberly USA Rosmarin 71.125 7 75.375 1 72.750 3 75.750 1 74.000 3 73.800 0
LaGoy-Weltz, Olivia USA Rassing’s Lonoir 75.125 3 74.250 4 71.000 7 73.000 5 75.000 1 73.675 0
Boylen, Christilot CAN Donatella 79 75.000 5 73.750 5 74.125 2 73.875 3 70.875 8 73.525 0
Perry, Kasey USA Goerklintgaards Dublet 75.125 3 74.875 2 72.375 4 71.500 7 72.250 6 73.225 0
Irwin, Tina CAN Fancy That 74.250 6 70.125 7 71.250 6 73.250 4 73.750 4 72.525 0
Dueck, Shannon CAN Cantaris 76.875 2 68.625 9 71.500 5 71.375 8 71.500 7 71.975 0
Hickey, Christopher USA Ronaldo 68.750 9 70.875 6 69.625 9 72.500 6 73.125 5 70.975 0
Myburgh, Neve GER Bon Chance 69.875 8 66.750 10 70.000 8 66.375 11 68.375 9 68.275 0
Reteguiz-Denizard, Luis PUR Royal Affair 67.625 11 69.250 8 66.125 11 67.000 9 65.250 11 67.050 0
Mortimer, Esther GUA Adajio 68.500 10 65.625 11 66.750 10 66.625 10 67.250 10 66.950 0