Laura Graves & Verdades Post 2nd Straight 80% To Win Wellington World Cup Grand Prix
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, FEB. 23, 2017–Laura Graves and and her Olympic bronze medal partner Verdades posted their second straight 80 per cent at Grand Prix to win the Adequan Global Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Thursday.
Laura and the 15-year-old KWPN gelding ranked No. 5 in the world scored 80.240 per cent just two weeks after her initial 80 per cent in the CDI5* Grand Prix two weeks ago.
“It’s nice to know that what happened at the (CDI)5* was not a one-hit wonder,” said Laura of Geneva, Florida after the ride.
Olympic team mates Steffen Peters placed second on Rosamunde with 74.820 per cent and Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet third with 73.200 per cent. Twenty-nine combinations from eight nations started in the Grand Prix.
Scores from the Freestyle under lights Friday night will count toward qualifying for the World Cup Final in Omaha Mar. 27-April 2. Both Laura and Steffen have one of two scores required that are also the highest in the North American League that is allocated two starting spots.
‘It feels so much more secure,” Laura said. “It’s really exiting. His rideability was super. He doesn’t ever say no; he tried his best.”
Steffen Peters, of San Diego, California who is the only other American among the 14 riders in the history of dressage to achieve 80 per cent at Grand Prix which he did on Ravel, described the ride on the 10-year-old Rhinelander mare as “so much better than two weeks ago” in the CDI5*.
“She definitely still had a little more energy than I wanted,” he said. “She was so much fun to ride. It’s a huge step ahead. I thought for sure the atmosphere in this arena would help and it certainly has.”
He joked that the tattoos were working, a reference to the four Olympic team bronze medal riders–Allison Brock is not competing this week–that got tattoos of the Olympic rings.
Steffen described Rosamunde, the horse that is a successor to Ravel that he rode at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and Legolas in Rio in 2014 as a “firecracker.”
Kasey Perry-Glass based in Wellington, Florida said that Dublet, the 14-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding she rode in Rio, was more relaxed in only her second competition since the Olympics.
The feel in the warmup was so soft and so fluid and we too it into the ring,” she said, “I’m so happy with that even with a couple of rider errors.”
Kasey said that Dublet is changing and is going to change a lot more as she works to improve relaxation in the ring.
After being told she was the second rider to achieve 80 per cent on the same day after German superstar Isabell Werth did so on Emilio in the Gothenburg, Sweden World Cup and what this could mean at the Omaha Final, Laura retorted:
Steffen Peters laughed and added, “Bring it on.”
CDI-W Grand Prix