Laura Graves & Verdades No. 2 in World, Equal to Highest Ranking Ever for USA Combination
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July 25, 2017
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
Laura Graves and Verdades will move up to No. 2 in the world next week, equal to the highest ever ranking by an American horse and rider.
The global ranking of second behind Germany’s Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD on the list of 770 combinations to be collated officially by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) at the end of July came after the success of Laura of Geneva, Florida and the 15-year-old KWPN gelding at the World Equestrian Festival CDIO5* in Aachen, Germany.
The last time an American combination was ranked No. 2 was Steffen Peters on Ravel in June and July, 2009. Isabell Werth on her 2008 Olympic team gold medal horse Satchmo was No. 1 at the time. Debbie McDonald and Lisa Wilcox were frequently ranked as high as No. 2 from 2003 to 2005.
Isabell, who turned 48 years old a day before Laura celebrated her 30th birthday by beating the German superstar in the Grand Prix Special at Aachen last week, has been No. 1 on her Olympic team gold medal partner Weihegold since last October.
Laura and Verdades have held the No. 4 spot since August last year, based on the U.S. team bronze medal performance at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro where the pair also placed fourth in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
The official standings will not be published until next week, but the German 2016 Olympic team combinations of Kristina Bröring Sprehe and Desperados and Dorothee Schneider and Showtime will drop substantially from their No. 2 and No. 3 standings, respectively, with the removal of results from Aachen a year ago. Neither pair have competed enough in the past year to hold on to their high standings. The only senior dressage competition scheduled before the end of July is a CDIO3* at Hickstead, England and no riders and horses are entered that could change the top standings.
According to calculations by dressage-news.com, the top standings with previous month in parentheses as of the end of July will be: 1. Isabell Werth/Weihegold OLD GER (1); 2. Laura Graves/Verdades USA (4); 3. Carl Hester/Nip Tuck GBR (5) 4. Isabell Werth/Emilio GER (6); 5. Sonke Rothenberger/Cosmo GER (9); 6. Isabell Werth/Don Johnson FRH GER (7); 7. Cathrine Dufour/Cassidy DEN (10).
Laura and Verdades were on the world standings for the first time in February 2014, ranked No. 458 after their first two international competitions at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida.