Images of World Cup Grand Prix in Paris. Part 1 of 2

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Laura Graves and Verdades on the final centerline of the World Cup Grand Prix ride in Paris. © Ken Braddick/

Laura Graves and Verdades in their third World Cup Final and the first in Europe creating an American record for their score of 81.413 per cent in the Grand Prix to post victory over Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD, the world’s No. 1 combination and reigning champion of the annual world championship. In the background is her coach Debbie McDonald, who rode Brentina in 2003 to the first World Cup title for an American, a feat that has so far been matched only by Steffen Peters on Ravel in 2009. Alongside Debbie is U.S. team coach Robert Dover, Curt Maes, Laura’s personal and business partner and with Laura owner of the 16-year-old KWPN gelding, and Elizabeth Juliano, a sponsor of Laura’s who also owns the Grand Prix mounts Salvino and Horizon ridden by Adrienne Lyle.

Laura Graves having a quiet word with Verdades at the end of their World Cup Grand Prix before the 30-year-old rider celebrates what she knows has been a great ride but with Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD still to go. © Ken Braddick/
Now it’s time for Laura Graves on Verdades, ranked No. 5 in the world, to celebrate what turns out to be victory in the World Cup Grand Prix and the second occasion the pair have beaten Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD and only ones to do so since the 2016 Olympic Games. © 2018 Ken Braddick/


Spectators did not score Laura as high as the judges . © 2018 Ken Braddick/
Isabell Werth on Weihegold OLD in the World Cup Grand Prix riding in front of German contingent on hand to support the world’s No. 1 combination, reigning World Cup champion and the most decorated equestrian in the history of the Olympics. © 2018 Ken Braddick/
Jessica von Bredow-Werndl on Unee BB finished third in the Grand Prix for the third time in the pair’s World Cup record. Jessica, a German team rider, missed the world championship final last year when she took a break from competition for the birth of her first child, Moritz, in August. Moritz is seen on the right, watching his mother and Unee BB. © 2018 Ken Braddick/
Dorothee Schneider, on the German team at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics, riding Sammy Davis Jr. in the first World Cup Final for the 12-year-old German Sport Horse gelding that also competed in the European Championships last year, the first year of Big Tour events for the horse. © 2018 Ken Braddick/
Swedish Olympian Patrik Kittel on Deja, the horse on which he is ranked No. 9 in the world, enjoying the World Cup Grand Prix as he does most of the time to the delight of audiences. © 2018 Ken Braddick/
Daniel Bachmann Andersen on Blue Hors Zack set the standard early with a score of 74.689 per cent. The buzz was what the score could have been if the 27-year-old rider and Zack had not been third in the starting lineup, but it was enough for the pair to place sixth. In the background is his coach, Lars Petersen, a Danish Olympian and World Cup star who lives in Wellington, Florida and rides under the American flag. Melissa Taylor, his wife and dressage competitor and business partner, is doing video duty.  © 2018 Ken Braddick/
Inessa Merkulova giving her Mister X a hug after their ride in the fifth straight World Cup Final for the Russian combination. The pair also competed in the 2016 Olympics and the 2014 World Equestrian Games. © 2018 Ken Braddick/
The dressage World Cup. © 2018 Ken Braddick/