Laura Graves & Verdades Back on Top as Winner of Wellington World Cup Freestyle, Top 3 Americans Above 80% For First Time in USA

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Laura Graves and Verdades in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Freestyle. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

WELLINGTON, Florida, Jan. 25, 2019–Laura Graves and Verdades were back on top as America’s top combination with a victory in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle under lights Friday night, leading off the top three finishing Americans all above 80 per cent for the first time in the country.

Laura and the 17-year-old Verdades that have been partnered the entire life of the KWPN gelding scored 84.953 per cent for the win a day after a rare loss at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, the virtual home show grounds for the world’s No. 2 combination.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet, in their first show since the World Equestrian Games in Tryon last September and showing under the lights for the first time in more than a year, scored 82.425 per cent to be runner-up. Their perfomance came a day after beating her Olympic and World Games team mate Laura Verdades for the first time.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet performing their Grand Prix Freestyle at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival World Cup. © 2019 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

Shelly Francis and Danilo, that competed at the World Cup Final in Paris a year ago, were third on a personal best score of 80.535 per cent in a night that was unseasonably cold for South Florida with a temperature in the mid-50sF/13-14C.

Both Laura and Verdades and Shelly and Danilo are at the top of the North American League standings with two of the three scores required to qualify for the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April. Two more qualifiers are scheduled for Wellington.

North America gets two starts at the final at which Laura has twice been reserve champion to German superstar Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD.

Sweden’s seven-time Olympian Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén and Don Auriello placed fifth to move her into seventh place in the Western European League and a chance to qualify for her home final, that would be seventh appearance at the global annual championships centered on the musical performance.

Laura of Geneva, Florida said she was feeling more comfortable with her second performance this season of her “Coming to America” freestyle that was created for the Tryon WEG where the musical segment was canceled because of weather.

Results:

World Cup Grand Prix Freestyle
Judges Juan Carlos Campos Escribano Ulrike Nivelle Michael Osinski Kurt Christensen Evi Eisenhardt
Pl. Score Nat. Athlete Horse E H C M B Spectators
1. 84.935 USA Laura Graves Verdades – 558 86.525 83.100 83.900 85.525 85.625 81.770 (1)
2. 82.425 USA Kasey Perry-Glass Goerklintgaards Dublet – 512 82.875 82.375 81.875 82.375 82.625 80.012 (2)
3. 80.535 USA Shelly Francis Danilo – 526 81.825 80.925 80.800 80.200 78.925 77.952 (4)
4. 79.335 USA Adrienne Lyle Salvino – 509 79.925 78.775 78.125 80.375 79.475 77.669 (5)
5. 78.980 SWE Tinne Vilhelmson Silfvén Don Auriello – 568 78.925 79.450 79.050 79.550 77.925 79.861 (3)
6. 71.150 CAN Jill Irving Degas 12 – 556 73.050 69.750 68.475 72.225 72.250 70.403 (7)
7. 69.500 DOM Yvonne Losos De Muniz Foco Loco W – 532 68.025 68.525 71.450 69.650 69.850 71.143 (6)
8. 66.345 USA Jacqueline MacDonald Cuddy Malcarat – 506 66.650 66.100 67.175 65.950 65.850 68.991 (9)
9. 66.070 CAN Ariana Chia Teo – 516 66.100 66.000 67.675 65.925 64.650 67.437 (10)
10. 66.025 USA Jessica Kozel Denzello – 524 65.225 63.275 67.800 67.400 66.425 70.278 (8)