Last Stop Before Gothenburg as Top American World Cup Prospects Line Up at Wellington, Journey Begins for Jacqueline Brooks’s Westwood, Lindsay Kellock’s Floratina Aiming for Lima
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 27, 2019–Laura Graves on Verdades and Kasey Perry-Glass on Dublet, the top two North American prospects for the World Cup Final in Gothenburg in six weeks, lined up Wednesday for the final qualifying event with Adrienne Lyle on Salvino and Shelly Francis on Danilo in reserve to fill a third starting spot.
Laura and the 17-year-old KWPN gelding, ranked No. 2 in the world and twice reserve champion in the annual global championship, and Kasey and the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, standing eighth in the world, need to show in the Adequan Global Dressage Festival Grand Prix Festival under lights Friday night.
After two qualifying shows, Laura and Verdades have an average of 84.077 per cent while Kasey and Dublet average 82.925 per cent that make them the most likely to fill the two starting places allocated to North America out of a total of 18.
A third slot probably will become available to America–the combination with at least two World Cup event starts with the highest global ranking is likely to be Adrienne on Salvino, a 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion, standing at No. 16.
If that doesn’t work out, Shelly Francis on Danilo, a 15-year-old Hanoverian gelding that competed at the 2018 Final in Paris, and who has competed three qualifiers with an average of 79.955 per cent may be able to fill that slot.
If Laura, Kasey and Adrienne get to start in Gothenburg, that will be three of the four members–the other was Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper–from the American silver medal team at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon last September.
Laura and the horse she has owned since a foal have an amazing record: 2016 Olympic team bronze, 2018 world championship team and individual silver, 2015 Pan American Games team gold and individual silver, twice World Cup reserve champion to Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD–likely to defend the title in Gothenburg–and the only American combination ever to rank No. 1 in the world. Only two Americans, her coach Debbie McDonald on Brentina and team mate Steffen Peters on Ravel, have won the World Cup since the first title was awarded in 1986.
This year’s Pan American Games are crucial for Canada as two nations can qualify teams for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The United States did so with its silver medal performance in Tryon.
Jacqueline Brooks begins her campaign to go to Lima, Peru for Canada with Westwood as she debuts the 12-year-old Hanoverian gelding at CDI Grand Prix this week. The horse had been competed at small tour by Germany’s Jessica von Bredow-Werndl in 2015. Jacquie competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics for Canada.
Lindsay Kellock is campaigning two horses for the team–Floratina, 11-year-old Hanoverian mare that Lindsay has competed successfully at Small Tour throughout this winter circuit and is aiming for the Pan Ams, and Sebastian that is debuting at Big Tour and is a more likely prospect for the Tokyo Games.
Some good news from Tina Irwin Wednesday when her husband, Jaimey, told dressage-news.com that Tina was back in the saddle this week, although riding mostly one-handed because of an injury to her left hand a week a week ago. The prognosis is good, Jaimey said, with hopes she can be back competing Laurencio at small tour on the Canadian team in the Wellington CDIO3* Nations Cup in mid-March.