America’s Three Dressage Horses and Riders Leave for World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden
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By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 28, 2019–America’s three horses and riders for the dressage World Cup Final on Friday began the journey from Wellington to Gothenburg, Sweden.
The three are Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Dublet and Adrienne Lyle and Salvino, all Olympic riders and team mates on the 2018 World Equestrian Games Dutta Corp. silver medal squad in Tryon.
All three are coached by Debbie McDonald, the first American ever to win the World Cup which she did on Brentina in 2003 –at Gothenburg.
The three, aged thirty something, are good friends or, as Laura puts it, “like sorority sisters.”
And the horses that have traveled on the same trans-Atlantic flights before are also buds.
Laura, 31, of Genevea, Florida and “Diddy,” as she calls Verdades, 17-year-old KWPN gelding (Florett AS x Goya) are ranked No. 2 in the world and include Olympic team bronze and Pan American Games team gold and individual silver in her collection of accolades.
This will be the fourth Final for the pair, the last two in Omaha in 2017 and Paris in 2018, where they were reserve champion to German superstar Isabell Werth on her world No. 1 mount, Weihegold OLD.
They will ride off against Isabell and Weihegold in Gothenburg as the most decorated Olympic equestrian in history goes for her third straight title on Weihegold.
Kasey Perry-Glass, also 31,who splits her time between Wellington and Orangevale, California as well as competing in Europe, stands at No. 5 in the world on Dublet behind Isabell on three different horses and Laura. She was a team mate of Laura at both the 2016 Olympics and the 2018 WEG and has competed at one World Cup final, in Omaha in 2017.
The results over the past year for Kasey and the 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x Ferro) have been the best of their Big Tour career.
Adrienne Lyle, 34, also based in Wellington, competed at the 2012 Olympics and the 2014 World Games on Wizard and then on Salvino at the 2018 WEG alongside Laura on Verdades and Kasey on Dublet as well as Steffen Peters on Suppenkasper. Steffen is the only other American to have won the World Cup which he did on Ravel in 2009.
Adrienne and “Vinny,” a 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion (Sandro Hit x Donnerhall), owned by Betsy Juliano LLC who also helps support Laura Graves, is ranked No. 15 in the world.
Despite her extensive international experience. Adrienne has never before competed at a World Cup Final.
The journey for the trio is lengthy–more than 11 hours from Miami to Amsterdam.
They will spend a couple of days in Amsterdam before the next leg of more than 12 hours by road to Gothenburg.
The dressage Grand Prix of 18 horses and riders is scheduled for next Friday with the Freestyle that will decide the World Cup set for Saturday.
The competition wil be live streamed by the FEI exclusively on their pay service.