Laura Graves Gets New Ride on SenSation HW, USA Champion at 5 & 6 Years

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Laura Graves riding SenSation at her farm in Florida. Photo courtesy Laura Graves

May 12, 2020

Laura Graves has been given the ride on SenSation HW, the seven-year-old black gelding that was the United States  champion at the ages of five and six, the rider reported Tuesday.

“So excited to introduce the newest member of our stable, the one and only SenSation-HW,” said Laura, 32, of the Orlando, Florida community of Geneva.

SenSation, owned by Scott and Carol McPhee, “is kind and talented and I am so looking forward to the future with him.”

The Westfalen gelding (Sunday x Dancier) was born in Germany in 2013.

Michael Bragdell, who rides for Hilltop Farm in Colora, Maryland, competed SenSation HW as a four, five and six-year-old in young horse classes .

The pair won the American five-year-old title in 2018 with a score of 87.200% and the six-year-old championship a year later on 87.800%.

Michael and SenSation won the US Dressage Final Third Level Championship last November.

Laura was world No. 1 with Verdades, the KWPN gelding owned by her and Curt Maes, that is now 18 years old.

The combination captured Olympic team bronze in 2016, team and individual silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in Tryon, and was World Cup reserve champion three times. 

Laura was U.S. Equestrian of the Year and Verdades Horse of the Year in 2018.

The last competition for the duo was the World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden in April 2019. Laura then gave Verdades a break until early this year when she announced that the horse that had been her partner since bought as a foal from a video would be retired.

She showed two different horses at national levels in this year’s Global Dressage Festival at Wellington, Florida.