Laura Graves Back In International Competition First Time in 3 Years, Lonoir Returns to Show Arena
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WELLINGTON, Florida, Mar. 23, 2022–Laura Graves returns to the international arena at the Global Dressage Festival for the first time in three years with Sensation HW, a nine-year-old gelding as a possible successor to Verdades on which she became the only American rider to be ranked No. 1 in the world.
Laura, 34 years old and a mother of three months, will ride the Westfalen in the CDI1* Prix St. Georges. She has competed Sensation at national Small Tour last year and earlier this year at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala an hour from her home in Geneva, Florida.
Laura’s husband, Curt Maes, with their baby girl, McKenzie Elaine Mais, were on hand to watch the veterinary inspection for the last of seven CDIs of the Global winter circuit.
Olivia LaGoy-Weltz of Haymarket, Virginia and Lonoir will compete in the CDI4* Grand Prix Thursday, the first outing for the partnership since last June’s Olympic observation event in Wellington.
Olivia and Lonoir, an 18-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, placed fifth in the observation event to narrowly miss making the Tokyo Olympic team of three riders and horses and a reserve combination.
Adrienne Lyle and Salvino that did make the team that went on to earn an historic silver medal will also compete in the CDI4* Grand Prix.
Adrienne, based in Wellington, is aiming Salvino for the American team for the world championships in Herning, Denmark in August. If successful, it will be the second world championship for the duo, having ridden at the 2018 World Equestrian Games to become one of only two American rider and horse pairs to have collected silver medals at both Olympics and world championships. The other is Steffen Peters and Suppenkasper.
Sarah Tubman and First Apple, the 2019 Pan American Games gold medal pair, are also in the CDI4* lineup that could produce exciting competition in the Freestyle.
Canada’s top ranked partnership of Brittany Fraser-Beaulieu and All In will also perform in the 4* Freestyle after the pair were passed over for a start at the World Cup Final. The pair competed for Canada at the Tokyo Olympics, the 2018 World Games and the 2015 Pan American Games. Brittany is pregnant with her second child due in September so will skip the world championships.