Laura Graves, Ali Potasky, Genay Vaughn Each Receive $25,000 Carol Lavell Award
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Oct. 26, 2023
Laura Graves with Sensation FOD, Ali Potasky with INXS, and Genay Vaughn with Gino have each been awarded $25,000 Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prizes for coaching and training.
Beth Baumert, President and CEO of The Dressage Foundation that announced the awards said that since 2009, the Carol Lavell Fund has awarded 24 grants totaling $600,000 in support of U.S. High-Performance teams.
“These Prizes are usually awarded one or two per year,” she said. “TDF is extremely pleased to be able to award a third prize in this important year before the Paris Olympic Games.”
Laura Graves, of Geneva, Florida, is the only American rider ever to become No. 1 in the world as she did on Verdades as well as earning Olympic bronze in 2016, World Equestrian Games silver in 2018 and three times World Cup Reserve champion.
She is currently developing the 10-year-old Westfalen gelding Sensation FOD, owned by Carol and Scott McPhee, that earlier this month performed at Intermediate II at the World Equestrian Center in Ocala.
Laura plans to work with Ali Brock, Debbie McDonald, and Robert Dover in Wellington, Florida.
“We are excited to be a recipient of the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize,” Laura said. “I know many athletes apply for these prestigious grants, and I take it very seriously to honor this gift with the utmost determination and grit. It has been an honor for me to have Sensation FOD’s owners, Carol and Scott McPhee, trust me with the development of this incredibly talented horse. This grant will allow us to accelerate our training under the supervision of our country’s best trainers. I am thankful for this opportunity and this great horse.”
Ali Potasky of Versailles, Kentucky and INXS, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Kathy Priest and Ali, will spend the fall in theNetherlands training with Egbert Kraak.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize.” Ali said. “I would like to thank the selection committee and TDF’s donors for this generous grant. I would also like to thank my boss and co-owner of INXS, Kathy Priest, for her unwavering support. Her dedication and expertise over the past years have prepared INXS and me for this trip. The opportunity for this extended training stay is ideal because it provides adequate time and focus to identify and strengthen areas for growth.”
Genay Vaughn of Elk Grove, California and Gino, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood owned by Michele Vaughn, will train with Debbie McDonald in Wellington.
“I am incredibly grateful to have been selected as a recipient of the Carol Lavell Advanced Dressage Prize,” she said.
“I remember the picture of Carol and her horse, Gifted, that my mom had hung up in our tack room, and I always aspired to be like her. Carol’s contribution to dressage has been enormous, and I’m honored to be associated with both the Lavell and Cadwgan families.
“Furthermore, the long list of previous recipients of this grant has set the bar high and I am hopeful to continue that trend.”