Laura Graves and Verdades (AKA Diddy) advanced to the number two spot in the FEI World Dressage Rankings after a successful showing at the 2017 World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in July. This equals the highest ranking ever by a U.S. dressage combination.
Graves and Verdades first appeared on the world standings in February 2014, ranked 458th, after their first two international competitions at the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival.
Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and the 2002 KWPN gelding her mother bought as a foal, held the number four spot since August 2016 following the Rio Olympic Games where they won a team bronze medal and placed fourth in the Grand Prix Freestyle.
But when they defeated German Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD in the Grand Prix Special in CDIO5* Aachen, on Isabell's home turf, they were launched into second place in the world rankings.
In a year where the Europeans are going for selections to become team members to represent their countries in the European Championships, for Graves and the rest of the US Nations' Cup team to finish with a silver medal shows the strength and depth of American Dressage.
Not since 2009 when Steffen Peters (who was not part of the US contingent this year) and Ravel were world number two in June and July has an American reached the #2 spot. Debbie McDonald (now US Dressage Team trainer) and Lisa Wilcox were frequently world number two from 2003 to 2005.
Germany’s Isabell Werth and Weihegold OLD remain world-ranked number one and Great Britain’s Carl Hester and Nip Tuck are ranked third.