Wellington, FL - Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades climbed to the top of the leaderboard in Thursday's FEI Grand Prix CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms, during the fifth week of competition at the 2017 Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) in Wellington, FL.
AGDF 5 runs from February 8-12 and features CDI 5* competition presented by Diamante Farms, CDI 3* competition presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty, and CDI 1* competition presented by Engel & Völkers, and is held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
2016 Olympic Bronze Medalists Laura Graves (USA) and Verdades, a 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Florett AS x Liwilarda) owned by Graves, ended their day with a winning score of 80.080%.
"This is pretty monumental for us," said Graves. "We've been working at 80% in every test for a while now, probably since our first year at Grand Prix. Knowing what was possible with this horse and to be rewarded today while still feeling like I may have some improvements left, it's encouraging to have the judging panel be generous and my horse be so generous, and for us to have such a great show to come out and compete at."
The score was Graves' first one above 80% in a FEI CDI 5* Grand Prix, putting her alongside U.S. Olympic teammate Steffen Peters as a member of the "80% Club," which counts only 14 riders in the world as members.
Placing second to Graves in in the FEI Grand Prix CDI 5* was fellow 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist Steffen Peters (USA) and Rosamunde, a 2007 Rhinelander mare (Rock Forever x First Lady) owned by Four Winds Farm. They scored 73.820%.
"I had a very electric horse under me today, so the first halt was certainly a reflection of that," said Peters. "Overall I have to say that there were lots of things that felt absolutely wonderful. Sometimes she can be a bit unsteady in the bridle, and she was just perfect in the connection today."
He continued, "It's taking time with 'Rosie'. She is ten and is still a firecracker; nothing different than with Legolas when he was ten. Horses at that age, they need to have the spark to be brilliant later. She is super honest and is a bit of an overachiever. It's now about the exposure for her."
Third place was awarded to Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE) and Paridon Magi, a 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Don Primero x Napoli x Napoleon 625) owned by Lövsta Stuteri, with a score of 73.700%.
Silfven commented on her ride, "I was very happy with Magi today. He ran a little out of gas. Maybe I warmed him up a little too long, but overall he's so ambitious and tries to do his best every time.
"I must also say, when Laura got her 80%, I got goose bumps," Silfven added. "It's a cool thing to have. I was really happy [for her]. It was my best memory from today."
Competition at AGDF will continue tomorrow witha full schedule of classes, including the FEI Grand Prix Special and Freestyle CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms, and the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 3*, presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty.
For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.
Final Results: FEI Grand Prix CDI 5*, presented by Diamante Farms
Place, Rider, Nationality, Horse, Horse Information: Judge E%, Judge H%, Judge C%, Judge M%, Judge B%, Total %
1 Laura Graves (USA), Verdades, 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS x Liwilarda owned by Laura Graves: 79.300%, 81.000%, 79.300%, 81.600%, 79.200%, 80.080%
2 Steffen Peters (USA), Rosamunde, 2007 Rhinelander mare by Rock Forever x First Lady owned by Four Winds Farm:73.700%, 73.000%, 70.500%, 77.300%, 74.600%, 73.820%
3 Tinne Vilhelmson Silfven (SWE), Paridon Magi, 2003 Swedish Warmblood gelding by Don Primero x Napoli x Napoleon 625 owned by Lövsta Stuteri: 72.700%, 75.100%, 74.500%, 73.400%, 72.800%, 73.700%
4 Lisa Wilcox (USA), Galant, 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Escuro x Bellisima owned byJacqueline Shear: 72.700%, 71.900%, 71.800%, 74.700%, 72.100%, 72.640%
5 Kasey Perry-Glass (USA), Goerklintgaards Dublet, 2003 Danish Warmblood gelding by Diamond Hit x La Costa x Olympic Ferro owned by Diane Perry: 70.900%, 72.500%, 73.300%, 73.600%, 71.900%, 72.440%
6 Megan Lane (CAN), Caravella, 2001 KWPN mare by Contango x P. Riviera x Riverman owned by Megan Lane: 69.900%, 69.700%, 71.600%, 72.800%, 69.700%, 70.740%
7 Shelly Francis (USA), Doktor, 2003 Oldenburg gelding by Diamond Hit x Gurena x Renoir I owned by Patricia Stempel: 70.100%, 71.400%, 71.900%, 70.700%, 69.000%, 70.620%
8 Katherine Bateson Chandler (USA), Alcazar, 2005 KWPN gelding by Cantango x Polina owned by Jane Forbes Clark: 70.100%, 71.600%, 68.500%, 68.700%, 71.500%, 70.080%
9 Arlene Page (USA), Woodstock, 2003 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Havel x Mirania owned by Arlene Page:68.800%, 68.700%, 67.000%, 69.200%, 67.100%, 68.160%
10 Jan Ebeling (USA), FRH Rassolini, 2003 Hanoverian stallion by Rubioso N x Sweetheart owned by Vantage Equestrian Group: 67.500%, 71.000%, 64.700%, 70.400%, 67.100%, 68.140%