Laura Graves and SenSation HW Continue Their Dominance at the Intermediare 1 US Dressage Championships
Tuesday, August 23, 2022
Posted by Kathleen Landwehr, US Equestrian Communications
The Intermediaire I division delivered another day of impressive rides at the 2022 U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions. Combinations performed the second of three tests on their way to a national championship title. Laura Graves and SenSation HW maintained their lead atop the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship leaderboard, while Mia Rodier-Dawallo and Jayden earned top honors on Tuesday in the USEF Para Dressage National Championship.
USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship
Fourteen combinations competed in the FEI Intermediate I Test for the USEF Intermediaire I Dressage National Championship. Laura Graves and SenSation HW delivered another masterful ride to win the class. Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and Carol and Scott McPhee’s 2013 Westphalian gelding, who are in the Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program, rose to the challenge of the more difficult test and earned a score of 74.793%.
“It felt pretty good after yesterday, knowing that the judges liked the ways we were going with things,” said Graves. “It felt maybe a little bit more tense. It is a little bit more difficult of a test with things on centerline and some different transitions. [There was] a little mistake in the two-time tempis. But I think other than that, it was really a clean test.”
Kundrun USEF Dressage Development Program members Emily Miles (Paola, Kan.) and Daily Show, Leslie Waterman’s 2014 Hanoverian stallion, finished second with a score of 73.440%. Rebecca Rigdon (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.) and Iquem, her 2013 KWPN mare, were third with a score of 72.234%. Both of these combinations competed in the 2021 Markel/USEF Developing Horse Prix St. Georges Dressage National Championship and showed their continued growth over the past year.
Monday’s FEI Prix St. Georges Test counts for 40 percent of the overall score, while the FEI Intermediate I Test on Tuesday counts for 45 percent. The division will conclude on Thursday with the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle Test, which counts for 15 percent.
Overall championship standings
From the Mixed Zone:
Tell us about your test...
Graves: “Today we rode the Intermediate I. It felt pretty good after yesterday, knowing that the judges liked the ways we were going with things. It felt maybe a little bit more tense. It is a little bit more difficult of a test with things on centerline and some different transitions. [There was] a little mistake in the tempis, the two-time tempis. But I think other than that, it was really a clean test. Certain things I definitely could’ve ridden better. I missed my targets, so my letters weren’t totally accurate, so that’s on me. I think for this horse it will be the last time he rides that test, so our plan is to move him up. I think this week he is proving that he is ready for that.”
Is there anything you will work on before the freestyle?
Graves: “We’ll see. He will have tomorrow completely off. We’ll just walk him. He has been so good. For me, the freestyle has always been a finale—a real time to celebrate. Even though it is still a part of this championship and obviously I come to win, I want to enjoy it. I want him to feel like it is a little bit more free since it is a freestyle. Just have a good time and enjoy our awesome music made for us by Terry Gallo. It is music that has been made in mind with looking forward to the future, so something we can turn into a Grand Prix Freestyle. I am excited to see how he does in a bigger atmosphere with music. This is all just kind of a test run for us at this point, and it is going well.”
Is there anything else you want to add?
Graves: “Just thank you to everyone. There are so many volunteers and I have so many sponsors and the owners of this awesome horse who let me ride him every day, train him every day. So much goes into this. Often you are humbled and heartbroken [with horses] so to have a week like this is really lucky”
The USEF Grand Prix Dressage National Championship and the Adequan®/USEF Young Adult Brentina Cup Dressage National Championship jogged Tuesday evening before their competition begins
Competition continues Wednesday in the Grand Prix Arena with the FEI Intermediate II Test of the Adequan®/USEF Young Adult Brentina Cup Dressage National Championship at 8 a.m. CT.
Watch the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions live stream this week on USEF Network.