Laura Graves Celebrates Third World Cup Silver
Saturday, April 6, 2019
Laura Graves Celebrates Third World Cup Silver - All three U.S. combinations earn spots in the top seven. Laura Graves and Verdades (Photo: Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Gothenburg, Sweden – In the dramatic conclusion of the FEI Dressage World Cup™ Final, Laura Graves and her loyal mount Verdades piaffed their way to silver in front of an enthusiastic Swedish crowd of more than 11,500. Showing the strength of the American dressage program, all three U.S. combinations broke the top seven with scores over 80%.
“I was thrilled. [Verdades] was so rideable, and I was just really thrilled with his focus and his energy today,” said Graves. “Like Isabel [Werth] said, the crowd was amazing. They all have this ticker of a live score, and as riders you are going ‘yeah, this feels pretty good.’ You kind of hope that the judges are agreeing with [the crowd]. You hear the crowd clapping along and you think ‘okay, well at least everyone is enjoying it as much as I am,’ and that’s really special.”
With a final score of 87.179%, Graves (Geneva, Fla.) and her and Curt Maes’s 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding gave now three-time World Cup champion Isabel Werth (Germany) and Weihegold OLD a run for their money. With 10 combinations scoring over 80%, it was a tight race to the finish and Graves rode 14th in the order.
“I could not be more thrilled with my performance,” continued Graves. “I had a bit of an early draw, and I knew I had to give it everything. We made a couple of adjustments to our program and that really worked in our favor. The music, thanks to Terry Gallo, was spot on. I am so glad we decided to do that; we just love Sweden.”