The American rider Laura Graves is in excellent form with her top-horse Verdades. The gelding by Florett As could set a 80% score in the Grand prix for the first time in his career and also won the 5* Kür to Music with an 82% score.
A score above 80% in the Grand Prix may be seen as something magical. World-wide, only fifteen riders have succeeded over the years to achieve such a high score in the classical test. For Verdades (Florett As out of Liwilarda ster prest by Goya) this was the first time. “A very Special moment”, the rider says. “We have worked long and hard for this. From our first year at Grand Prix we knew what this horse could achieve and I always felt we could do even better.”
Verdades was bred by the Crum Family from Herveld. He is the highest placed KWPN at the WBSFH-Rankings at the moment. He earned this positition mostly by his fantastic performances at the Olympics in Rio, which brought him in fourth place, just outside the individual medals. With the American team the pair won bronze.
The show in Wellington is an outdoor show, but for Graves it is still the best preparation for the World Cup in Omaha Nebraska. “We are preparing for FEI World Cup Finals and even though we don’t have an indoor environment to do that,” Graves said, “we have this awesome Adequan® Global Dressage Festival to pack on Friday nights and still get a huge atmosphere for our horses and to practice in, and that is a very lucky thing to have here.”
This was Graves and Verdades’ first win in an FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI 5* competition. On her ride, Graves said: “The adrenaline is so high when you come out of the arena. You’re so in the moment that when it’s over, you kind of think, ‘What just happened?’ But he was great. He really feeds off of the atmosphere. He’s a highly sensitive horse, and he never lets me down.”
YBF for KWPN
Source: Adequan Global Dressage Festival