Cuba and Verdades 2017 Horses of Honour
US Equestrian has announced the 2017 Horses of Honor. Two out of five are KWPN bred, Verdades and Cuba. The 2017 National and International Horse of the Year will be awarded Friday evening, January 19 at the Horse of the Year Awards dinner during the US Equestrian Annual Meeting in Lexington, Ky. Voting is now open
Cuba, (Namelus R out of Ups-a-Daisy by Mermus R, breeder H. de Roover uit Strijbeek) is owned by John and Stephanie Ingram, LLC. The 11-year-old KWPN gelding, had an impressive year in 2017. Having proven himself a successful hunter, Cuba started his campaign as a Derby horse just one year ago. With rider Victoria Colvin, Cuba became a real contender for the International Derby Finals. The pair stood out at the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Championship in August, placing third in the Classic Round, winning the Handy Hunter Round, and finishing as the overall champion. Meeting the expectations of his owners, rider, and trainer, Tom Wright, Cuba won the prestigious championship by a significant margin of 9.75 points. Cuba closed the competition year as the USHJA International Derby horse with most money won. Over the course of only five competitions, Cuba earned $55,853.
Making his derby debut with Colvin in the irons at the Deeridge International Hunter Derby, Cuba won the $5,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Welcome Stake. Soon after, this combination earned a strong second-place finish in the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby at Devon Horse Show and County Fair. In addition to his victories in the International Hunter Derbies, Cuba has shown great success in the Amateur Owner Hunter section with owner John Ingram, earning multiple champion and reserve championships at Premierrated competitions.
The second KWPN horse nominated is the dressage horse Verdades (Florett As x Liwilarda keur by Goya) who is bred by P. Crum from Herveld and owned by his rider Laura Graves and Curt Maes.
Verdades, an expressive and beautiful Dutch Warmblood, has stamped his mark on the international dressage ring. In 2017 alone, this 15-year-old gelding garnered a silver medal at the 2017 FEI World Cup™ Dressage Final in Omaha and went on to represent the U.S. team in FEI Nations Cup™ competitions in Rotterdam and Aachen, contributing to first- and second-place finishes, respectively. Individually, 2017 saw Verdades earn four first-place finishes and one second-place finish internationally, and he won the Adequan®/United States Dressage Federation (USDF) Year-End Awards in the Dressage Horse of the Year – Grand Prix, Musical Freestyle – Grand Prix, and Musical Freestyle Challenge – Grand Prix categories. His life-long partnership with owner and trainer, Laura Graves, along with their 2017 success allowed them to reach the world number two position, and finish in the number four position on the FEI World Individual Dressage Ranking List.
Verdades began his journey to international success in 2014 after garnering attention from his reserve-champion finish at the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp. Since his launch into the spotlight, Verdades’s achievements and continued success are profound. Earning over 25 first-place finishes and nearly 20 second-place finishes in team and individual CDI competitions around the world since the inception of his international career, Verdades continues to claim titles individually and for the U.S. team.
Voting close January 12 at midnight. Find more information, and for a full schedule of US Equestrian’s 2018 Annual Meeting, visit www.usef.org/annual-meeting and follow US Equestrian on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Source USEF, Photo Dirk Caremans