Laura Graves and Verdades Open 2019 Adequan Global Dressage Festival with Victory

Laura Graves and Verdades won the Grand Prix CDI-W at the opening week of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival.
©SusanStickle.com

The Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) started with its first day of competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), in Wellington, FL, on Thursday with a win for Laura Graves and Verdades in the FEI Grand Prix CDIW, presented by Wellington Agricultural Services. Graves won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W with a score of 80.065%. Graves rode her own mount, Verdades, a 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Florett AS.

Graves said that her ride was “a good way to put the first show into perspective after we haven’t been out since the [World Equestrian Games] was called off before the freestyle, so it’s been quite a bit since we’ve been in the arena. It always feels like, ‘Okay, we still know what we’re doing.’” She remarked, “He obviously still has a ton of gas in the tank. I’m really, really excited with how today went.”

Her favorite part of her ride today was that Verdades “saved [her] today in the zig zag.” She continued, “I poked him on five and he said, ‘Mom, you gotta wait for 6.’ And so I was just really lucky that he saved me there and it’s nice to know that you can count on a horse like that.”

“He gets even more electric here than he does at any other huge venue in the world,” said the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon (WEG) silver medalist. “We want to see more relaxation in his free walk because we lose some points there when he has such a good walk in the school. And again, just tidying things up so my transitions are on time so I can really feel safe to push.”

Graves and Verdades will be debuting their new freestyle created for WEG on Friday evening. Looking forward to Friday, Graves noted that it’s “a whole different ball game.”

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