WELLINGTON, Fla.--Laura Graves (on Verdades won the FEI Grand Prix CDI-W at the Dressage Festival on Feb. 28.
The pair earned a score of 80.239 percent to qualify for the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle CDI-W Friday night, where they plan to secure their last qualifying score for the FEI Dressage World Cup Finals in April.
“I thought he was relaxed, but I also at the same time maybe warmed him up too much,” said Graves. “We have this technique we’ve been using where we give him a very short warm-up and just send him in. Sometimes the longer you warm him up he gets tired, and then he gets hotter in his mind, but tired in his body."
“He was very, very clean today. I thought he was very very honest,” saidd Graves, who last competed with Verdades at the third week of the Festival. “I was super happy with my zig-zag. I just remember looking up at one point and how much ground we had covered sideways, and I thought ‘Uh oh, can I do that the other way?’ I pushed, and sure enough he went that far. The canter tour felt really secure, and I’m happy with his relaxation.”
GRAVES noted of her goal for Friday night, “It is our last qualifier for World Cup, so just want to check that off of the list and know that we have a ticket to Sweden.”
Graves’s teammates at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, Kasey Perry-Glass and Adrienne Lyle, finished in second and third place respectively.
The three riders shared their laps of honor by trotting down the centerline side by side.
“We’ve been waiting for this,” Graves said. “We’ve been planning that for weeks and weeks and weeks. The three of us are such good friends that we’ve been hoping for a sweep like that. It was fun to be able to laugh with each other and go down centerline, to have such amazing teammates.”
Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet placed second with a score of 78.630 percent and Lyle riding Salvino was third on a score of 74.543 percent..