Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 8, 2018 – Winning duo Laura Graves and her gelding Verdades claimed the win in the Grand Prix for the Grand Prix Special during Week Five’s CDI5* at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). Graves and the 16-year-old gelding (Florett AS – Goya, Liwilarda) earned a score of 79.543 percent to top the class.
During Week Three of AGDF, Graves and Verdades competed in the CDI-W where they also earned first place in both the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle. The pair has plans to qualify for the World Equestrian Games (WEG) and would like to go to the World Cup in Paris. As they head into tomorrow’s Friday Night Lights, Graves is excited to debut her new Grand Prix freestyle.
Coming in second to Graves was Sweden’s Tinne Vihelmson-Silfvèn and Paridon Magi, a 15-year-old gelding owned by Lovsta Stuteri, with a score of 73.5 percent. Earlier this season, Vilhelmson-Silfvèn and Paridon Magi have competed in the CDI-W, where they took first place in the Grand Prix and the Grand Prix Freestyle during AGDF Week 1 and second place to Graves in the Grand Prix and Grand Prix Freestyle during AGDF Week 3.
Joining Graves and Vihelmson-Silfvèn for the victory lap was Ashley Holzer aboard Havanna 145. Holzer and the 11-year-old Hanoverian mare, owned by Diane Fellows, earned a score of 70.913 percent for third place. This was the pair’s first appearance in a CDI5* and they have plans to see how the rest of the season goes before committing to trying to qualify for WEG.
From The Winner’s Circle
Laura Graves – First Place
On her ride:
“I maybe underestimated how fit my horse is. It was warm today and there wasn’t a second where he felt like he was a little tired. That was nice to know. Obviously we’re trying to go to Tryon this year where it’s going to be at least this warm and knowing that he can handle it is a nice feeling. He was a little tense coming into a couple of these corners, which I kind of predicted – he can be that way with shadows and things, but I felt the trot tour was really amazing. The first extension into the half-passes were nice. He’s just a super fun horse to ride – it’s just amazing to ride a horse everyday who never says no.”
On the atmosphere at Global:
“I embrace all of these opportunities because we can’t create them at home to train in. I think that every opportunity that we have to train in a difficult situation puts you a little bit ahead of the game rather than always being surprised. It can be frustrating and it can test your patience but at the end of the day, we’re so lucky to have this atmosphere because otherwise we would always be playing catch up to the Europeans who have a lot of opportunities to show in these environments.”
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvèn – Second Place
On Her Ride:
“Today I did not have the great feeling that I had the other two weeks. But still, I don’t want to complain because he really does everything for me. He goes through the test and I can still ride him. The feeling wasn’t as great, but I’m still impressed that he does his work everytime. I don’t know if it was the heat or maybe I just didn’t make him hot enough before I went in. It’s always so hard to say, especially when they feel good, it’s more difficult to say that but I’m happy with him.”
Ashley Holzer – Third Place
On Her Ride:
“I got here just by the skin of my teeth – Shelly was only just beneath me, but I’m pretty amazed to be here with this amazing company. I was pretty thrilled with my mare. She’s a green Grand Prix horse and I haven’t really had the chance to ride her in heat like this. I sort of changed my warm-up a little bit to help her with the heat, and I have to say I think she was a little bit tired, but then came into the arena and lit up. I think she was fatigued in her body, but in her mind she’s a go-er. She is such a team player, so it’s pretty cool to be on a horse that doesn’t have a ton of experience but feels like a team player underneath you. I think that was my thrill today.”
CDI 5* Grand Prix for the Grand Prix Freestyle Results
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Laura Graves / USA / Verdades / 79.543
2. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvèn / SWE / Paridon Magi / 73.500
3. Ashley Holzer / USA / Havanna 145 / 70.913
4. Shelly Francis / USA / Doktor / 70.826
5. Chase Hickok / USA / Sagacious HF / 70.435
6. P.J. Rizvi / USA / Breaking Dawn / 68.500
7. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 64.587