Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 9, 2018 – The atmosphere was electric as seven top pairs made their way down centerline for the CDI5* Grand Prix Freestyle during the fifth week at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF). With a full grandstand, Laura Graves and Verdades chose tonight to test out their new canter tour choreography. Graves and her 16-year-old gelding (Florett AS – Goya, Liwilarda) earned a huge score of 84.375 percent and the fourth win in 2018.
Graves’ new choreography featured an extended canter into a pirouette with a one and a half turn rotation before executing a line of two tempi changes up the centerline towards C. As they approached C, they turned into a double pirouette before repeating this pattern with a line of one tempi changes replacing the two tempis.
Securing the second place ribbon was Sweden’s Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén aboard Paridon Magi. The pair put in a very solid ride, which was consistent with their previous two freestyles in the CDI-Ws from AGDF week one and week three. Vilhelmson-Silfvén and the 15-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding earned a score of 78.5 percent.
Rounding out the top three was Shelly Francis with her longtime partner, Doktor. Francis and Patricia Stempel’s 15-year-old Hanoverian had a beautiful test which earned a score of 74.15 percent for third place.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Laura Graves – First place
On Her Ride:
“Tonight was our first run through of our new canter tour for my freestyle, and I’m super pleased with how the music turned out – it was incredible to ride. We have a couple little tweaks to work on to change for our next performance, but I’m happy with the decision to ride the new freestyle. He warmed up really, really super tonight and we were happy. I really felt like he was quite on point through all of my riding. Of course, he didn’t know where we were going this time, which was new for him.”
On Her New Choreography:
“I was very, very pleased with the run-through of our new floor plan. You never really know. I had only actually ridden it one time at home for Terry [Gallo] to get the timing. Even though we’re not using the FEI floor plan freestyle creator here tonight or in the World Cup qualifiers, it has been a big part of my preparation for Paris. I’m actually taking away a bit of the risk of taking the changes off the curved line, but they actually don’t gain us as many points as doubling up on our pirouettes, so it ended up being a little bit of a math equation.”
Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén – Second place
On Her Ride:
“I think the atmosphere was great tonight – it was great to go in there, and it suits him very, very well to have that kind of surroundings. I think he felt the best so far here this season tonight. I had a really good feeling, and I’m very happy with him. Yesterday he had a little less energy, but I had a great feeling tonight and I think the atmosphere helped me get that feeling. He’s not tired, so that’s not the problem because he felt very good today.”
Shelly Francis – Third place
On Her Ride:
“Oh my, he was very high. Once the music started, he was lit going in. It smoothed out and he was really fun and had a lot of energy. He was bouncing off the ground. At one part, when we got to the piaffe, the audience started clapping. He’s usually afraid of that, but he managed to keep it together. He was so full of energy and really fun – I liked it!”
Results: CDI 5* Grand Prix Freestyle Full Results
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Laura Graves / USA / Verdades / 84.375
2. Tinne Vilhelmson-Silfvén / SWE / Paridon Magi / 78.500
3. Shelly Francis / USA / Doktor / 74.150
4. Ashley Holzer / USA / Havanna 145 / 73.800
5. Chase Hickok / USA / Sagacious HF / 71.875
6. P.J. Rizvi / USA / Breaking Dawn / 70.175
7. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 67.400