Laura Graves Clinches CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle and Three Americans Set Their Sights on Gothenburg

Wellington, Fla. – March 1, 2019 – Following standout performances from Team USA riders in Thursday’s CDI-W Grand Prix, the World Equestrian Games teammates and friends took to the ring once again on Friday night with the goal of challenging each other and garnering all of the necessary qualifying points for a ticket to the FEI World Cup Finals. At the end of the evening, it was Laura Graves and Verdades who took home the top prize, earning yet another score over 80 percent to add to their impressive resume.

Laura Graves and Verdades
Laura Graves and Verdades

Graves and Verdades, her 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, totaled a score of 84.535 percent, receiving high marks of 8s and 9s in numerous movements. Despite a mistake in their two-tempis, the pair received a perfect score of 10 from three of the five judges for their final halt that helped bolster their total. Graves and Verdades also received high artistic marks across the board, with the highest values being given for her test’s degree of difficulty, music and interpretation of the music.

Her performance on ‘Diddy’ secured their third opportunity to compete again their most competitive rival, Germany’s Isabell Werth, at a World Cup Final.

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet
Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet

Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 16-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, finished in second place with a total score of 83.875 percent, the second highest score they have ever earned in competition. They received high scores throughout the test, with their highlights being seen in the piaffe and passage work. Like her teammate Graves, Perry-Glass has also been focused on accumulating points to buy her a ticket to the World Cup Final, and will now focus on keeping her gelding fit and mentally preparing for another large scale international competition.

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino
Adrienne Lyle and Salvino

Adrienne Lyle broke the 80 percent barrier for the second time in her career with an 80.16 percent on Salvino, a 12-year-old Hanoverian stallion owned by Betsy Juliano. The pair earned an 81.75 percent last year in the CDIO3* Nations Cup Grand Prix Freestyle. Her high score is expected to earn her a North American League wild card spot from the FEI for the World Cup Finals.

Results: CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle

Rider / Country / Horse / Total Score
1. Laura Graves / USA / Verdades / 84.535
2. Kasey Perry-Glass / USA / Goerklintgaards Dublet / 83.875
3. Adrienne Lyle / USA / Salvino / 80.16
4. Shelly Francis / USA / Danilo / 78.965
5. Yvonne Losos De Muniz / DOM / Aquamarijn / 76.97
6. PJ Rizvi / USA / Breaking Dawn / 74.655
7. Lindsay Kellock / CAN / Sebastien / 72.660
8. Jessica Jo Tate / USA / Faberge / 69.025
9. Karen Lipp / USA / Whitney / 68.78
10. Evi Strasser / CAN / Disney Tyme / 66.945

FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE

Laura Graves – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle Winner

On the degree of difficulty analysis:
“Today I had a meeting with David Stickland, who is so phenomenal with score analysis, which is very important for us going into the World Cup Final. He gave me a couple of ideas and tonight was my last chance to really practice in this environment so I tested out a couple of things to see if I had time to change what we have to do in the next couple of weeks to really be prepared. It caused a couple minor glitches but I’m glad I trusted myself to try it. Hopefully it will pay off in the final.”

“For those of us who spend so much time training in the saddle and in the arena, it is such a unique perspective with this degree of difficulty system, to sit down and look down at numbers and floorplan. That is a really important strategy. I think more of us feel that we have our training basis covered, but where we can strategize better is on paper breaking down the numbers. That’s what I will be doing over the next few weeks, forcing myself to sit down in front of my computer to look at every single decimal point we can gain.”

Laura Graves and Verdades
Laura Graves and Verdades

On her freestyle:
“This music is very new. It was supposed to be for Tryon but I didn’t have a chance to ride it there. Tonight was the third time I’ve ridden it. Knowing we had some work to do on it I took tonight to see timing-wise — like how much space do I have between my pirouettes. Unfortunately, it took me a little too close to the rail in a couple of the pirouettes. I had a mistake in the tempis trying to start them really early to see how many I can fit in. It’s the counting and the math and trying to ride and turn and all these things! We will see what happens for Sweden but I think I easily have places to pick up degree of difficulty.”

On her thoughts during the ride:
“I don’t count anything until it’s certain. Once I went down centerline I thought, “Hopefully this is my ticket to Sweden.” Then, honestly, I started thinking about this venue. This is my last freestyle here this year. That was what was in my head. It was actually not anything about the test, I hardly was thinking about that, I was thinking about what has happened in the past six seasons here. It was a different perspective tonight for me.”

Laura Graves, Kasey Perry-Glass and Adrienne Lyle
Laura Graves, Kasey Perry-Glass and Adrienne Lyle

On competing against Isabell Werth in Sweden:
‘We’ve made it very very clear that our horses are neck and neck in the Grand Prix. In more than one instance my horse has bettered her mare. I think she is so prepared and so precise with her freestyle and that is where I’ve been lacking in my homework.”

Kasey Perry-Glass – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle second place

On receiving her second highest score on Dublet:
“He had a lot of energy. I wasn’t expecting that coming off of a show last week. I thought he was going to be a little more tired, but he was more lit than what I have felt in a while. It’s a good thing for him.  It was an amazing test — I came out crying. It was one of those tests that gave me goosebumps. It made me feel lucky to have my horse.”

Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet
Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet

On her plan between now and World Cup Finals:
“We have been training with Debbie for so long it’s keep that work up and going over what David shows us on the computer to see where we can up our scores. Mine is in the walk actually. It’s small things that you take for granted. Dublet has an amazing extended walk and I’ve got lazy on that. It’s going back and figuring those things out. Keeping him on the AquaTred and keeping him happy in his body and mind. Sticking to our plan like we have been.”

Adrienne Lyle – CDI-W Grand Prix Freestyle third place

On her ride:
“Salvino was also pretty lit today which caught us both by surprise. I figured since it has been a hot week that he would be a bit tired but he came out on fire, which I then had to use a different strategy in the warm-up. I was really happy that he pulled it together when we went down centerline. He really let me keep my leg on and he really let me push him into the bridle better to get more consistent power throughout the test. Breaking into the 80s again is huge for us. I’m super excited. He just wants to keep up with his older brothers!”

Adrienne Lyle and Salvino
Adrienne Lyle and Salvino

On her success with Salvino’s owner Betsy Juliano of Havensafe Farm as the shows sponsor:
“It couldn’t have worked out any more perfectly. Betsy is such an amazing person in all of our lives. She has supported us, guided us through many things and it’s very special. Also a huge thank you to our coach, Debbie McDonald. She’s been with me from the very beginning and I could not do it without her. I am very thankful to have both of those wonderful women in my life.”

On her plan between now and World Cup Finals:
“I also have a meeting with David tomorrow. This was only my second time every riding this freestyle. I don’t think I will be changing much in it but I want to get more familiar with it. Salvino is a little greener in this so continuing to improve in the training to make him more comfortable learning the pattern and feel home in his own skin out there.”

Irina Maknami – President of the Ground Jury

“For me, it was really a pleasure to judge these fantastically talented ladies with their amazing horses. There was a special feeling when you sit there and think “I’m so lucky to be a judge and be able to enjoy this.” I think there was so much progress and I wish them the best of luck at the World Cup Finals.

Betsy Juliano of Havensafe Farm – Week 8 AGDF Sponsor

“It’s really breathtaking for me. The point of being here year after year and why we value being here at this wonderful facility is to watch and promote the horses training. One of the great joys, in addition to knowing these lovely women who are each very dear to me, is watching their horses improve year after year. It is really fantastic to be a part of this and tonight was such a wonderful coincidence that I was given this show to sponsor. I couldn’t be happier and I was so thrilled to stand here with these three people who I love so much and see them do so well. It doesn’t get better than that.”

Thomas Baur – AGDF Director of Sport

“Congratulations to all three of you — going to Gothenburg, Adrienne you too. I think it’s now time to go to the FEI and we need to ask for the third spot in the World Cup Final. This was the last proof that the North American League deserves that.”

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