The fairytale story of Laura Graves and her Dutch Warmblood gelding Verdades has garnered fans far beyond the dressage world. The timeless journey of a horse-crazy girl and an unruly youngster, growing up together and building the partnership of the century has made them a household name across all equestrian disciplines.
Steadily marching their way through the levels, their international record is a string of mostly wins. Along the way they represented the U.S. at the 2015 Pan American Games, multiple FEI Dressage World Cup™ Finals, the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and the 2014 and 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games™.
Photo by Shannon Brinkman.
This year, Laura and "Diddy" reached an incredible milestone landing at the top of the FEI Dressage World Rankings following their outstanding performance at the WEG in Tryon, N.C., which rewarded them individual and team silver medals.
They collected numerous international victories from earlier in 2018 besides, earning personal bests and breaking records all over the map. Nine of their FEI results this year exceeded scores of 80%, and they were a fraction of a point off cracking 90% in their freestyle at the World Cup™ in Paris.
With Diddy now aged 16, Laura isn't closing the door on the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, but she's taking things one show at a time. One thing is for sure: their success is inspiration to every little girl who dreams of riding a unicorn all the way to the podium and encourages us all to reach for the stars.
Photo by Erin Gilmore.
Hello, Number One: Laura Graves Has Made U.S. Dressage History
Laura Graves on Sleep, Being Selfish, and Managing Her Mindset
The Art of Managing the Sensitive Horse with Laura Graves
The annual Noëlle Floyd Best Of Awards celebrate the horses and riders who soar to great heights, the community leaders who move the needle in the sport, and the extra special moments that define our shared love of horses. For the 2018 NF Awards, we created short lists of extraordinary individuals who stood out to us this year, and then we handed it over to you to determine who is the best of the best. Turning out a record number of votes in NF Awards history, we heard you loud and clear. Now we’re rolling out the red carpet. One by one, we’ll announce the winners of all ten categories between now and the New Year.
Feature photo by Shannon Brinkman.