Dressage

This Week in Laura Graves News: Two New Titles and a Freestyle Victory

©Susan j Stickle

Last week, Laura Graves introduced new music in her winning Freestyle.

The musical overture features dramatic orchestral swells and rhythmic percussion sequences. It does not include a clip of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win (Win, Win, No Matter What),” which presumably was a gross oversight on behalf of her musical choreographer. *shakes head*

Because if there is one track that was written for Graves, it’s this:

It’s also the song we imagine Graves cranks every morning, right after she leaps out of bed and high fives the snooze button on her alarm. But that’s just conjecture.

What is fact is that America’s favorite introvert and self-proclaimed “awkward girl” is collecting victories in Wellington this season faster than you can say “Diddy done it.”

On Thursday, the 2018 World Equestrian Games individual silver medalist took home the 2018 Equestrian of the Year title at the Pegasus Awards. Finally.

[*background music* DJ Khalid: Hey, yeah (we the best)]

©Taylor Pence/US Equestrian

On Friday, she and Verdades won the first FEI Grand Prix Freestyle of the 2019 Adequan Global Dressage Festival season with a score of 83.220%—despite never having ridden to their new music.

“I wasn’t what sure which music I was going to do,” said Graves. “In the end, I’m very, very glad I chose to do my new music. I don’t know what else I would have been saving it for. I’m just glad that the timing worked out; I haven’t ridden to it yet. It’s supposed to be about the same as my last one, so I just crossed my fingers and hoped that it worked out and it did. I’m so lucky that Terri Gallo just takes whatever idea that I have.”

[*cue corus*: “All I do is win, win, win, no matter what…”]

And on Saturday, her career-making mount “Diddy” was honored with the 2018 USEF International Horse of the Year title, prompting this emotional acceptance speech from the Rio Olympic bronze medalist.

“For so many years I worked and I dreamed of what it would feel like to achieve that dream [of riding on the US Equestrian Team]. In reality, it was very different. It was so much better. And it wasn’t about the ribbons and the medals and the scores. In fact, it wasn’t even about that moment when that Olympic medal was placed around my neck. It was about the joy. Despite hardships, heartbreaks, massive, massive life failures, always overwhelming joy. And not just the kind of selfish joy anymore that this horse brought to my life, but the fact that this great horse brings to so many people. So it’s Verdades tonight that we really have to say thank you to. It’s been a great pleasure to share him with the world.”

[*Dj Khalid*: And every time I step up in the buildin’ / Everybody hands go up.]

It’s safe to say that Graves is on track for a pret-ty great 2019 so far and poised to inspire a nation of dressage riders.

But don’t take our word for it…

https://twitter.com/TheDuttaCorp/status/1083877862220972032