Laura Graves

“We could pull it off.”

The dressage competitions start tomorrow at the World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen 2018. The most frequently posed question: Who can beat Isabell Werth? Alongside Sönke Rothenberger, Laura Graves is the name mentioned most frequently in this connection and after Rothenberger’s horse, Cosmo, sustained an injury and the pair had to withdraw, she is indeed Werth’s fiercest component. We spoke to the US American about her participation at the CHIO Aachen and her chances.

Question: What distinguishes Aachen for you?
Laura Graves: Aachen is always very special for me. It is the most demanding show in the world, the best and strongest riders compete here. That is what I look forward to seeing most, how we stand. Aachen is of course great preparation for the World Equestrian Games.

Question: What are your expectations here?
Laura Graves: Of course, we travel everywhere with the aim of winning. That is also what I hope to do in Aachen. We actually managed to do that in one competition last year and we had a good result at the World Cup Final in Paris. Verdades is in very good form, there is no reason why I we couldn’t pull it off again in Aachen.

Question: Last year you succeeded in beating Isabell Werth in one competition…
Laura Graves: It was a very special day, and it was also my birthday – a fantastic feeling! This year the freestyle competition falls on my birthday, let’s see, perhaps that will be my birthday present this year.

Question: To take the victory you will have to beat in particular Isabell again.
Laura Graves: Yes, I think so. I was rather disappointed when I read that Cosmo and Sönke Rothenberger can’t compete. I like to have the strongest components and I believe that especially Cosmo is a horse that is in top form at the moment. Now we will have to wait for Tryon to take them on. But our immediate challenge is to primarily beat Isabell.

Question: What makes Verdades so special?
Laura Graves: I have had him in my yard my whole life. He knows me and I know him. Inside out. That makes our job easier under pressure.

Laura Graves at the CHIO Aachen last year. Photo: CHIO Aachen/Arnd Bronkhorst

Laura Graves at the CHIO Aachen last year. Photo: CHIO Aachen/Arnd Bronkhorst