The Fédération Equestre Internationale Dressage World Ranking List has a new name at the top, and for the first time in history it belongs to a U.S. rider.
Laura Graves and Verdades top the list in the wake of their September performances at the FEI World Equestrian Games in Mill Spring, North Carolina. Graves’ silver medal in the Grand Prix Special, along with placing second in the Grand Prix there, was enough to boost her rankings points to 2,714—a single point over Isabell Werth with Weihegold OLD. Werth also occupies the third and fourth spots with Emilio 107 and Bella Rose 2, respectively.
“It’s super exciting that it’s real,” Graves said. “We kind of had a suspicion, but I’m never one to jump the gun, so it’s nice to see it in print. We got confirmation from the FEI this morning.”
A World No. 1 title has been one of the few accolades to escape Verdades so far in his storied career; the pair’s been in the second-placed position before.
“I don’t know what else is left for this horse to do,” she said. “I would love to take a real World Cup win, but whether this horse does another season or not I’m not sure yet. We’ll see. I really value him with reviving the sport in the USA, and it’s really special to throw my name into the company of the few riders who have held the top spot.
“Verdades just keeps confirming in everything he does, every performance he gives, that he truly does deserve this ranking. He is the best horse in the world,” Graves continued of the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood. “I’ve known [that] in my heart for a long time because I get to ride him every day and experience his generosity. And we’ve had fans appreciate him for a while, but to have the FEI and the numbers support him is great.”
The WEG results also lifted Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet from 20th to 14th position on the list.