Mill Spring, N.C. – The Dutta Corp. U.S. Dressage Team secured the U.S. team Olympic qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and earned the team silver medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG) Tryon 2018 on Thursday following the conclusion of the Grand Prix. The team of Olympic veterans, Adrienne Lyle and Salvino, Laura Graves and Verdades, Kasey Perry-Glass and Goerklintgaards Dublet, and Steffen Peters with Suppenkasper, led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover, were a force to be reckoned with to medal with a final score of 233.229 percent.
Germany won the team gold medal on a 242.935 percent, while Great Britain claimed the team bronze with a 229.628 percent.
Chef d’Equipe Robert Dover could not have asked for a better final team competition. “It’s been decades in this sport for me,” said Dover. “With these amazing athletes both equine and human next to me along with the greatest grooms, owners, sponsors, our support staff, and all the supporters behind these people, they make the ship float. The Germans were amazing, and they make us ride better. I’m so grateful to be with this amazing team.”
As the last combination of the day to enter the U.S. Trust Arena, Laura Graves (Geneva, Fla.) with Verdades, the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding she owns with Curt Maes, were nearly foot perfect. Demonstrating brilliance in the pirouettes and piaffe down the final centerline, Graves and Verdades earned an individual score of 81.630 percent to confirm a podium finish for the U.S. team and a second-place qualification going into Friday’s Grand Prix Special.
“I’m really proud of what we, as a team were able to accomplish here,” said Graves. “I was feeling a bit under the weather and was nervous going in, but I’ve been laughing because adrenaline is an amazing thing. It’s a lot of pressure [to ride last] but it’s an amazing team to ride on because no one would hold a hard feeling, and we all know we are riding our best. We all know what we are capable of and we are going to push for that.”
Kasey Perry-Glass (Wellington, Fla.) with Goerklintgaards Dublet, Diane Perry’s 15-year-old Danish Warmblood gelding, rode first for the U.S. in the final rotation of the Grand Prix, showcasing a special partnership with light aids and lots of power in the piaffe and earning a 76.739 percent.
“It felt great. [Goerklintgaards Dublet] was 100 percent in warm-up and I really felt like he brought the power to the test,” said Perry-Glass. “His changes are so big and sometimes he can get a little away from me and that’s what happened in the [tempi changes].”
Now focused on the Grand Prix Special, Perry-Glass commented on her and Goerklintgaards Dublet’s bond, saying “I’ve always known he’s a special horse. It was a matter of time until we figured it out. I’m excited for the week and for the [Grand Prix Special]. I’m going to go out and really push it tomorrow.”
Adrienne Lyle (Ketchum, Idaho) and Salvino, Betsy Juliano LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian stallion, helped the team’s podium position on day one of the Grand Prix, earning a 74.891 percent. Four-time Olympic veteran Steffen Peters (San Diego, Calif.) and Suppenkasper, Four Winds Farm’s 10-year-old KWPN gelding, were the first U.S. combination to start the competition and earned a respectable 73.494 percent. Peters and Suppenkasper’s effort would later be the drop score of the team.
The top 30 competitors with a score of 60 percent or greater from the team competition will compete as individuals in the Grand Prix Special on Friday. Lyle, Graves, Perry-Glass, and Peters, all qualified.
Competition continues Friday, September 14, at 10:30 a.m. ET in the U.S. Trust Arena, with the individual competition for the Grand Prix Special.
Click here for a complete dressage schedule at the WEG.
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