2015 Pan American Games individual silver and team gold medalist Laura Graves recently spent her day educating fellow dressage riders at Wellington’s IDA Farm. The premier equestrian facility hosted the day-long clinic with Graves as she shared her expertise with each horse and rider pair. Participants ranged from adult amateurs to professionals.
Graves is widely known in the dressage world for her seamlessly executed Grand Prix tests with her KWPN gelding Verdades.
The pair recently made history at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival by earning an 82.8 percent from the judges in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle, the highest score ever earned at the Wellington facility in international competition.
USDF gold medalist Lauren Knopp, who manages her own business Lauren Knopp Dressage out of her family-owned IDA Farm, rode two of her horses in the clinic with Graves and was grateful for the terrific experience. “We are all so thankful that Laura took the time out of her very busy schedule for this clinic,” Knopp said. “There were some great rides today, and we all thoroughly enjoyed soaking up as much knowledge as we could. It was a day full of great horses, great riders, and a lot of fun.”
The 15-acre IDA Farm was an ideal location for the event. With two covered dressage arenas, spacious grass riding areas, and plenty of space for grazing, everyone from assistants and handlers to observing riders had a chance to watch and learn from Graves during the clinic.
The farm retains a calm atmosphere even with the 81 horses that it houses. IDA Farm also is home base to a number of international dressage and jumping trainers, such as Patrick Burssens of Belgium and Jaime Amian of Spain, who were keen to get a glimpse of the clinic as well. Also turning out for the special clinic was Wellington-based Dutch rider and trainer Kerensa Muller, who rode two horses and brought two students to participate in the clinic.
For more information, visit www.idafarm.com.
ABOVE: Laura Graves with Lauren Knopp (left) aboard Don Gregorio and her mother Teresa Knopp (right).