When one of the most respected names in high-quality arena footing and dressage arenas presents one of the greatest current international Grand Prix riders, the result is pure perfection, and that’s what fans got when Premier Equestrian and ShowChic Shop Talk hosted “Make Contact Your Focus: An Evening with Laura Graves.”
Graves has become the Cinderella story of her sport thanks to a string of near-flawless performances on her horse Verdades, known as “Diddy,” that she trained herself through the levels. Together, they have racked up numerous top honors, which included anchoring the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team bronze medal-winning squad in Rio de Janeiro and earning an individual Olympic bronze, winning team gold and individual silver at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, and finishing fifth individually and fourth with her team at the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen, France.
Known for saying, “Be fair, follow the rules and do your best, but never apologize for being good at what you do,” Graves has been dubbed a “Premier Equestrian” for realizing her dream of competing internationally for her country. She is the only American currently ranked among the world’s top 10 dressage riders, sitting fourth on the FEI World Dressage Standings as of March 2018.
Graves asked her audience to compare the contact between a rider’s hand and their horse’s mouth to a kitchen sink: “When you turn the faucet on, the water goes down the drain if you don’t capture it, right? Your hands need to collect and ‘plug’ that tension. If you don’t plug the drain, you don’t capture the horse’s energy,” she explained.
Graves also made a real connection with her audience, not only presenting a free Premier Equestrian sand analysis to one lucky raffle winner but encouraging everyone in the ShowChic showroom to call Premier Equestrian and mention her name to receive a free arena footing test. Premier Equestrian provided Graves an international quality arena at her farm in North Florida.
For more information, visit www.premierequestrian.com or call (800) 611-6109.