Laura Graves, the anchor of the U.S. dressage team from 2014 till
2019 At the national dressage show held during the CDI Ocala at the
World Equestrian Centre on 16 - 18 April 2021, Graves made her show
debut on her newly obtained ride, SenSation HW.
was America's first and, so far, only FEI World number
one ranked rider.
Aboard the now retired KWPN gelding Verdades (by Florett As x Goya),
she was a fixed member on the U.S team from 2014 till 2019.
At the 2014 World Equestrian Games they finished fifth in the
freestyle as best U.S. rider and they were the 2014 American reserve
Grand Prix Champions. In 2015 they finished fourth at the World Cup
Finals. At the 2015 Pan American Games they won team gold and individual
silver. In 2016 they went to their first Olympic Games in Rio de
Janeiro, where they were fourth in the Kur.
In 2017 they finished second at the World Cup Finals and won the
Grand Prix Special at the CDIO Aachen, beating long-time rivals Isabell
Werth on Weihegold. At the 2018 World Cup Finals they were second again
(after winning the Grand Prix and beating Werth/Weihegold for a second
time). She won the 2018 CDIO Aachen Grand Prix, but was then 11th in the
Special. She bounced back to third in the Kur. At the 2018 World
Equestrian Games in Tryon they won team and individual silver. Their
final show in their career they were second in the 2019 World Cup
Verdades was officially retired from sport at the beginning of 2020.
Over the past year Graves developed the black gelding to small tour
level and made her competition debut in the Prix St Georges in Ocala on
Friday 16 April. They rode the test in a snaffle and placed third with
66.471%. A day later, Graces switched to a double bridle and rode a
second national Prix St Georges test, which they won with 68.676%
So proud of my boy Sueno (aka ShowMaster
HW)! I sold him to an incredible gal, Rachel Saavedra as a 4 year
old for Irene
Hoeflich-Wiederhold of HWfarm
and last year he came back into my life as a sales horse that I fell in
love with and couldn’t let him slip through my hands twice. He really
stepped up today for his first Grand Prix and the Special at that. I
could not be more proud of him! Thank you to the incredible team around
us and supporting us from afar!!!! #Region6dressage
Our first time down centerline together! Sueno Hit earned a 69.89% in
the FEI Grand Prix Special! He’s officially a Grand Prix horse now and
off to a great start for the season!???? Thank you to my wonderful
coaches! Christophe Theallet Oded Shimoni and Debbie McDonald for all of
your support, encouragement, and excellent training!
January 29th, 2021:
now displayed in the Hanoverian stallion line up. Amazing results in his
50 day test, he scored a solid 8.36
January 23rd, 2021:
Bushong posted: Damon’s
Design HW with his brilliant and beautiful trainer (Nancy
Smith) at the Lovsta Future Challenge January 2021 competition last
weekend. Lucky me to own him and have the very BEST of trainers for
him!!! Loving both!!!
My heart horse Feeling
HW & I had a great abbreviated 2020 Show Year. Love developing
this boy with all my buttons. So excited for 2021 4th & Dev PSG.
December 29th, 2020:
Congratulations to this team, Franziskus HW (aka Fashion
HW) and his mommy Allison
Weick, she posted: So proud of my newest boy Franziskus HW!! I went
into the show ring for the first time in over 16 years scared to death!!
He was so good and thanks to the wonderful coaching from Vanessa
Voltman we survived and succeeded.
Graves Among 11 Senior, Five U25 Riders Added to USA Development
Graves, former world No. 1 with Verdades, and the seven-year-old Sensation
HW have been added to the USA Development program of 11 senior
riders and five Under-25. The list of riders to the Kundrun USEF
Development Program named for sponsors Claudine and Fritz Kundrun was
announced Friday by the U.S. Equestrian Federation.
HW is officially a 4th level horse, and Banderos secured my first
scores towards my Gold Bar! The blue ribbons are a little icing for a
great weekend! Thank you Kathy
Connelly for the amazing lessons and coaching, Lauren
Merchant for the help/support, Kathleen
Raine for the epic summer of training and choreography assist, and Katie
McClain DePriest for the music check before the final edit.
This was Nobby’s very first time at the Palm
Beach International Equestrian Center and he handled the electric
atmosphere (and incoming tropical storm ??) like a champ! King &
Nobby competed in First Level Test 2 and earned 1st place with a 75.5%!
This was also Nobby’s first time to compete at First Level - we could
not possibly be more proud of him!
To finish off an amazing competition weekend, King
& Nobby were presented with the Vita Flex Victory Pass Award! The
award is given to successful horse and rider combinations that
demonstrate brilliance in the show ring. Thank you SO much, Kim &
Danny of Old
Oyster Pond Farm, for the opportunity to work with your very special
young horse. Thank you, Adrienne
Lyle, for your coaching and support - we could not do it without
you! Thank you to all of our sponsors that make this all possible!
October 30th, 2020:
Oh - I'm crying - look at Duke
HW go with Mia Brown in the saddle. Heather
well done, congratulations to all! This is beautiful, especially the
riders laughter while going towards the camera and Duke
HW having fun.
And just like that 2020 Region 8 championships is a wrap! After Damon’s
super results in the training level final, Scott
McPhee ’s FinestDream
HW really brought his A-game! In his warm up class Friday he won 1-3
with a 74.8! Today, in his first level championship, he was 4th in a
very competitive class!! I have enjoyed showing this sweet boy so much
and look forward to seeing him with Carol next year! Considering I
thought this show season was going to be non existent I’m thrilled to
have had it turn out as well as it has and very appreciative to the
Mcphee’s who made it all possible! On to 2021! Thanks for the great
pictures and good grooming Madysen Utz!
September 9th, 2020:
More victories and super scores, congratulations!!!
King & First
Edition HW or “Nobby,” owned by Kim & Danny Rogers of Old
Oyster Pond Farm , competed in the White Fences Summer Fun III this
weekend! They competed in Training Level Test 2 and earned 1st place
with a 71.7%! We are so proud of Nobby and how he is developing! Thank
you, Kim & Danny, for trusting us with your special boy. Thank you, Adrienne
Lyle , for your coaching and support! Thank you to all of our
sponsors that make this all possible! We love our team!
September 7th, 2020:
How fantastic, congratulations to all, especially happy to see Tracy
Cook winning the Champion title with Empire
Schwartsman has a wonderful group of horses and people, what a
pleasure to follow their journey.
celebrating after a wonderful first test with First
Edition HW. King
Edition HW or “Nobby,” owned by Kim & Danny Rogers of Old
Oyster Pond Farm, competed in the Gold Coast Made in the Shade
today! This was Nobby’s very first competition! They competed in Training
Level Test 2 and earned victory with a 74%!!! We could not be more proud of this incredible young horse. He
continues to impress us everyday. THANK YOU, Kim & Danny, for giving us the opportunity to work
with your special boy! THANK YOU, Adrienne
Lyle, for all of your help! Your coaching, support, and dedication
for the best for Nobby always is very much appreciated!
THANK YOU to all of our sponsors that make all of this possible!
Great finish to a crazy 2020 Regular Show Season with my heart horse Feeling
HW. Another 1st AA with 71+ and 3rd overall in large class of 16. We brought scores up from day before - goal accomplished.
So appreciative to Cara
Klothe for a lot of super coaching over the last year +, thanks to a
special groom for the weekend Ally
Fox and additional help from Brittany
Gray (one of the newest additions to FOD team). Also a great weekend for Cara
Klothe and my other 2 horses FinestDream
HW & Goldwyn (she will share her results). Fingers crossed for
Regionals as we are ready but if not here is to 2021 PSG with my boy.
Cook), earned his new personal best score at Third Level with a
winning 71.622%. I’m so proud of this six year old.
August 2nd, 2020:
Congratulations, debut and victory, for this new team, Franziskus
HW (aka Fashion HW) and his new mommy, Allison
Weick posted: Well 1st show in the books!! Today we competed in
terrible footing and weather and made the most of it!! Won our class in
first level test 2 open with 68.87. There is work to be done but as I am
learning him and he is trying to understand me we are coming together!!
So thankful for all the support from Vanessa Voltman and her other great
clients and my friends and family. Eager to show Dublin and Sondrio soon
also!!! Ty and you as always to my husband Matt weick constants support.
Schwartsman posted: Empire
HW made his successful Third Level debut winning both Third 1 and
Third 3. He also gave me everything in the FEI 6 year old test to score
a 7.52. It’s a really hard test for a baby horse and I’m excited to
work on fine tuning everything until we get to do it again in two weeks!
July 12th, 2020:
HW and his owner Melissa Connelly as well as rider Nadine
Schwartsman, first time at 1st Level and winning Open High Point
Schwartsman posted: Melissa Connelly’s kids were both perfect all
weekend! Greta won all her FEI classes (PSG and I1) with scores of
69.412 and 69.265 and was so much fun!!! DeNaldi
HW scored to 73.611 his first time at First Level winning Open High
Point Champion for the Sunday show. And he ate a lot of pizza.
July 9th, 2020:
Wow, what a score to finish the Bronze medal, with and all ridden
herself since Feeling
HW’s arrival, as an Adult Amateur. Perfect, well done,
congratulations to this successful journey and to archiving the Bronze
McPhee posted: LOVE my heart horse Feeling
HW - our first show 3-3 with 71 and my final score for my Bronze.
Thankful for Cara
Klothe coaching me along the way to develop this horse that keeps
saying - what’s next. Super Groom and PC - Madysen
Utz Best Professional Braider - Natalie
Wolfer (had to sneak her away from her FT Job)
posted: This weekend was a big milestone for Damon’s
Design HW. We completed a six year journey from buying him as a
four-year-old and showing him this weekend and his first developing
Grand Prix where he scored a 67%! It was also a great weekend of
accomplishment for Destaque HI. He competed in his first open Grand Prix
and scored a 64.45. And last but certainly not least, Eragon VO showed
the green Grand Prix horses how it is done by winning his open Grand
Prix class. All in all, a fantastic weekend and Wellington! I am forever
grateful for the support that I have from the best owner ever, Sarah
Bushong-Weeks and Mary Anne who is the wind beneath my wings!
May 15th, 2020
New article from PSdressage, SenSation
HW as well as Fizau
(Fitz HW) were purchased right here, at HWfarm
and both were raised and started under saddle by us as well.
Amazing people came into their life and it’s a team effort,
thankful for each and every one
kam in Deutschland zur Welt, bei Alfons und Simone Bergjohann, wurde
aber früh in die USA verkauft. Fünf- und sechsjährig war SenSation
HW Jungpferdechampion der Vereinigten Staaten, damals noch unter Michael
Bragdell. 2018 kam er auf 87,20 Prozent, 2019 auf 87,80 Prozent.
Graves: „Ich freue mich so, das neueste Stallmitglied vorzustellen,
den einzigartigen SenSation
HW!“ Er sei freundlich und talentiert und sie freue sich auf die
Zukunft mit ihm.
EIN NEUER VERDADES?
Seit ihrem Championatsdebüt bei den Weltreiterspielen 2014 waren Laura
Graves und ihr 18-jähriger KWPN-Wallach Verdades nicht nur das
erfolgreichste Dressurpaar der USA, sondern eines der besten Paare der
Das stellten sie zuletzt bei den Weltreiterspielen 2018 in Tryon
unter Beweis, wo sie Silber mit dem Team und in der Einzelwertung
gewannen. Darüber hinaus waren sie dreimal hintereinander Zweite beim
Weltcup-Finale und holten Team-Bronze bei den Olympischen Spielen 2016
Eigentlich hätte Verdades beim diesjährigen Weltcup-Finale in
Las Vegas feierlich vor Publikum aus dem Sport verabschiedet werden
sollen. Doch das fiel bekanntlich aufgrund der Corona-Pandemie aus.
May 13th, 2020
Raised/trained by HWfarm
and sold sight unseen at the age of 3 to Carol
McPhee & Scott
McPhee - look at his amazing, successful journey already, very
thankful for all whom made it possible. Now super excited for his future
Graves, I'm sure we will all be pleased. Go Laura,
best of luck.
Graves has been given the ride on SenSation
HW, the seven-year-old black gelding that was the United States
champion at the ages of five and six, the rider reported Tuesday. “So
excited to introduce the newest member of our stable, the one and only
SenSation-HW,” said Laura,
32, of the Orlando, Florida community of Geneva.
owned by Scott
McPhee, “is kind and talented and I am so looking forward to the
future with him.” The Westfalen gelding (Sunday
was born in Germany in 2013. Michael
Bragdell, who rides for Hilltop
Farm in Colora, Maryland, competed SenSation
HW, as a four, five and six-year-old in young horse classes. The
pair won the American five-year-old title in 2018 with a score of
87.200% and the six-year-old championship a year later on 87.800%.
was world No. 1 with Verdades, the KWPN gelding owned by her and Curt
Maes, that is now 18 years old. The combination captured Olympic team
bronze in 2016, team and individual silver at the 2018 World Equestrian
Games in Tryon, and was World Cup reserve champion three times.
was U.S. Equestrian of the Year and Verdades Horse of the Year in 2018.
The last competition for the duo was the World Cup Final in Gothenburg,
Sweden in April 2019. Laura then gave Verdades a break until early this
year when she announced that the horse that had been her partner since
bought as a foal from a video would be retired. She showed two different
horses at national levels in this year’s Global Dressage Festival
at Wellington, Florida.
May 8th, 2020:
McPhee can be super proud with her boy, congratulations - well done,
she posted the following: Our black pearl “SenSation
HW” - 2019 USDF All Breeds Champion (Westfalen NA) - FEI 6yo
8.38%. Thank you Michael
Bragdell for an amazing Young-Horse start for this special one. Love
what the future holds for this boy .... stay tuned.
Janine Little and Little Dressage Celebrate Consistent
Record of Championships at White Fences
Canadian FEI rider, trainer, and coach Janine Little enjoyed
tremendous success throughout the 2020 White Fences series, capturing
multiple championships, including the Prix St. Georges level with
Billionaire, the Grand Prix Freestyle with Ebony, and the reserve
championship in the Grand Prix with Finley. All three horses are owned
Jacobs, and were purchased as youngsters and brought up the
levels from Training level onwards by Janine
Photo - Janine Little aboard Finley, owned by Shawneen
celebrating a successful Grand Prix season. The pair have been named to
the 2020 Dressage Canada Development Squad.
Millionaire’s 2020 White Fences Series Championship is the
third consecutive Prix St. Georges Championship won by Little, with
Finley capturing the title in 2019, and Ebony in 2018. Those two horses
are now winning at Grand Prix, with Finley listed for the 2020 Dressage
Canada Development Squad. Little is eager to have Billionaire follow in
these successful footsteps – which, with scores to 76.9% in the Prix.
St. Georges this season, he is poised to do.
“I’m deeply appreciative of Shawneen’s ownership and the
freedom and trust she gives me to take the time to develop the horses up
the levels and make decisions to maximize their success,” Little
explains, noting that the White Fences series is ideal for bringing
horses along. “It’s so exciting to see the horses progress up the
levels,” Jacobs agrees. Her three horses who earned the honours are
all very different types and temperaments, with Billionaire by Belissimo
M, Finley (formerly HW Fifty Shades) by
Fidertanz, and the “dancing
Friesian” mare Ebony by Beart 411. From picking out the horses
together, to seeing them rise from the very basics, to winning at the
FEI level, it’s been an exciting journey for both Little
“Having such a long-term partnership and shared vision is paramount
for achieving our goals,” Little
acknowledges. “Its been a great
Florida season, and we’re excited to see where the future takes us.”
April 5th, 2020:
Great news: BonFire
HW has already some mares in foal and top semen. Here are
pictures of him training with Steffi
Ahlert. Enjoy, can’t wait to see the babies.
posted: Danke. Er bereitet jeden Tag Freude und ist dazu mit super
Rittigkeit und einem top Charakter ausgestattet. Translation: Thanks, he
is a pleasure every day, super rideable, plus he has a top character!
Top quality, hand selected horses, all information can be found at www.HWfarm.com
- We love what we do
March 19th, 2020:
Smith posted: Damon’s
Design HW has qualified for the Lovsta Suteri Future Challenge for
young Grand Prix horses which will now take place in Week One of the
2021 Adequan Global Dressage Festival due to the Coronavirus!
March 18th, 2020:
White Fences Championship Series - CHAMPIONS AND RESERVE CHAMPIONS
SEASON 2019 - 2020
Check out Michelle
Gerlach and Forbes
HW, what an awesome team, congratulations over and over, so happy to
watch their journey.
Wow what can I say today closes out our last winter show for 2020 and
what a fantastic winter season it has been! > > Finley (aka FiftyShades
HW, owned by Shawneen
Jacobs) in his very first season at Grand Prix was Reserve Champion
having only done a handful of tests at the level.
March 1st, 2020:
bred by Irene
Hoeflich-Wiederhold and born in the USA, THREE times Young Horse
Champion (2008, 2009 and 2010!), Horse Of The Year, Olympics in Rio and
many more titles, so thankful to watch his journey and to every single
person who made it possible.
and Selten HW
on Winning Form West Sussex-based Mette Dahl (13) dominated the Children
on Horses classes with a double victory in both the Team and Individual
Test. Her winning partner is none other than Selten
HW (by Sandro
Hit), her father Anders’ former top ride with whom he represented
Denmark twice at an intercontinental championship.
Now retired from Grand Prix level competition, the 16-year old has
struck up a great bond with his young rider and clearly still loves to
"I have ridden Selten
HW since the beginning of November and in this short period of time
we have had lots of fun together and I have learnt an awful lot from
him," Mette told Eurodressage. "As he is now not competing at
Grand Prix level it is nice for him to have a job to do which he is
enjoying as he is still so fit and well. He does make me work hard
though. He is very big moving and I have had to work on strengthening my
core to be able to sit his very bouncy trot!
" Mette gave the 17hh gelding, who is owned by her mum, British
Bigwood, a super ride and posted scores of 72.20% and 72.94%
"I was very pleased with Selten
HW in Le Mans as it was only our second show together. It was nice
to feel him being so fresh and happy after having a little break from
competing," said Mette. "It was also reassuring to have my dad
train me as he knows him so well and understands his personality. I was
nervous doing our first international together but at the same time I
was feeling excited and honoured to ride him because of what he has
achieved with my dad.
" Selten HW
is an American bred Hanoverian
Hit x Hohenstein.
After winning the 2008 and 2009 U.S. young horse championships with Michael
Bragdell, the black was shipped by his owner Elizabeth Ball to
Europe to be sold. Bigwood
purchased the horse as an 8-year old at the 2012 Equine Elite Auction
for 500,000 euro. Under Fiona's husband Anders
Dahl, the horse made its international debut at small tour level in
2014 and at Grand Prix level in 2016. They represented Denmark at the
Rio Olympics and World Equestrian Games in Tryon. The pair's last CDI
was the 2019 CDI Hagen last April.
"I am hoping to be able to ride juniors on him next year as
long," Mette added.
Double Debut, Pony Level with George Clooney
Mette has made a double debut in Le Mans as she also premiered George
Clooney BS in the FEI Pony division.
took over the rode on the now 9-year old British bred KWPN registered
pony (by Caesar 171 x Santano) in September 2018. The pony is bred in
the U.K. by Julie Lockey.
He was previously shown by Sophie Taylor, who represented Team GB at
the 2018 European Pony Championships in Bishop Burton and finished 14th
in the freestyle final.
Mette and George Clooney BS At Mette's pony debut in Le Mans she
scored three consistent rounds of 66-67%.
"I had a super feeling with George, and he was great fun to
ride," said Mette. "As always George was extremely
enthusiastic in the ring which gives me a lovely feeling. George is a
very talented pony, but we lost some points due to some of my
inaccuracies but hopefully that will improve with more shows. I felt
like Le mans was a massive learning curve for me as I haven’t ridden
many shows with George either. This is the first year that I am doing
any serious dressage competitions. Up until now I have been training at
home with the odd show but I have mainly been doing fun jumping
competitions with my jumping pony. My parents think it is important that
I ride both disciplines at the moment.
" Mette would like to represent Great Britain at the European
Championships, whether it is ponies or children, but for her the most
important aspect right now is to learn and have fun.
"I am aiming to do some more internationals and I would love to
get to the European Championships, whether it is on Pony’s or Children
on Horses but there are a lot of good riders for Great Britain at the
moment, so we are quite relaxed about it all," she explained.
"We will have to see how the season goes but as it is only my first
season we are very realistic about it all. My parents just want me to
have fun and to enjoy competing."
Today a big milestone in my dressage career happened. Dior
HW and I did our FEI debut! We rode our first PSG at Global to a
66.6% some bobbles and lots of things learned to tweak for the next
time. Growing up everyone said you aren’t a “trainer” until you’ve
made your own horse and today I can say that I’ve made my first FEI
horse from start to finish. Dior
HW has taught me so much and it’s only the tip of the iceberg for
us. Onwards and upwards from because we’ve only just begun!
Check out Nancy
Smith’s new website, love Damon's
Design HW pictures and all the info: www.equisentialinc.com
Nancy has a classical background in Dressage and has been very
successful training multiple horses to the Grand Prix Level. She has
been a member of the United States Dressage Bronze Medal Team at the
North American Championships as well as the Alternate for the Pan
American Games. Several horses ridden and trained by Nancy
have been long listed for the Olympics and World championships with
Nancy in the irons. Her success over the last two decades on multiple
horses reflects her talent for riding a wide variety of horses at the
Grand Prix Level…...
February 17th, 2020:
This makes me/us so happy and proud, huge congratulations to family
Bigwood and Mette with Selten
HW, how wonderful to see this US bred Olympic horse (many more
titles to name) to be internationally successful with the next
generation in the family as well. Thank you to the whole team!
Super proud to have been part of Mette Dahl’s debut international
competition in Le Mans last week.... she coped brilliantly with the
pressure winning two of her classes on Selten
I’m absolutely amazed with this horse... he has proven himself at
every senior competition possible and now he teaches a young girl. He’s
so very happy in this new role- I honestly don’t know of a kinder,
sweeter horse that would do such a job. It’s incredible. He’s one in
Huge congrats to my students and owners and of course the wonderful
horses for doing so well at the YEAR END AWARDS for Virginia Dressage
Association, Inc ( VADA 2019). Thank you VADA for the wonderful awards.
We all appreciate them so very much!!