Olympic equestrian medalist Laura Graves will participate in a series of clinics Aug. 14 at Ohana Equestrian Preserve in Aldie.
Graves represented the United States in team dressage during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She also won a silver medal in dressage for jumpers at the 2018 World Cup competition.
Graves was born in Vermont and began riding horses at an early age when a family friend boarded two ponies at the Graves’ farm. At age 15, she and her mother bought a foal named Verdades from the Netherlands. After a shaky beginning, Graves and Verdades eventually bonded and rode together for the Olympic bronze medal.
At the beginning, however, Verdades proved difficult to handle and in 2009, Graves suffered a broken back when she was thrown from the saddle. Graves planned to sell Verdades and focus on her cosmetology studies. When she couldn’t sell the horse, she retained to training and she and Verdades went on to form a formidable team, culminating in Rio with the medal-winning performance. They also finished fourth in dressage individually, just missing the medal stand.
On Aug. 14, she will participate in four clinics throughout the day with the winner of last year’s Washington International Horse Show’s Barn Night Spirit Contest, Team Kama.
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