Verdades

Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com
(2002 – )
Owned by Laura Graves
Inducted: 2016

Photos

Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com
Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com
Photo courtesy of SusanJStickle.com
In 2015, Verdades showed that he is a consistent and true contender for the United States earning recognition as one of the three International Horses of Honor by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

Claiming victory at many CDI competitions in 2015, Laura Graves' Dutch Warmblood gelding had only moved up to the highest level of dressage competition the year before. He posted six wins in CDI competition at the 2015 iAdequan Global Dressage Festival (AGDF), including a sweep of the Grand Prix, Grand Prix Special, and Grand Prix Freestyle during CDIO3* Wellington, ensuring a U.S. Team Gold medal and collecting Individual Gold.

Verdades wowed the crowds in Las Vegas at the Reem Acra FEI World Cup Dressage Final, placing fifth in the Grand Prix and fourth in the Grand Prix Freestyle as the highest-placed U.S. participant. Over the summer, Verdades traveled to Toronto, where he was a member of the U.S. Gold medal-winning team at the Pan American Games, placing second in the Grand Prix and first in the Grand Prix Special. He also placed second in the Grand Prix Freestyle, securing the Individual Silver medal. Winning two of the three classes in the U.S. Dressage Festival of Champions presented by The Dutta Corp., Verdades added his first ever National Championship title to a year of remarkable success. He is currently ranked 15th on the FEI World Individual Dressage Rankings, moving up seven places from this time last year.

Graves saw a video of Verdades, nicknamed Diddy, at three weeks of age and again at three months. She said, “He was really powerful and just very sure of where he put his feet, even though he had his tail straight up in the air and this wild look in his eyes.”

Graves was the first person to ever sit on Diddy and said, “I will likely be the last”. In fact, only five people have ever ridden him. What now appears as “effortless” to the many fans of Verdades came from years of hard work and an “up and down” struggle to form the bond between them that exists today. At the age of four, Graves and Diddy nearly parted company. “I was just done,” she confessed. “You couldn’t do anything with him. He didn’t trailer. You couldn’t fly spray him. You couldn’t bathe him. He didn’t clip. I was just thinking this is not the journey I wanted to be on.”

But she persisted and now Verdades encompasses the heart of the sport in America. He showcases the dream of a horse and rider, working together from their youth, to prove their strength and partnership in the international arena.