Hometown Hero: Vermont’s Laura Graves

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (WHDH) - Laura Graves, one of the Cinderella stories of the 2016 Olympics, got her wish of medaling at the games when she took home a bronze in Team Dressage as part of the United States Equestrian Team.


Graves, 29, was born in Fayston, Vermont and started riding as a child when her parents traded in their washer and dryer for two ponies. She later gave up horseback riding and moved to Boston to become a hairstylist. By 2008, she was working at the Express store in the Prudential Center when she decided to go back to horseback riding and her horse, Verdades.

“When you have a horse, another live creature that’s also aging, there’s a very clear timetable,” said Graves. “So I threw everything I had into pursuing this and making that happen.”

Graves is currently ranked 11th in the world in dressage. She is competing in individual and team dressage at the Olympics with Verdades, who she has been riding for 13 years.

“We’ve grown up together, we’ve traveled around the world a couple of times together now,” said Graves.

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