Laura Kraut and Andretti S.
North Salem, NY – September 16, 2014 – Sunday afternoon’s $200,000 American Gold Cup CSI4*-W was a fight to the finish. Six riders raced against the clock in an attempt to add their name to the illustrious list of previous winners. In the end, it came down to Jessica Springsteen aboard Vindicat W and her long-time trainer, Olympian Laura Kraut with the Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S.
Springsteen was the first, of six, to return to the jump off. Setting a fast pace, the pair stopped the timers at 35.360 seconds. Although each consecutive rider attempted to catch her time, they could not compensate accuracy for speed, either incurring faults or riding to a more conservative clear round.
Kraut was the last of the group to tackle the jump-off. Picking up the gallop, Kraut pulled the clutch with Andretti S, chasing Springsteen’s time. When Kraut left out a risky stride to the double combination, the audience was on the edge of their seats. Andretti soared through the effort, but Kraut reeled him in a little to the final fence, a decision that added a stride to earn the duo the second place. They finished in 36.660 seconds, only one second shy of Springsteen’s time.
“I don’t know what I was thinking at the double combination,” Kraut said. “It was either going to be victory or a disaster, and he just tried so hard to help me out there. I knew I had a choice to just go really flat out down to the final fence, but he’s still a young horse and I thought rather than taking the chance of crashing or doing something that would scare him, I’d just sort of stay conservative. It cost me but I’m happy with second.”
Laura Kraut and Andretti S, a new mount as of last fall, have been climbing the ranks of international competition throughout the summer. Andretti S is a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood who is an up and coming international super-star with Kraut in the saddle. This summer in Europe and now at the Gold Cup, Andretti S has proven himself a top competitor on the international stage, showcasing his speed among the best horse and rider combinations in the world. Andretti S is owned by the Stars and Stripes Syndicate in which Cherry Knoll Farm is a proud shareholder.
“I’m just so happy with him,” Kraut expressed. “I don’t want to say that I’m surprised, but I am a little surprised that he’s come along as quickly as he has. When I started in Florida with him, I was jumping small 1.40m classes, and he really didn’t have a lot of mileage. All of a sudden it’s started to come to him. It was a difficult test for him today, but he handled it great.”
Kraut stood to the left of student, Springsteen, on the podium, smiling as she accepted the second place award.
“I’m thrilled! That’s the highest placing I’ve had on this horse ever. I don’t begrudge the victory to somebody who deserves it,” Kraut concluded.
Kraut will now prepare for the Central Park Horse Show, Longines L.A. Masters and the National Horse Show. For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm, please visit http://www.cherryknollfarminc.com/.