Ocala, Fla. – The U.S. Show Jumping Team returns to action this week, taking on six countries in the Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ USA on Sunday, February 18 at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Fla. U.S. Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will lead the team of Lauren Hough and Ohlala, Laura Kraut and Confu, Beezie Madden and Darry Lou, and McLain Ward and HH Callas as they compete for a strong start in the North American standings. The U.S. Show Jumping Team will compete second in the order. Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue will serve as the reserve combination.
The U.S. Show Jumping team placed second in the 2017 FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* Ocala.
Hough and Ohlala had a strong start to the 2018 competition year, finishing in the top 10 in the FEI NetJets Grand Prix CSI4* at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday.
Kraut and Confu placed second in the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington presented by Sovaro® at the Palm Beach Masters earlier this month.
Madden and Darry Lou last competed at the CP National Horse Show in Lexington, Ky., placing third in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*.
Ward and HH Callas earned fifth-place finishes at the Palm Beach Masters in the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Wellington presented by Sovaro® and $35,000 Sovaro Palm Beach Masters Qualifier CSI3*.
Hough: Member of the silver-medal winning 2017 Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final team, 2017 member of the first all-women’s FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Dublin gold-medal winning team and recipient of the Aga Kahn Trophy, team and individual bronze medalist at the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games, and member of the 2000 Sydney Olympics U.S. Show Jumping Team
Kraut: Member of the silver-medal winning 2017 Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final team, 2017 member of the first all-women’s FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Dublin gold-medal winning team and recipient of the Aga Kahn Trophy, 2017 recipient of the “Prize of the Federal Minister of the Interior” award at CHIO Aachen, and two-time Olympian, including a team gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Games
Madden: Member of the silver-medal winning 2017 Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final team, 2017 member of the first all-women’s FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Dublin gold-medal winning team and recipient of the Aga Kahn Trophy, four-time Olympian, including team gold medals at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games, and a team silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games
Ward: Member of the silver-medal winning 2017 Longines FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final team, first place at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final, four-time Olympian, including team gold medals at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games, and a team silver medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games
Competition begins Sunday, February 18, at 1 p.m. EST at HITS Post Time Farm in Ocala, Fla. The event will be streamed live on FEI TV.
Laura Kraut, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough and Beezie Madden with Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (FEI/Christophe Taniere)
Team USA secured a definitive victory in the eighth and last leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League in Dublin (IRL) when producing the only zero score in a hard-fought competition. On level pegging with the Irish at the halfway stage they stood firm while their hosts lost their grip to drop to fifth behind Spain.
In the closing stages the Netherlands and France threw down a challenge, and American anchor Laura Kraut (51) was under pressure when last to go with Confu. But the double-Olympian didn’t crumble, posting the second US double-clear of the competition to seal it ahead of the runners-up from France, while the Dutch slotted into third place.
This was the first all-female team triumph in the 91-year history of Nations Cup Jumping for the world-famous Aga Khan Cup in Dublin.
“We said at the beginning of the year this was one of the shows we are bringing our ‘A’ team to… it’s our view that the Aga Khan is the greatest trophy in our sport. And more than that there are many ways to win a Nations Cup; sometimes you get lucky, but today in my view there was no luck. These four riders did an unbelievable job!” — Robert Ridland (Chef d’Equipe Team USA)
The time-allowed of 80 seconds proved difficult for many over Irish course-builder Tom Holden’s track, and a speedy turn to the final oxer was often costly. Beezie Madden’s (53) mistake here with her new ride Darry Lou was the American drop score in round one, but the pair got it absolutely right in round two after pathfinders Lauren Hough (40) and the brilliant mare Ohlala produced their second clear of the day and rising talent Lillie Keenan (20) made her only mistake at the first element of the penultimate double with Super Sox.
Kraut clinched it with a crisp, clear run to leave a five-fault margin between the winning US side and the French in second while the points earned by the third-placed Dutch, whose final tally was just seven faults, saw them overtake Italy at the top of the Europe Division 1 leaderboard at the end of the eight-leg series.
Beezie Madden – Team USA (winners), talking about her horse Darry Lou: “He’s a new horse. He came from Mexico and the highest he jumped there was 1.55m or so. I got him in May and this was only his third 1.60m course today. It was my mistake in the first round. He’s like a Cadillac to ride!”
Laura Kraut – Team USA, talking about the similarities between her winning ride, Confu, and her legendary 2008 Olympic team gold medal winning horse Cedric, who is now retired: “Oddly enough I found out when we were in Aachen that they share the same grandmother or something. I had no idea that they were remotely related so that’s very exciting. He (Confu) is as much of a cheeky monkey as Cedric, so for me he’s wonderful. I love him, he’s a trier, he’s a pet and he’s fun to ride and be around. But Cedric can’t be replaced.”
Olympians Kraut and Ward go double clear in come-from-behind podium finish
Aachen, Germany – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team climbed from behind to secure a silver medal tie with Switzerland in the FEI Nations Cup at the World Equestrian Festival CHIO Aachen in Aachen, Germany on Thursday. A podium finish depended on clear rounds from Olympic team gold medalists McLain Ward and HH Azur and Laura Kraut and Zeremonie. Like clockwork, the combinations came through in the clutch for double-clear performances. The U.S. and Switzerland ended on eight faults while home country Germany won gold with zero faults.
“We brought our ‘A’ team to Aachen. We have so much respect for Aachen, and we almost pulled it off. It’s tough knowing midway through the first round that the best score you can get is eight faults. We were fully confident that we could correct some mistakes and stay on zero the rest of the way and let the field come back to us. The Germans were just a better team today, but not by much,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “What we saw here today was sport at the very highest level. It doesn’t get any better than that. And it is an honor for us to be able to compete here!”
The U.S. found itself out of podium contention early with an eight-fault total after the first round. Clear rounds from Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms’ 2007 Holsteiner mare, and Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s 2006 Warmblood mare kept the U.S. hanging on after Rio Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (Wellington. Fla.) and Gazelle, his and Robin Parksy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, and two-time Olympic team gold medalist Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Coach, Abigail Wexner’s 2008 Holsteiner gelding, each had eight faults.
Tied for fifth with The Netherlands, the U.S. team rallied for an improved second round. The world number one ranked show jumper, Farrington, and Gazelle, rebounded with a clear round. Kraut and Zeremonie continued with a flawless, second round performance, jumping a double clear for the evening and allowing the U.S. to drop Madden and Coach’s eight fault score.
After three combination rotations, Germany locked up the gold, while the U.S. sat tied for third with Belgium and Switzerland with eight faults. Ward, the world number two, and Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat came through with clear rounds, while Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet had three unlucky rails for 12 faults, propelling the U.S. and Switzerland to a silver medal tie.
“Aachen is the pinnacle of the sport so this is like my Olympics this year. To go double clear – I’m just so proud of Zeremonie and all the team around her who helped get her to this point; it’s just thrilling,” said Kraut.
Aachen, Germany – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team will be composed of four Olympians when it competes in FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen on Thursday, July 20. The powerhouse team of Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and McLain Ward will face eight nations, all fielding elite talent in their own right, as they seek to secure a podium finish. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will lead the U.S. team, having drawn second in the order, and has set the following order of go:
Kent Farrington and Gazelle: Farrington (Wellington, Fla.), the current world number one ranked show jumper, and Gazelle return to Aachen riding high off a successful few weeks in Spruce Meadows. The Olympic team silver medalist and his and Robin Parksy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare won the prominent ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup during the ‘North American’ CSI5* presented by Rolex earlier this month and the ATB Financial Cup in June. Additionally, in May, they narrowly edged out a victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid CSI5*.
Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden and Coach: Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) began testing Coach at the five-star level at the beginning of the year where he showed his Grand Prix potential early. With the two-time Olympic team gold medalist aboard, Abigail Wexner’s 2008 Holsteiner gelding impressed early on with standout performances during the Winter Equestrian Festival. They collected a fifth-place finish in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* and a fourth-place finish in the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix. Most recently, the budding combination placed third in the CP Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* and are prepared for their toughest challenge to date in Aachen.
Laura Kraut and Zeremonie: The Olympic gold medalist and Zeremonie return to Aachen after helping the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a bronze-medal finish in the 2016 FEI Nations Cup Final and a tie for the team silver medal in the 2016 FEI Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), continues to develop Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms 2007 Holsteiner mare, at the five-star level, where they earned a third-place finish at CSI5* Knokke, Belgium earlier in the month.
McLain Ward and HH Azur: The Olympic gold medalist and current world number two ranked show jumper, along with the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, have risen to the top of some of the world’s most prestigious competitions. They secured an Olympic team silver medal in Rio de Janeiro and captured the lucrative Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final title in April. In a year that garnered massive success, Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur got a much-earned rest following the World Cup Finals. In June, Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) added HH Azur back into the rotation seeking their next big victory. Most recently, they placed fifth in the CP Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5*.
Watch the event live beginning Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST on ClipMyHorse.tv.
Laura Kraut clinched victory for Team USA at the fifth leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Europe Division 2 series in Sopot, Poland. But the 51-year-old double-Olympian had to ride for her life in the edge-of-the-seat third-round jump-off to beat Dutch teenager Sanne Thijssen (18) whose breathtaking performances with Con Quidam RB had the spectators riveted to their seats.
This was vintage Nations Cup competition, Olaf Petersen Jr’s testing track producing plenty of surprises including an unexpected early exit for experienced sides from Great Britain, Ireland, Norway and Russia along with the Polish hosts at the end of the first round. The Americans were well out in front with just a single time fault at the halfway stage, but the Dutch fought back from fifth place to chase them right down to the wire.
Kraut knew what she had to do when following Thijssen against the clock.
“Sanne is a great rider, always very fast. Robert Ridland [USA Chef d’Equipe] told me you’ve got a fence to work with, so just try to out-race her so that you will beat her even if you have a fence down!” — Laura Kraut (Team USA)
Just two faults separated Hungary, Portugal, Czech Republic, Netherlands and Belgium as round two began, and the addition of just two more to their 11-fault total would leave the Dutch on level pegging with the Americans in the closing stages when Aniek Poels (Athene) and Doron Kuipers (Charley) collected single time faults and Thijssen’s spring-heeled stallion jumped spectacularly clear.
Team USA added 12 second time out, Lauren Hough (40) and Waterford fell victim to the penultimate triple combination and Paris Sellon (25) also faulted there and at the water with Cassandra. But 20-year-old Chloe Reid’s rounds with her sensational 10-year-old stallion Codarco were another highlight of a day when young riders simply sparkled, and when this pair followed their first-round clear with just a single mistake then Kraut’s second clear halted the American decline and confirmed a showdown with the Dutch.
Thijssen’s little wonder-horse posted the jump-off target at four faults in 38.03 seconds. “He’s special; there are not many horses like him; he’s so careful he wants to jump the course himself and forgets that I’m sitting on him!” she said. But Kraut cranked up the speed after hitting the second fence to post the winning time of 36.29.
Laura Kraut – Team USA (winners), talking about Olaf Petersen Jr’s course: “He did an unbelievable job; the time-allowed was very tight but doable and the fences fell everywhere. It was big enough and technical enough but you couldn’t ask for a better competition.”
Sanne Thijssen – Team Netherlands, talking about her horse Con Quidam RB: “I have him since he was six so we know each other very well. My father [Leon Thijssen] rode him first and then I did 1.20m and 1.30m competition with him, and the plan was that when he was eight years old or so he would go back to my father. But we did some 2-Star Grand Prixs – I was too young for 3-Stars – and then my father said I could do a few more shows before I would give him back – but I never did!”
Laura Kraut and Deauville S Top $25,000 Progressive Nutrition Grand Prix; Jimmy Torano and Day Dream Secure Victory in $10,000 Nutrena® Open Stake
Wellington, FL – April 11, 2017 – Jose Roberto Reynoso of Wellington, FL and Azrael W took top honors in the $35,000 Nutrena® Grand Prix at ESP Spring I, hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) to kick off the post Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) season circuit. The duo completed the jump-off track in 35.263 seconds to take first place ahead of Margie Engle of Wellington, FL and Dicas, who crossed the timers in 36.579 seconds. Ailish Cunniffe of South Salem, NY and Baloucento 2 rode to third place, finishing just behind Engle with a time of 36.838 seconds.
Reynoso and Azrael W, a 2005 Dutch Warmblood (Chin Chin x Voltaire) owned by Reynoso, rose to the top of the leaderboard after besting a nine-horse jump-off. Five pairs finished the day securing a double clear effort around both tracks. The pair finished a banner week of competition, after finishing in second place in the $25,000 Progressive Nutrition Grand Prix on Friday, just behind Laura Kraut and Deauville S, before their grand prix win.
“I thought the course was good. He was just amazing, like always. I really like this horse so much. I’ve had him since he was four and we have a very good partnership together,” said Reynoso.
The pair was the last to head into the International Ring during the jump-off for the class and Reynoso understood the challenge ahead. While several other riders had rails, he wanted to keep Azrael W careful, but also quick to ensure that the pair finished with the fastest time.
“I was the last one in the jump-off and I knew that there were both four fault rounds and rounds with zero faults. I wanted to be careful not to have a rail and make sure that he stayed quick so that we could finish well,” he added.
The duo will contest the ESP Spring II classes before heading back to Brazil for their summer and fall seasons, with hopes of returning to Wellington for the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival and ESP Spring Series. He concluded, “We’re going to jump Spring II and then we’ll go back to Brazil, but are already planning on coming back for the 2018 season in November.”
Laura Kraut and Deauville S Top $25,000 Progressive Nutrition Grand Prix
U.S. veteran rider Laura Kraut of Wellington, FL and Deauville S, a 2006 Holsteiner gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Lux Z) owned by Old Willow Farms LLC, rose to the top of a competitive first grand prix class during ESP Spring I. The pair dashed through the jump-off track in 38.626 seconds to secure the win. Jose Roberto Reynoso of Wellington, FL and Azrael W finished just behind Kraut with a time of 39.298 seconds for second place. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and Boy IV captured third place with a jump-off time of 39.298 seconds.
Kraut and Deauville S bested the 33-horse class, which featured a small but fast jump-off of five horse and rider combinations. The seasoned pair of Kraut and Deauville S have competed around the globe and finished with one of their top placings this season in the grand prix.
Jimmy Torano and Day Dream Secure Victory in $10,000 Nutrena® Open Stake
Jimmy Torano of Wellington, FL and Day Dream, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Zento x Heartbreaker) owned by Jimmy & Danielle Torano, rode to victory in the $10,000 Nutrena® Open Stake to start off major prize money classes at ESP Spring I. The duo narrowly edged Sharn Wordley of Citra, FL and Caiman Des Sequoias, who stopped the timers in 37.69 seconds, while Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL piloted Boy IV to third place, finishing just a tenth of a second behind Wordley in 37.773 seconds.
A total of 41 combinations contested the track, while seven combinations advanced to the jump-off round, including another two of Andrade’s mounts, Belita and Walter 61. Wordley also guided Rye Val de Mai to the jump-off as his second mount to contest the short course.
The $5,000 Omega Alpha 1.35m Stake was championed by Luiz Francisco de Azevedo of Belgium and his own Axel P, rode to an efficient trip around the short course, finishing in 36.29 seconds. Emanuel Andrade of Wellington, FL and his own Tupac Van De captured second place with a jump-off time of 36.362 seconds. Andrade also picked up third place in the class, piloting his own Jenni’s Chance to a top three finish with a time of 36.599 seconds.
Kelly Bauernschmidt of Bratenahl, OH and her own Belle Blue S rode to victory in the $1,500 NAL Child/Adult Jumper Classic after completing their jump-off trip in 37.376 seconds ahead of Nyah Chernoff of Dewinton, Alberta and Pater Noster, owned by Windemere Stables LTD., who took second with a time of 40.87 seconds. Serena Marron of New York, NY and Abnormaal, owned by Kevin Babington, earned third place after adding four faults to their jump-off time of 41.727 seconds.
Kendra Gierkink of Harpswell, ME and Freestyler, owned by Kadley Holdings LLC, captured first place honors in the $2,500 Gold Coast Feed Low Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic, finishing the class as the only pair to secure a double clear effort. Phoebe Alwine of Delray Beach, FL and Zenith Dance, owned by In The Clover Equestrian, earned second place after dropping a single rail, adding four faults to their time of 40.854 seconds. Michelle Navarro-Grau of Wellington, FL and her own Tibetano finished in third place, after accumulating four faults and crossing through the short course timers in 45.39 seconds.
The $2,500 Equiline High Junior/Amateur Owner Jumper Classic saw Kira Kerkorian of Sagaponack, NY and Cassi, owned by Lisa Kerkorian, take first place, stopping the jump-off timers in 40.318 seconds. Kendra Gierkink of Harpswell, ME and Conisha van de Helle, owned by Kadley Holdings LLC, took home second place after finishing the track in 41.04 seconds. Michelle Naarro-Grau of Wellington, FL and her own Yidam finished in third place with a time of 42.02 seconds.
Heather Kuhl of Miami, FL and her own Wasserman rose to the top of the class in the $1,500 Equine Couture/TuffRider Low Children’s Adult Classic after besting the four horse jump-off with the fastest four fault time. The pair finished in 38.665 seconds ahead of Matti Fisher of Westport, CT and Paloma, owned by Lionshare Farm, who lowered a single rail and finished in 42.042 seconds. Sydney Gorall of Wellington, FL and her own Askano, took home third place after completing the jump-off track in 44.851 seconds.
Michelle Stacy of Marstons Mills, MA and her own Enqrique VHV took top honors in the $1,500 Marshall & Sterling Adult Jumper Classic after completing the short course in 35.237 seconds. Adrian Jay of Knoxville, TN and Bibi Sijgje, owned by Halle Fogel, placed in second after finishing the jump-off in 33.664 seconds and adding four faults to their score. Lia Screnci of Boca Raton, FL and Vichy, owned by Volado Farms, took third after dropping a single rail in the first round and finishing with a time of 72.494 seconds.
Victoria Colvin of Loxahatchee, FL and Gabriel, owned by J T Farm, took top honors in the $5,000 USHJA National Hunter Derby during ESP Spring I with a total two round score of 177. Ericka Koscinski of Center Moriches, NY and Emerson Hill, owned by Libby Mewbourne, rode to second place with a final score of 172. Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT and Verdana, owned by Laura Wasserman, finished in third place, only a point behind Koscinski, completing two rounds with a total of 171.
Colvin and Gabriel received an 88 from the panel in round one before securing an 89 in the handy to take the win. The duo’s scores were the highest in both rounds, as they outpaced a class of 14 entries.
Sienna Pilla of Ridgefield, CT and Robin Hill’s Snapshot, owned by Piccolino Farm LLC, championed the $1,500 USHJA Pony Hunter Derby with a two round score of 167. Hana Bieling of Wellington, FL guided Headlines, owned by Tanna Seltzer, to second place with a total score of 161, ahead of Christina Rogalny of Wellington, FL and More Like It, owned by Megan McCarthy, who took home third place with a score of 160 from the panel.
The Neue Schule Bits USHJA Hunter 3′ Division saw Richard Fancher of Crestwood, KY and Von Dutch, owed by Cara Cheska, take the division championship ahead of Deborah Perkins of Wellington, FL and her own Rise and Shine, who secured reserve champion honors.
Jennifer Hannan of Wakefield, RI and Canada, owned by Jennifer Smith, championed the Gold Coast Feed Performance Hunter 3’3″ & 3’6″ Combined Division ahead of Katherine Newman of Wellington, FL, who guided Forever Autumn, owned by Christine Richards, to reserve.
Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT and Akinda, owned by Hillside Farm, LLC, secured the divisional championship in the #1 Education Place Junior Hunter 3’6″ Division, while Taylor St Jacques of Glen Allen, VA and her own Di Samorano were awarded with reserve champion.
For more information on PBIEC and to see a full list of results from ESP Spring I, please visit www.pbiec.com.
Laura Kraut and Deauville S (Photo courtesy of Brooke Giacin/Equinium Sports Marketing)
Wellington, Florida (March 22, 2017) – In another outstanding week of competition on The Ridge Palm Beach Series, US Olympic Team Gold Medalist Laura Kraut bested a large field of Grand Prix competitors to capture victory in the $15,000 1.40m Turf Tour Grand Prix, held on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2017. Celebrating the greenest holiday of the year with a day of show jumping on the verdant grass field at Carben Farm in Wellington, Florida, Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio welcomed Low, Medium, and High Schooling Jumpers, 1.25-1.30m divisions, and the 1.40m Grand Prix as part of their centerpiece series, the Turf Tour. Envisioned as utopian throwback to old world show jumping on the grass, the Turf Tour is the highlight event of the Palm Beach Series, which hosts 13 weeks of competition from January through April 1. Full divisions of hunter and jumper classes run at Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in tandem with the Turf Tour, Hunter Derby Days, and USEF Equitation Tuesdays events each week, Wednesday to Sunday, to create the entire Palm Beach Series experience. During this, the second to last week of full competition, some of the best riders in the industry as well as juniors, young riders, amateurs, pony riders, and aspiring professionals, trotted through The Ridge’s ingate to test their skill over courses in a variety of levels and divisions.
Friday’s Turf Tour saw non-stop show jumping action. Following a morning 1.25-1.30m class topped by Andrew Bourns and Charming Girl, Todd Minikus and Maharaja Del Juncal, owned by Two Swans Farm, set the pace in the afternoon’s 1.40m Grand Prix, going double clear with a jump off time of 39.419.
The technical yet versatile course set by FEI ‘O’ course designer Leopoldo Palacios yielded a total of 9 first round clears and four double clears. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle aboard Susan Grange’s Farona and Canada’s Jaclyn Duff with her own Pater Noster went double clear to finish second and third, but no one could catch Laura Kraut and Deauville S, owned by Old Willow Farm, who streaked around the course to capture the win on a jump off time of 35.014.
For more information on the 2017 Palm Beach Series, including full schedules, prizelists, and entry blanks, visit www.TheRidgeFarm.com.
Wellington, FL – March 15, 2017 – U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut was victorious riding Caelle in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class to open week ten on Wednesday, March 15, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Michel Vaillancourt (USA) set the speed track for 69 starters in the morning’s 1.45m and saw 20 clear rounds. Kraut rode Stars and Stripes’ Caelle, an eight-year-old Zangersheide mare (Clinton x Darco), to the winning time of 62.25 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) placed second in 62.31 seconds riding her own and Mary Chapot’s Thornhill Kate. Emily Moffitt (GBR) crossed the timers in 63 seconds to place third riding Poden Farm’s Zagahorn. Lisa Goldman jumped into fourth place in 63.15 seconds aboard Barbara Disko’s Sovereign. Chapot also took fifth place honors, riding her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince to a time of 63.26 seconds.
“I am really pleased,” Kraut said of Caelle. “I got her at the end of her six-year-old year and just spent last year doing the seven-year-olds. This was her first time ever jumping FEI, so she is off to a good beginning.
“She is wonderful,” Kraut continued. “She is super brave, she is so fast, and she is just very competitive. This morning, even though it is her first time jumping in an FEI 1.45m class, I knew she would not have any issues. I just went as quick as I thought I needed to, and she is so fast.”
Detailing her winning round, Kraut stated, “Michel Vaillancourt set a nice course this morning. It was a few sharp turns and then quite a nice gallop across the ring a couple of times, which she does well. It was tricky enough. The triple combination was difficult to gallop in; it was a big vertical to vertical and then an oxer. She handled that well. Really, I just tried to be as neat and quick as I could. Then towards the end of the course, I took a little bit of a pull and slowed her down just because she does not know still about going flat out at that height of jump, but she responded. I am just very happy with her.”
Caelle will jump again in Friday’s 1.45m competition. Kraut is taking her time bringing the mare along and hopes to step her up to 1.50m later this season.
Also competing in the International Arena on Wednesday, Amber Harte (USA) and Austria 2 won the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m speed class. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Gotham Enterprizes’ South Street were victorious in the $6,000 Illustrated Properties 1.40m Power and Speed.
Week ten of the Winter Equestrian Festival continues in the International Arena on Thursday featuring the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 and $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Under 25 Grand Prix Series Welcome. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Barbara Borg and Quinn, Nick Skelton, Laura Kraut and Mary K Schaughnessy and Java. Photo by Sue Weakley.
Wellington, FL – March 9, 2017 – Barbara Borg and Mary K. Shaughnessy looked like they were having the time of their lives. They were all smiles as Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut led them through a series of exercises including flat work, ground poles and jumps. But more important, the three equestrians were doing it for a good cause: The Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center located in Loxahatchee, Florida.
Kraut and seven-time Olympic athlete Nick Skelton offered up a clinic, including a barn tour and lunch, as a fundraiser for the 30th Annual Vinceremos Benefit Dinner and Auction in February. As the bidding heated up during the live auction, Kraut and Skelton graciously offered TWO clinics and Borg and Shaughnessy were the winning bidders for one day while Angi Holtgers won the other day, netting $40,000 in donations for the two clinics to the Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center. Vinceremos serves children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities in Palm Beach County through unique equine partnerships and Borg and Shaughnessy are fans of the non-profit.
“Mary K. and I are good friends and we did this three years ago,” Borg said. “We were at the benefit and it was available again and we looked at each other and said, ‘Can we do it again?’ I love Vinceremos and they do so many wonderful things. What better way to contribute to it? I just had a tour of Vinceremos last week, so this was perfect.”
She and her 10-year-old Brandenburg gelding Quinn took the jumps in stride in the South Florida humidity. “It was fabulous and so much fun,” she said.
“It was great,” Shaughnessy echoed. “Working with horses is a benefit for children and adults and this combines everything: caring about people and caring about horses.” She loves that the charity is local, allowing visits and volunteering opportunities. She and Borg used to ride together until they branched off into different disciplines but they have remained friends. Borg is competing in the hunter ring while Shaughnessy concentrates on flatwork and jumping exercises on her Hanoverian, Java.
“I was lucky enough to have been in a clinic with these two a few years ago,” Kraut said, laughing that she counts on them as her faithful buyers who won’t leave her standing on a stage at a charity auction without “purchasing” her. “It was really fun. Both of them are on different horses this time and they’re both wonderful riders. They’ve really got great eyes and they see the distances well. We just tried to work on some of the fine points of strength and concentration.”
In fact, Kraut schooled both riders on getting more energy out of their horses. “One of the hardest things to learn in riding is getting a reaction,” she said. She also had them work on asking for accuracy and establishing straightness. “A very important thing is to feel the horse is straight before you ask him to move laterally. In hunters, a correct straight approach is everything. If your horse is crooked or off balance, you also have a better chance of getting a rub.”
Kraut was as equally enthusiastic about helping Vinceremos as she was the riders. “It’s an honor to get to do something for such a great cause,” she said. “It’s the least we can do.”
Susan Guinan, Director of Development for Vinceremos, was on hand to watch the clinic. “I’m thrilled that Laura and Nick and so many are willing to support the efforts we make at Vinceremos, because it absolutely does enrich the lives of all those children and all those adults. For these kids and adults, holding the rein translates into holding a spoon or a crayon. It makes a difference in their everyday lives.”
For information about how you can help, call (561) 792-9900 or email Vinceremos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laura Kraut and Cedric at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.
Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 28, 2017 – Olympian Laura Kraut and Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm have announced the retirement of Cedric, Kraut’s Olympic partner. The 19-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Chambertin 3-Cortina, Carolus LL) is owned by Cherry Knoll Farm.
Kraut and Cedric were one of the most dynamic and successful show jumping combinations in American history. Cedric made his FEI debut in 2006 as an 8-year-old, and his partnership with Kraut has been nothing short of incredible. Kraut and Cedric were key members of the United States show jumping team that claimed the gold medal in 2008 at the summer Olympics in Beijing.
“Cedric has been the horse of a lifetime for me,” Kraut said. “He has been incredible and I’ve learned not to give up and to persevere. It took a long time as he was a little bit slower to develop than your normal grand prix horse. He’s been amazing, and I think I’ll never have another horse like him.”
The pair made numerous Nations Cup appearances around the world, including Rotterdam, La Baule, Rome, St. Gallen, Aachen, Wellington, Dublin and Barcelona on multiple occasions. Kraut and Cedric have also been successful players on the Global Champions Tour and to this date are the only horse and rider combination to win back-to-back Global Champions Tour events, winning in Chantilly, France, and then just two weeks later at Valkenswaard, the Netherlands.
“For me, one of the biggest career highlights with Cedric was him winning multiple Global Champions Tour grand prix events,” Kraut said. “For him to win back-to-back huge grand prix competitions like that was a tribute to just how great he is.”
Cedric, one of the nation’s leading money winners, amassed well over $2 million in prize money won and, in major competitions of $100,000 or more, produced 81 clear and 45 double-clear rounds.
In 2010, Cedric was named The Chronicle of the Horse’s Show Jumping Horse of the Year. Throughout her career Kraut has achieved great success with many different horses, yet none of those were more exciting than the partnership she developed with Cedric. He has been an absolutely world-class competitor and representative of the United States Equestrian Team.
U.S. chef d’équipe and legendary horseman, George H. Morris, coached Kraut and Cedric to a team gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Morris was a huge supporter of the pair from the start, and was confident in their abilities to rise to the occasion in Beijing for Team USA.
“I wanted to go with [Cedric] because he was a careful and competitive horse,” said Morris, regarding selecting Cedric for the 2008 Olympic Games. “I never underestimate a little horse, and the rider – nobody rides better than Laura. He is an absolute blood horse. With all of that Thoroughbred blood in his veins, there is no bottom to Cedric. Careful, clever as a cat, so handy, so fast – all of the qualities that really make a superb show jumper.
“He’s what I call a darling horse,” continued Morris. “That of course was a great asset for the team. He had many, many wins in Nations Cups around the world representing Team USA. Besides the Olympic Games, he’s a horse you won’t forget. You won’t forget Cedric.”
Prior to Cherry Knoll Farm stepping in as owner in 2012, Cedric was owned by Happy Hill Farm and Peter Wetherill, one of Duprey’s childhood friends. In addition to owning Cedric, Duprey, a Grand Prix dressage rider and philanthropist, also owns decorated grand prix show jumper Constable and Rio Paralympic mount Schroeter’s Romani ridden by Rebecca Hart. Duprey is also a partner in a syndication for Andretti S, who is ridden by Kraut.
“I thought owning Cedric would be a great opportunity to become involved in the jumping world with one of the best,” Duprey said about her decision to purchase the grey gelding in 2012. “To be able to carry on Peter’s love of this horse and his love of Laura, makes it very special.
“It has been a privilege to own a horse like Cedric,” Duprey continued. “Because of him, I have experienced international show jumping at the highest level around the world. I am so thankful for everyone who has played a role in his life, from the farriers, grooms, veterinarians – it truly takes a village. There will only be one Cedric and I am honored to have been a part of his journey.”
Cedric and his standout career will be recognized at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Friday, March 3, in a retirement ceremony prior to the start of the $150,000 Nations Cup CSIO4*.