Tag Archives: Laura Kraut

Lauren Hough and Ohlala Top $35,000 Welcome Stake at WIHS

Lauren Hough and Ohlala. Photos by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Laura Kraut and Andretti S Victorious in $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class; Isabel Ryan and Eve Jobs Win Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Speed Rounds

Washington, D.C. – The 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted its third day of equestrian competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. on Thursday. USA’s Lauren Hough and Ohlala were the winners in the $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by CMJ Sporthorse LLC. Another win for the USA went to Laura Kraut riding Andretti S in the $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class, presented by the Gochman Family.

The Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers also competed on Thursday with a win for Eve Jobs and Sandor de la Pomme in the $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, and a one-two finish for Isabel Ryan with Levistano 2 and Abilitydance in the $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by The Strauss Family.

In Thursday’s $35,000 International Jumper Welcome Stake, presented by CMJ Sporthorse LLC, course designer Alan Wade (IRL) set for 29 entries with seven clear rounds over his first round track. Callan Solem (USA) and Horseshoe Trail Farm LLC’s VDL Wizard chose not to return for the jump-off and finished in seventh place. David Will (GER) and Centin Güngor’s Cento du Rouet were first to go over the short course, finishing fifth with four faults in 34.67 seconds. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Bertram and Diana Firestone’s Ace were next to go, jumping a double clear round in 38.00 seconds to eventually finish third. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and his own and the Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt dropped two rails in 36.94 seconds to end in sixth place. Next to go, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and David Gochman’s Lady Maria BH were double clear in 37.92 seconds to take a brief lead. Laura Kraut (USA) jumped into fourth place with her time of 38.54 seconds riding St. Bride’s Farm’s Confu. Last to go, Lauren Hough (USA) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala clocked the winning round in 35.27 seconds.

Hough first partnered with Ohlala, a 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare (Orlando x Cardento), five years ago and last competed at WIHS in 2012 when the pair won the $32,000 International Open Jumper faults converted class. At that time, Hough had been riding Ohlala for just one year and was stepping the mare up to the grand prix level with high hopes. Ohlala has since lived up to great expectations and won major classes all over the world.

Explaining her decision to return to WIHS after a three-year hiatus, Hough said, “I am really trying to concentrate on the World Cup qualifiers. I would like to go to the World Cup Finals with her this year, and so I decided to do a tour here. I did Tryon last week. I will go back to Europe to go to Doha next week and then carry on to Toronto.”

“She is wonderful. She loves to win,” Hough said of Ohlala. “I think her favorite part was the prize giving today. Indoors obviously suits her, being a small horse. I felt in the jump-off I did what I needed to do without taking too much risk, and still keeping Saturday night in the back of my mind and having a good prep for that. I feel like I have left enough in the tank to try to win again on Saturday as well.”

The pair will compete in Saturday night’s $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Washington, presented by Events DC, so Hough did not want to take too much risk in the jump-off.

“She is naturally very quick, so I just rode my round and kept the turns a little bit short,” Hough detailed. “I made quite a short turn into the double and she did that great. Then I still took my time to the last. I didn’t leave out, but just her natural rhythm and the pace she carries over the ground made my job very easy.”

Hough added, “We bought her the end of her seven-year-old year and she has won her whole life. She jumps at a very high level, and I have been concentrating a lot on Nations’ Cups, so it is nice to let her go enjoy it a little bit and be able to go fast.”

Hough is based part of the year in the United States and part of the year in Europe. Being back at WIHS after several years, she has enjoyed the competition.

“I love America, and I love riding here. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to compete all over the world and be based in both places, but it is always really special to be back in America in front of a home crowd,” Hough acknowledged. “This is a great horse show. In the nighttime they get great crowds, and to be in the middle of D.C. is something special. I know they try really hard, and I like to support good American shows.

Laura Kraut Wins $35,0000 Accumulator Costume Class

The $35,000 International Jumper Accumulator Costume Class, presented by the Gochman Family, was held on Thursday evening during the show’s always-popular Barn Night, presented by Dover Saddlery with the generous support of The Peterson Family Foundation and National Harbor. Local young riders and horse enthusiasts attended in groups and had the chance to enter contests, win big prizes, and enjoy a fun, horse-filled evening that included the WIHS Shetland Pony Steeplechase Championship Races, presented by Charles Owen, and internet sensations Dally & Spanky.

Laura "Little Red Riding Hood" Kraut and Andretti S
Laura “Little Red Riding Hood” Kraut and Andretti S

For the win, Kraut and her mount, Stars and Stripes’ Andretti S, cleared the course and the high side of the joker fence for a 65-point total in the fastest time of 44.47 seconds. Kraut was awarded the Crown Royal Trophy, donated by Crown Royal, as the winning rider, and Andretti S earned the Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy, donated by the Washington International Horse Show, as the winning horse.

Dressed as Little Red Riding Hood for the costume class, Kraut had a great time competing in front of the Barn Night crowd and was proud of Andretti S for his great performance. The 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Corland x Animo) has shown at WIHS three times and thrives in the atmosphere at Verizon Center.

“He has been really good. He started out the year fantastic in Florida,” Kraut detailed. “Then we had an accident; he fell at a water jump, and it took him a little while just to get his confidence back. He never did anything bad, but he just was nervous. Sort of starting at the Gold Cup he has gotten better. He always seems to like that show, and he has been going well again, and he has been very consistent.

“For some reason he loves Washington,” Kraut added. “He is a claustrophobic-type horse. He doesn’t like other horses coming towards him, but I think this is the third year I have brought him here and he always does well, so it is fun. I am happy with him.”

Second place honors went to Catherine Tyree (USA) riding Mary Tyree’s Bokai with a score of 65 in 45.15 seconds. Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) and David Gochman’s Luibanta BH finished third with 65 points in 45.50 seconds. Andrew Kocher (USA) earned a perfect score of 65 as well riding Eagle Valley Partners LLC’s Ciana, and finished fourth with his time of 51.63 seconds. Kocher and Ciana then earned the Best Costume Award, presented by Equestrian Sport Productions, for their impressive clown attire.

Barn Night was a huge success as some of the region’s top groups came out Thursday night to participate in special contests and enjoy the unique competition. Memory Hill earned the award for Best Group Video, Harmony Ridge won Best Group Banner, Meadowbrook won Overall Largest Group, and Serene Acres took home the award for Best Group Spirit.

Isabel Ryan and Eve Jobs Triumph in Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers

The $2,500 Low Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by The Strauss Family, was held on Thursday afternoon with a one-two finish for 17-year-old Isabel Ryan of Locust Valley, NY. Ryan rode Heritage Farm, Inc.’s Levistano 2 to victory and finished second riding her own Abilitydance.

Twenty-two entries started over Alan Wade’s (IRL) one-round speed course, which saw eight clear trips. Ryan and Levistano 2 cleared the course in 48.52 seconds. Abilitydance stopped the clock in 49.21 seconds, and Quinn Larimer and Nestledown Equine Services LLC’s Bronson CR finished the track in 49.40 seconds to place third.

For the win, Ryan was awarded the Beagle Brook Farm Perpetual Trophy. This was her first time winning at WIHS since riding ponies, and her first trip back to the show in three years. In 2014, she started riding with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm and just started doing the jumpers last year.

“It was a good return (to WIHS),” Ryan admitted. “My horses were so good. I was really happy because Billy (Abilitydance) is younger, and he was perfect. He really listened to me, which I was worried about. Levi (Levistano 2) was amazing. He was fast, but I was able to get him back really easily, and that was the goal going in. They were both amazing.”

Ryan first started showing Levistano 2 in the jumpers last year and learned quickly with an experienced partner in the 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding (by Levisto). Abilitydance is a newer partnership, but the 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (by Orame) has also given the young rider great experience.

“I’m fairly new to the jumpers, and I first got Levi because he is older and very experienced,” Ryan detailed. “He was my first real jumper. I started with him at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) this year in the Low Junior Jumpers and then I slowly moved up. Billy was actually my equitation horse last year and then we switched him to the jumpers in week two of WEF this year. He has been getting used to this job, and he was amazing.”

It was a different experience competing on a horse in the jumpers compared to Ryan’s last experience at WIHS on ponies, but her horses gave her two great rounds.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, especially because the last time I was here I was jumping 2’3”, so that was a big difference,” Ryan acknowledged. “It was really nice to have Levi because I have a lot of confidence in him, and I knew that even if it wasn’t the most competitive round, at least he was going to help me have a nice, good experience at Washington. With Billy, my main goal was just to have a nice round and be clean because this is a big step up from anything that he has done before, so it was a great experience showing here.”

WIHS was Ryan’s last show before heading down to the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL for the winter show season. She is a senior in high school and recently submitted applications to colleges. She plans to continue riding as much as possible.

The $5,000 High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper speed class, sponsored by Staysail Farm, was held during the evening session with a win for 18-year-old Eve Jobs of Palo Alto, CA riding her own Sandor de la Pomme. The pair was awarded The “Footloose” Perpetual Trophy in remembrance of Ruth Ellen Wilmot, donated by The Curtin Family in honor of 1990 winner “Footloose.”

Twenty-four entries showed in the speed competition with just eight clear rounds. Katherine Strauss and All In led with a time of 52.88 seconds, but were pushed to second place in the end as Jobs crossed the finish line in a time of 50.16 seconds. Alexandra Pielet and Co-Pielet LLC’s Helene Ve finished third in 54.62 seconds.

Jobs was competing at the Washington International Horse Show for the first time on Thursday and had great confidence in her mount, a 14-year-old Belgian Sport Horse gelding (Vigo d’Arsouilles x Darco) that she has ridden for two years. The pair also won the Junior Jumper Championship at the Devon Horse Show earlier in the year. Jobs has trained with Missy Clark and John Brennan at North Run in Warren, VT for the last six years and will take a gap year to continue her riding in 2017 before heading to college at UCLA in September. For now, the rider will enjoy a hard-won victory in the challenging competition on Thursday.

“These are my really good friends, and I know that a lot of them are very fast riders. I did not get to watch much, so I was a little intimated walking in there of course,” Jobs admitted. “I think because my horse had such a big stride I was able to do the nine strides down the second to last line, and then the six coming home, which I don’t think many people did. That is probably where I picked up the most time.”

Speaking further of her mount, Jobs said, “This horse is so special. Everything that I have done has been because of this horse. He has taught me an exponential amount. He is truly one of the best horses I have ever ridden.”

Jobs’ main goal this year was to compete in the major equitation finals, and she will also show in the WIHS Equitation Finals this week, starting with the hunter phase on Friday. She then heads to the CP National Horse Show in Kentucky to conclude the season. She will begin competing as an amateur at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL starting in January.

Commenting on her first experience at WIHS, Jobs stated, “All of the horses were wonderful. I think the show is a lot of fun. I think the atmosphere is unlike anything I have ever been to. It is a small ring, but the track rode really nice, and I am very happy with my first day.”

The Washington International Horse Show continues on Friday with the championships for the Junior Hunter divisions as well as the hunter phase of the WIHS Equitation Finals. The Low and High Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumpers will have jump-off classes in the afternoon session. The evening session begins with a $50,000 International Jumper Speed Final, followed by the $25,000 International Jumper Puissance, presented by The Boeing Company. For full results, visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Lauren Fisher
Jump Media
lauren@jumpmediallc.com
www.jumpmediallc.com

Laura Kraut and Nouvelle Capture $130,000 1.50m Suncast Welcome CSI 5*

Laura Kraut and Nouvelle. Photos ©Sportfot.

Taylor Alexander and Gipsy King Ride to Another Under 25 Victory

Mill Spring, NC – October 20, 2016 – Laura Kraut (USA) and Nouvelle took home their first major win at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), placing atop the $130,000 1.50m Suncast® Welcome CSI 5*. The pair completed the track in 37.749 seconds to take the well-deserved victory, while Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Testify earned second place with a time of 38.012 seconds. Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala collected third place, completing the track just seven-tenths of a second behind Vanderveen, crossing through the timers in 38.731 seconds.

The winning duo of Kraut and Nouvelle surpassed a jump-off of eleven combinations, while the class featured 55 entries who tested the first round track set by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) in the George H. Morris Arena. Kraut and Nouvelle sped to victory, chipping away time at each of the inside turns available on the jump-off track.

“I jumped all three of mine who are here this week in the class, but all for different reasons. The first horse, Confu, I’m planning on jumping maybe one more class with him this week and then he’ll go to Washington next week,” said Kraut. “Nouvelle is the ride I’m targeting this week and my plan was to jump clear and then be competitive in the jump-off. She’s had a long layup with injuries so this is her comeback.”

Kraut and Nouvelle also showed last week at TIEC in the CSI 3* competition, finishing eighth in the $130,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 3*, which Kraut felt was a good learning experience ahead of the duo’s anticipated success this weekend. She explained, “Last Saturday she was clear in the class, but felt like she had no energy in the second round. Today felt like a dramatic improvement.”

Quick to point out the speed of combinations featured in the jump-off round, Kraut’s plan revolved heavily around the round of Lauren Hough and Ohlala, who were one of the fastest combinations in the class.

“The only thing I could focus on was that Lauren had gone into the lead when I went into the ring. Since we show together week in and week out, I know that Ohlala is very very fast. I also knew I had to go as fast as I could and hope for the best,” she explained. “It was one of those fun days where it all works out.”

As for Nouvelle, Kraut said the 2004 Dutch Warmblood mare (Solitair x Contango) owned by Evita Group is feeling better than ever after having several medical mishaps over the course of her career.

“She feels really good. I rode her back from the prize giving and it felt like she could have jumped two more rounds. I’ll save her for Saturday night and I’m very excited to jump the big class,” elaborated Kraut.

The success of Kraut and her students has been unmatched, as strong showings in the FEI classes, as well as the Under 25 division for several clients has highlighted the week for Kraut’s team to this point.

“It was really nice to be able to come and do this show. I’m so happy for my students. For them to be able to do these classes and the Under 25 is really nice. It’s a beautiful facility and it’s just great. It’s always so nice to have another CSI 5* in America,” she concluded.

Taylor Alexander and Gipsy King Ride to Another Under 25 Victory at TIEC

Taylor Alexander of Castle Rock, CO piloted Gipsy King, owned by Alexander LLC, to another Under 25 win at TIEC during the 2016 Tryon Fall Series, this time finishing atop the $5,000 Under 25 Welcome, which was hosted on the new Grass Complex at the venue. Alexander topped the class, guiding Gipsy King through the finish in 34.49 seconds for the win. Taylor Land of Atlanta, GA and For Edition picked up second place with a time of 37.191 seconds, while Alexander guided her second mount, Ryanair de Riverland to third after competing the track in 37.191 seconds.

Taylor Alexander and Gipsy King
Taylor Alexander and Gipsy King

“The goal with both of them was to have a solid and clear first round so that we could get more competitive in the jump-off,” explained Alexander.

Alexander has formed a strong partnership with the 2006 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Wandor van de Mispelaere x Lys De Darmen) owned by Alexander LLC, and the pair has dominated the Under 25 classes at Tryon so far this season, taking top honors in last week’s $10,000 Under 25 Welcome and finishing second in the $25,000 Under 25 Grand Prix.

“He’s really a super easy horse in the barn, which is really nice. In the ring, I am really confident on him. I always know that he’s going to be really careful so I can always test him a bit in the jump-off,” she elaborated. “I got him at the end of March. Nick [Skelton] was riding him at the end of WEF in the 1.40m and 1.45m classes. We worked a lot on our partnership throughout the summer.”

Both of Alexander’s horses have performed well at TIEC and she feels the experience they’ve gained will be valuable looking towards the end of the season, as well as the approaching winter circuit.

“I’ve had Ryan a bit longer. I started riding him in December so I’ve had longer to get to know him and it’s really starting to come along recently,” explained Alexander. “He’s pretty quick too so that’s what I’ve been trying to focus on with him.”

Riding a gutsy jump-off round, Alexander sealed the win with a first class performance aboard Gipsy King. Commenting on her intense strategy for the second round track, Alexander stated, “I feel like we’ve really capitalized on these past two weeks and I’m really looking forward to riding in the class on Sunday.”

The 2016 Tryon Fall Series presented by Greenville-Spartanburg Airport District offers six weeks of hunter and jumper competition, including three weeks of internationally recognized FEI show jumping featuring two FEI CSI 3* weeks and an FEI CSI 5*. For more information on Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) and surrounding amenities, please visit www.tryon.com.

Bronze for Hermès US Show Jumping Team at Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final

Lillie Keenan and Super Sox (Libby Law Photography)

Barcelona, Spain – The Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final came to an exciting conclusion at CSIO5* Barcelona Saturday evening. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team of Audrey Coulter, Lauren Hough, Lillie Keenan, and Laura Kraut stood strong against tough competition in the Final’s second round. Building off the momentum from a Silver-medal win at the Rio Olympic Games in August, the U.S. once again stood on the podium, this time earning Bronze. In a sensational evening for the sport, Great Britain and Germany battled it out for top honors in a jump-off. Germany ultimately took Gold, while Great Britain won Silver.

Riding as pathfinders for the U.S. over Santiago Varela’s big and technically demanding course was Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare. The pair had a brilliant round until the last fence, an oxer set a long six strides off the triple combination at 12. Hough rode forward, but ended up long, taking the top rails down for a four-fault total.

Next in the order was Coulter (San Francisco, Calif.) and Copernicus Stables, LLC’s Capital Colnardo, a 2005 Holsteiner stallion. With rails down at fences 3 and 12c, the pair added eight faults to the board.

Prior to the final round, the U.S. replaced Lucy Davis and Barron in the team’s starting order due to minor swelling in Barron’s forelimb. The gelding is expected to make a full recovery. Davis and Barron contributed to the final round qualification with a clear round in the opening competition on Thursday. As the alternate members of the team, Keenan and Super Sox stepped into the order. Keenan and Chansonette Farm LLC and Ronnoco Jump Ltd.’s 2006 Hanoverian gelding delivered a clutch clear round in their Nation Cup Final debut.

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie (Libby Law Photography)
Laura Kraut and Zeremonie (Libby Law Photography)

Preceding the U.S. in the final rotation was Ireland, Switzerland, and Italy, with each nation adding four faults to put all on a five-fault total. With Great Britain and Germany securing zero-fault round-one totals, the door was open for the U.S. to secure a Bronze medal with a clear round from anchor rider, Kraut. Aboard Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie, a 2007 Holsteiner mare, Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) rode with steel nerve to deliver the necessary clear round to secure a podium finish for the U.S.

“The course was very tricky. There were options for striding in almost every line,” said Kraut. “It was fortunate for me that I went late in the class and had a lot of time to make up my mind on what would be best for my horse. Initially after walking the course, I thought adding strides would be best, but as I watched, leaving strides out seemed to be working better, especially with the tight time allowed. I was very pleased with my round. Zeremonie is young and that was a lot of pressure on her.”

Speaking to the team’s overall performance, Kraut noted, “Obviously we like to win, and we were one fence away from being in the jump-off, but this was a strong finish for us. Lillie pulling through in the 11th hour and going clear was an amazing feat. Audrey was great; it just wasn’t her week, but she rode really well.”

In the jump-off, Great Britain was first in the order and opted to send forward 2016 Individual Olympic Gold medalists, Nick Skelton and Big Star. The pair jumped clear in 41.57 to put the pressure on Germany. With the advantage of knowing exactly what was needed to secure the win, Marcus Ehning and Pret A Tout delivered for their nation, going clear in 39.80.

Complete Results

Find out more about CSIO5* Barcelona

From the USEF Communications Department

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Fights for Podium Finish at CSIO5* Dublin

Laura Kraut and Cavalia (Laurence Dunne/Rockmountain Studios)

Dublin, Ireland – The United States overcame immense pressure to tie with Sweden for the Bronze medal at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ presented by Longines at CSIO5* Dublin, Ireland. The Hermès Show Jumping Team of Georgina Bloomberg, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, and Jessica Springsteen battled a tough field to extend its podium success in Nations Cup competition. In an intense jump-off, Italy went clear to snatch the Gold medal on zero faults from the home team of Ireland, who claimed Silver on six faults.

“Obviously, we always want to win, and be in the jump-off. The Irish and Italians were very strong, and we knew that going in. We had a couple nine year-old [horses]. To have a podium finish, I was very proud of them and their performance,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

The U.S. team put up an impressive first-round effort. Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and Ohlala, The Ohlala Group’s 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, were the pathfinders for the U.S. team. The growing combination dug deep to finish with zero faults. Springsteen (Colts Neck, N.J.) and Cynar, Stone Hill Farm’s 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding, nearly matched Hough and Ohlala’s efforts. Unfortunately, they were eliminated due to two refusals at the water jump, obstacle 10.

Knowing there was little room for error, the seasoned combination of Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) and Lilli, Gotham Enterprizes LLC’s 2004 Deutsches Sportpferd mare, came up big for the U.S. and posted a clear round to keep the team on zero faults. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), the 2016 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team alternate, and Cavalia, St. Bride’s Farm’s 2007 KWPN mare, executed their job perfectly as the anchor combination, posting zero faults.

Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli (Laurence Dunne/Rockmountain Studios)
Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli (Laurence Dunne/Rockmountain Studios)

The U.S. entered the second round tied for first place with Ireland and Italy. Sweden narrowly trailed with four faults. Every jump counted, and the U.S. needed clean performances in the second round to remain medal-worthy. Hough and Ohlala were unable to match their first-round performance and finished with eight faults. She and the mare had rails down at the Harp oxer, obstacle three, and the Furusiyya oxer, obstacle seven. Springsteen and Cynar did not jump a second round so it was up to Bloomberg and Kraut to carry the team through.

“To not have him [Cynar] go in the second round put huge pressure on the other three so that every fault was going to count from that point on. That’s Nations Cup pressure, in front of an absolutely packed house in Dublin, one of the most important Nations Cups of the calendar year,” said Ridland.

With Sweden right on the U.S. team’s tale with eight faults and Springsteen’s second round score dropped, the U.S. needed Bloomberg and Lilli to jump clear. They knocked one rail at the Furusiyya oxer for four faults, leaving them tied with Sweden going into Kraut and Cavalia’s final attempt on the course. The young combination delivered a perfect round to end the day with a double-clear and solidify a tying Bronze medal effort.

“I thought they did a great job. For us to end up in the medals and tied for third is a great finish. Laura’s double clear on Cavalia and it being her [Cavalia’s] first Nations Cup, and only being nine years old, it was just a tremendous finish,” said Ridland.

Complete Nations Cup Results

From the USEF Communications Department

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Ties for Silver Medal at CSIO5* Aachen

Lucy Davis and Barron (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Aachen, Germany – Members of the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team performed in the Mercedes-Benz Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen Thursday, which served as their final Nations Cup competition prior to the Rio Olympic Games. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team of Lucy Davis, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and McLain Ward put in valiant efforts in a very competitive field to tie with France for the Silver medal on four faults. Germany won the Gold medal on zero faults, posting seven clear efforts over two rounds of competition.

“We planned our European tour as preparation for the Olympic Games and there is no better or harder place to compete than here at Aachen,” said Ridland. “We are very pleased with where our riders are. We have done five Nations Cups in Europe and we have been second four of those times. We feel confident. We came here for the preparation against the best in the world and we got it.”

With the U.S. drawing first in the order, the pathfinders for the U.S., Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Sagamore Farm’s Rothchild, had the undesirable job of being the first combination around the course. The pair posted a foot-perfect clear round over the Frank Rothenberger-designed course, and set the tone for brilliant round-one performances. Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Old Oak Farm’s Barron and Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) with Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie followed suit with clear rounds of their own, allowing Madden to sit out round one as the U.S. had secured a round-one total of zero faults. The U.S. entered round two tied with the home nation of Germany, also on zero penalties. Close behind the leading nations, there was a three-way tie between France, Great Britain, and Belgium, who all sat on four faults.

Round two proved to be a nail-biter down to the last ride. Ward was not able to duplicate his round-one success, putting 12 faults on the board. With Germany’s first rider going clear, the pressure was on the rest of the U.S. to deliver. Both Davis and Kraut again marked flawless rounds, but were matched by their German counterparts. France was also able to post three clear rounds to put them on a two-round total of four faults, leaving no room for error for U.S. anchor combination Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’. The pair started the round strong, but had a foot down in the water at fence six, sealing the second-place tie with France.

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
Laura Kraut and Zeremonie (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

“It was a memorable day for me at Aachen for sure,” said Kraut, who won the STAWAG-Prize aboard St. Bride´s Farm Confu earlier in the afternoon. “The Nations Cup course was very fair. There are a lot of horses here that are going to the Olympics, so I think it was built to be difficult, but not take a lot out of the horses. Overall it was a brilliant design. Zeremonie has grown up so much in the course of these European observation events. I am honored to have been named as an alternate [to the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team] and I think the mare proved today that she’s ready to step up if needed.”

Complete Results

On Wednesday, Ward and HH Carlos Z bested the field in the Prize of StädteRegion Aachen to take the victory.

Further information on show jumping at CHIO Aachen

The U.S. is also being represented at CHIO Aachen in dressage, driving, and eventing. Following day one of team competition for dressage and driving, both U.S. teams lie in second place. Find out more on USEFNetwork.com.

From the USEF Communications Department

USEF Names US Olympic Show Jumping Team for Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Lexington, Ky. – The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team and one traveling reserve combination for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Show Jumping competition at the Games will take place August 12-19, 2016 at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The following athlete-and-horse combinations will compose the Team (in alphabetical order):

Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Old Oak Farm’s Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding

Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur, a 2002 KWPN gelding

Beezie Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding

McLain Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) with Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare

The following athlete-and-horse combination has been named as the traveling reserve:

Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie, a 2007 Holsteiner mare

Further information regarding the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team selection process can be found on USEF.org. All nominations to the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team are subject to approval by the United States Olympic Committee.

From the USEF Communications Department

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Ties for Second Place at CSIO5* Rome

Kent Farrington and Voyeur (Stefano Secchi)

Rome, Italy – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team tied for the Silver medal with France in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Longines at CSIO5* Rome in Italy on Friday. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the team of Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, Callan Solem, and McLain Ward battled through a tough competition to finish on 12 faults. This marks the second Silver-medal performance for the U.S. in two weeks, having placed second at CSIO5* La Baule where the U.S. was represented by Lucy Davis, Margie Engle, Lauren Hough, and Todd Minikus. Both competitions served as observation events for members of the Short List for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team. Great Britain won the Nations Cup at Rome for the second consecutive year on a total of four faults.

“Second-place in this company is good,” said Ridland. “We always want to win and were in position to win both [at La Baule] and here, but we are happy with the performance today. Out of the five Nations Cups we have competed in this year, we have been in the top two in all of them and have done so with 19 different horses. There were some great athletes here and we are very pleased with the overall result.”

Course designer Uliano Vezzani presented a large, straightforward 5* track that proved to require every bit of determination to produce a clear round. Leading off for the U.S. in round one with a clear effort was Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) and Amalaya Investments’ 2002 KWPN gelding, Voyeur. Entering the arena next for the U.S. was Solem (Glenmoore, Pa.) and Horseshoe Trail Farm, LLC’s VDL Wizard, a 2003 KWPN gelding. The pair got out of their rhythm a bit mid-course and had rails at fences 6 and 8A. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Old Willow Farms, LLC’s 2007 Holsteiner mare, Zeremonie, had a solid round, but tipped a rail down in the triple combination at fence 4B. Team anchor Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) expertly guided Double H Farm & Francois Mathy’s HH Azur over the course and through the timers with zero faults in the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare’s first Nations Cup appearance. The U.S. entered round two on four faults, tied for second with Italy, The Netherlands, and France.

McLain Ward and HH Azur (Stefano Secchi)
McLain Ward and HH Azur (Stefano Secchi)

Round two proved, as always, to be influential, with almost half the number of clear rounds turned in as seen in round one. Farrington and Voyeur were again in good form, but had an unlucky rail at the final fence. Both Solem and VDL Wizard and Kraut and Zeremonie had the rail at fence 7, a tall skinny, down, giving the U.S. a total of eight faults. The pressure was on Ward and HH Azur as the final combination for the U.S. and they delivered a foot-perfect clear round, giving them one of only four double-clear efforts in the field. With Great Britain sitting on four faults, anchor rider John Whitaker needed to produce a round with no more than seven faults to avoid a three-way jump-off between Great Britain, the U.S., and France. Whitaker never looked in doubt, delivering a double-clear effort and the win for Great Britain.

Ward was very pleased with his talented young mare, posting a double-clear performance in her first Nations Cup. “I thought she was incredible, as she has been,” said Ward. “She is amazing and came here and performed how I thought she would. We are very pleased with the team. [Another] second-place finish is a good step on the road going towards the Olympic Games.”

Complete Nations Cup results

Find out more about CSIO5* Rome

From the USEF Communications Department

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Takes Second in FEI Nations Cup at CSIO4* Wellington

Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team.

Wellington, Fla. – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team placed second in a highly competitive $150,000 FEI Nations Cup at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Competing in a seven-team field, the team of Georgina Bloomberg, Audrey Coulter, Laura Kraut, and Beezie Madden ended on a two-round total of eight faults.

Leading off for the U.S. was Bloomberg (New York, N.Y.) with Gotham Enterprizes, LLC’s Lilli, who set a positive tone for the evening, jumping clear over the Steve Stephens-designed track. Riding in only her third Nations Cup, Coulter (San Francisco, Calif.) followed suit with Copernicus Stables, LLC’s Capital Colnardo, and produced another score of zero for USA. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) entered the arena next with Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie and sealed round one with another clear round. The clear efforts of the first three U.S. combinations deemed it unnecessary for anchor rider Madden to jump.

The U.S. team was not able to breathe easy entering round two as Ireland sat tied on zero faults and Mexico was a close third on five faults. The round proved to be a close contest with the final result resting on the anchor riders. Bloomberg began round two with an eight-fault effort, but both Coulter and Kraut jumped clear.

Ireland’s first three riders jumped two four-fault rounds and a clear. As penultimate in the order, Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Simon had an uncharacteristic misstep at fence three that resulted in the pair’s retirement on course. With Ireland’s anchor rider going clear, the Irish won on a two-round total of four faults.

“We felt really confident coming in and felt good after the first round. We had a really good night; it was just a tough way to end. That’s show jumping though; that’s sport,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.

The U.S. team showcased great up-and-coming talent this evening with Coulter marking the first double-clear performance of her career with her efforts.

“I have been on teams before, and this was the first time I’ve been able to come back for the second round. To jump double-clear was really special,” said Coulter. “He was a little nervous in the first round, and then in the second, he took a breath a really performed well.”

Kraut’s mount Zeremonie was contesting her first Nations Cup and performed beautifully under the electric atmosphere, producing the second double-clear effort for the U.S.

“I was really happy with my horse tonight. It was her first time doing anything like this – she’s never jumped at night and she’s never jumped two rounds. I am really happy with the way she performed,” said Kraut.

The U.S team will all move forward to compete in Sunday’s $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix.

Complete Results

From the USEF Communications Department

Show Jumping Returns to The Mar-a-Lago Club for Fourth Annual Trump Invitational

2014 Trump Invitational Grand Prix winners Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photos © Sportfot.

Palm Beach, FL – November 25, 2015 – The fourth annual Trump Invitational, presented by Rolex, will be held on Sunday, January 3, 2016, at the beautiful Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, FL. World-class show jumping will be presented along with a special VIP experience overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway. This unique event features the $130,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix CSI 2*, presented by Rolex, and the $10,000 Junior/Amateur Jumper class.

The $130,000 Trump Invitational Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, will showcase some of the world’s top riders in an FEI world ranking competition. World Number Two ranked rider Kent Farrington was the victor in the first two editions of the event, while Olympic gold medalist Laura Kraut captured the top prize last year.

“I’m excited to return to the Trump Invitational, presented by Rolex, again this year,” Farrington said. “The riders always look forward to it every winter because it’s truly a unique venue to showcase our sport. Hopefully I can make it a three-peat in 2016.”

Kraut added, “With perfect weather and fantastic footing, last year’s Trump Invitational, presented by Rolex, was so much fun. The location is gorgeous, and I can’t wait to return this winter and defend my title.”

“We look forward to welcoming back equestrians and spectators in 2016,” said event organizer Mark Bellissimo. “The grand prix offers a great start to the winter season for the riders with world ranking points on the line. It is a day of fundraising for the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®, and we know that this year’s event will help us raise more than $1.5 million once again for local Palm Beach County charities.”

Laura Kraut and Cedric took the title in 2015.
Laura Kraut and Cedric took the title in 2015.

The Trump Invitational, presented by Rolex, quickly became one of the most special events on the equestrian calendar with ringside tables bordering two sides of the jumping arena. Guests are welcomed with a red carpet entrance poolside at The Mar-a-Lago Club. A fabulous theme highlights each year’s decorations as the VIP area welcomes equestrians and celebrities with a gourmet brunch buffet, special drinks, and the opportunity to watch equestrian sport at one of the most breathtaking venues in the world.

The Trump Invitational is the only equestrian event ever to be held on Palm Beach Island and is hosted at The Mar-a-Lago Club, the former Marjorie Merriweather Post Estate built in 1924 and purchased and restored by Donald Trump in 1985. It is one of the most magnificent mansions in the world, is in the national register of historic places, and is a designated U.S National Landmark.

The event will benefit the 2016 Great Charity Challenge (GCC), which has raised over $7.5 million dollars over the last six years for more than 150 Palm Beach County charities. Paige Bellissimo, co-founder of the GCC, will be the Chairperson for the Trump Invitational, presented by Rolex. It will also serve as the kickoff party for the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival, the 12-week circuit that runs at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center on January 13 to April 3, 2016.

Following the grand prix is a special invitational junior/amateur jumper class that will highlight some of the top junior and amateur riders in the sport.

Riders who would like to participate in either the grand prix or the junior/amateur class, please email Michael Stone at mstone2811@gmail.com.

VIP tables are available – for table information, please contact Anne Caroline Valtin at annecaroline@equestriansport.com. Table reservation forms are available HERE.

Please visit www.pbiec.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Qualifies for Final Round of Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final

Laura Kraut and Nouvelle (Nacho Olano Photography)

Barcelona, Spain – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team was in top form today as it secured a spot in the final round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final for the first time in the season-closer’s three year history. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the team of Lucy Davis, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, and Beezie Madden finished the first round of the prestigious competition on nine faults, tying for fourth place with Great Britain. As part of the top eight teams from the first round, the U.S. team will compete in Saturday’s final round.

Setting the U.S. off to a strong start was Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and the Evita Group’s Nouvelle, a 2004 KWPN mare. Kraut and Nouvelle were one of only 13 combinations in the 76-horse field to leave all the rails up, but added one time penalty to their total. Next to go was Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.), who piloted Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Old Oak Farm, to a 12-fault total. The pair had rails down at fences two, five, and 12B, but was in the elite group to finish within the time allowed of 81 seconds. Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, were next for the U.S. to take on the Santiago Varela-designed course. Displaying their signature speed, the pair finished well inside the time, but had the top rail down at fence five. Anchoring the U.S. team was Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgium Warmblood gelding. With just a rail down at fence eight, the pair ensured the team’s berth to the final round.

Belgium won the first round on five faults, followed by Germany and Sweden, who tied for second on eight faults. Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland also secured spots in the final round.

Competition for the Nations Cup title gets underway on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. ET and can be viewed live on FEITV.org.

From the USEF Communications Department