Not a Factor for Anthem
WELLINGTON, FL, Feb. 7 -
Laura Kraut of Wellington, FL, won the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series III during week four of the 12-week CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Kraut and her 17-year-old partner turned in the fastest time of the 49 challengers over the course set by 2008 co-course designer Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Fla. The times became increasingly faster as the competition progressed with Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, N.Y., and the venerable Judgement holding the early led with a time 70.45 seconds.
Hilary Dobbs, 19, of Sussex, N.J., moved into top spot with her second ride of the day, Marengo, by crossing the timers in 69.90 seconds. Kraut then did the seemingly impossible, shaving more than two full seconds off the leading time to stop the clock at 67.79 seconds with her long-time partner, Anthem, who has been jumping in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center for the past nine years.
Ian Millar of Perth, Ont., mounted a late challenge with In Style, but his time of 70.05 seconds would place the eight-time Canadian Olympian third overall in the final standings.
"With Ian and Nicole (Simpson), there were still enough people coming behind me that I didn't know if the time would hold up," said Kraut. "I know Anthem's quick, and I relied on turning as quick as I could. He's such a good veteran, and he felt fantastic."
Kraut does not plan to contest the U.S. Equestrian Team Olympic Selection Trials with Anthem, giving the nod to Miss Independent and Cedric, and will instead reserve the 17-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, sired by Dutch Boy, for major grand prix events.
"I've had a lot of great horses, I am very lucky, but day in and day out, he's been the most consistent," said Kraut. "He's a winner. He's still enthusiastic, and I am excited to think about going around next year saying that he is 18 and still at the top of his game."
In the final standings, Dobbs finished second with Marengo as well as sixth with her first ride of the day, Corlett.
"I knew this would be a good course for Marengo if I could give him a good ride," noted Dobbs, a student at Harvard University. "It was one of the bigger classes that we've jumped in a while because I have been doing a lot of speed classes with him, which I love. I was really pleased with both my horses."
The CSI3* Spy Coast Farm Week Four of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising, runs daily through Sunday, February 10, which features the $60,000 Spy Coast Farm Wellington Cup CSI3*.
Results of $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series - Round 3 CSI 3*
1 - 2069 ANTHEM
LAURA KRAUT USA 0.00 67.79 SUMMIT SYNDICATE THE
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com