Laura Kraut and Cedric Jump Clear to Win $78,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI 2*
Wellington, FL – February 6, 2011 –
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded its fourth week of competition on Sunday afternoon with the $78,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI 2* held in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. In a talent packed class, Laura Kraut (USA) and Happy Hill Farm’s Cedric jumped to victory over 48 starters.
This week’s course designer in the International Arena was Richard Jeffery of Great Britain. At the halfway point in the class, nine had jumped clear over the first round course. Seven more clear rounds followed to leave 16 horse and rider combinations to jump-off. The countries of the United States, Mexico, Great Britain, Ireland and Canada were all represented in today’s jump-off, but the United States reigned supreme as Olympic gold medalists Laura Kraut and Cedric took the win.
Of the 16 entries in the jump-off, just two were able to clear the course. Nick Skelton (GBR) and Unique, owned by Beverly Widdowson, were first to jump clear and clocked in at 51.02 seconds to finish in second place. Kraut and Cedric went last, and stopped the clock in 45.11 seconds for the win.
Finishing in third place, McLain Ward had one rail down with Rothchild, owned by Sagamore Farm, to finish with the fastest four-fault round in 41.98 seconds. Lauren Hough and Quick Study, owned by Laura Mateo, placed in fourth with four faults in 43.32 seconds. Reed Kessler and Onisha finished in fifth with four faults in 43.70 seconds. Taylor McMurtry and Just An Illusion, Blythe Marano and Urban, and Ragan Roberts and Quipit L.F. all finished with four faults to place in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively.
Laura Kraut’s mount Cedric is a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Chambertin x Carolus Z. The pair has had a fantastic career together including playing an integral part of the United States’ efforts to earn a Team Gold Medal in the 2008 Olympic Games. Cedric is just coming back from time off after competing in Europe in December and Kraut thought he felt great for his first Grand Prix back.
“I was surprised; I was in the very fortunate position of going last, so I got to see the absolute mayhem that was going on,” Kraut laughed. “You would have never guessed that people would have that many rails in the jump-off. I knew if I just cantered around clear, the worst I was going to be was second. It was an easy position to be in.
“He felt great today,” Kraut continued. “He felt fresh and happy. He’s had a long break. After WEG, I gave him almost two months off and then I jumped in two shows (Paris and Brussels), and then he’s had time off since then. He’s feeling really confident and good.”
Commenting on his round this afternoon, second place finisher Nick Skelton explained, “With there being no clears, I thought I would go in and try and jump a clear round. However fast I went, if I had one down I definitely wasn’t going to beat McLain. I thought that Eric and Laura would beat me anyway, so I was happy to settle for third. Luckily Eric had one down and I was second. I was pleased with the horse; he jumped really well. Sometimes in those jump-offs, when there were a lot of clear rounds (in the first round), it just happens now and again that a lot of fences fall.”
The top three riders all agreed that the second fence in the jump-off, a Liverpool oxer, was definitely the bogey fence in today’s short course as nearly all of the competitors had a rail down there. Third place finisher McLain Ward described the jump as “at an awkward angle and there were only three poles in front, so it was very airy.”
“I think it surprised the horses just a little bit,” Ward stated. “It was a fence we took a little more time to in the first round, but it was more gunshot in the second round. A lot had it down so there was something optically that was a little unusual about it.”
Commenting on the large number of clear rounds over the first round course, Ward added, “Still, the most successful horse in the class won, so something was right. The odds on favorite at the beginning of the class won.”
Earlier in the day, the junior jumpers were on the main stage competing in the International Arena. The morning began with a win for Hayley Barnhill and Original VDL, owned by Hyperion Stud LLC, in the $10,000 Equine Couture Low Junior Jumper Classic. The $10,000 EquiFit High Junior Jumper Classic immediately followed, with a win for Christina Kelly and HH Narcos Du Marais, owned by Double H Farm. Kelly has now won the High Junior Jumper Classic for three weeks in a row here at the 2011 WEF.
Results: $78,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI 2*
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 12 through April 3. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.