Laura Kraut has had quite the year with a string of grey horses. Her three, up and coming nine year olds Zeremonie, Cavalia and Confu have carried the veteran US rider to a collection of wins around the world since the beginning of 2016; most recently, she piloted Zeremonie to critical clear rounds at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Spain, helping the USA earn their best Finals finish of 3rd place.
But one of Kraut’s most memorable finishes of the summer season came in July at CHIO Aachen, where Confu delivered a surprise and stunning 1st place in the prestigious Stawag Prize. Then, on September 18th, Kraut guided Confu to 4th place in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Grand Prix at the American Gold Cup, the first World Cup Qualifier that the Holsteiner gelding (Contact Me x Cambridge) had ever jumped. In part due to those points earned, Kraut is the current United States Equestrian Federation Rider of the Week, and Confu is Horse of the Week, prompting a closer look at this exciting grey gelding with a big future.
- I got him from people in France, through Emil Hendrix. Emil is the one who saw him and asked about him, and then I went and tried him. I don’t know a ton about his past because I leave it to Emil to do the research on the horses I buy from him!
- Before that he was in the stables of Jochen Schroer, outside of Cologne, Germany.
- His first five star show was also the first CSI he jumped in the USA, last March at the Winter Equestrian Festival. He was clear and placed 11th in his first class! Before that the biggest class he’d done was a CSI3* with his previous rider, Fabrice Schmidt of France.
- He’s absolutely the cutest in the stable. He’s a little bit like Cedric in that way, he loves people, he loves treats and he’s just so sweet.
- He’s a little bit spunky when you ride him. When he’s feeling good he likes to buck and play, but he’s just super honest, and really brave about the jumps. And careful. At a show, he’s really straightforward, he would almost be called normal! You can give him a nice flat in the morning, no lunging, and then go to the ring. What he doesn’t know, he tries anyway, and that’s why I brought him to the Gold Cup. I knew it would be difficult with the ring on the hill but the worse that would happen would be a rail or two down.
- He has a wonderful owner, Barb Roux of St. Brides Farm who is really thrilled about him. Right now, he’s at her farm in Middleburg, Virigina having a break. She’s having a blast having him there and getting to know him.
- Our next shows are Tryon, Washington and Toronto. I’ve not ridden him indoors yet, but I presume he’s good because he’s from Europe and they do a lot of that.
- Next year, I’d like to have him available for some of the big classes I’m going to jump, such as the Global Champions Tour or the Nations Cup.
- As far as the 2017 World Cup Final, it would depend on how he jumps at these upcoming indoor shows. But the Final, that might come just a bit early. Even though he’s nine he’s not quite as far along as Zeremonie or Cavalia, so I would be more likely to leave him for later, bigger classes.