Laura Kraut and Confu
USA’s Laura Kraut and Confu (Contact Me x Cambridge) claimed the STAWAG Speed Stake on Thursday, July 14th at CHIO Aachen. Today’s victory marks not only Confu’s first win at the coveted CHIO Aachen, but the 9-year-old Holstein gelding’s first FEI win under Kraut’s guidance, a milestone in their relatively new partnership.
“This is amazing; it’s huge,” said Kraut of today’s victory. “Particularly with this horse, he’s the newest one for me. I’ve only had him since January. His owner is here, Barbara Roux, and she’s never been to Aachen, so it’s exciting for her as well.”
The pair clocked in a time of 63.22 seconds to best a field of 42 entries that saw just 13 producing clear rounds.
The next two positions in the class went to Ireland, with Jonathan Gordon and the 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding, Fellini 131 (For Pleasure x Phin Phin), finishing in 64.37 seconds, and Cian O´Connor and the 8-year-old KWPN gelding, Callisto (Quasimodo Z x Jokinal de Bornival), finishing in 65.07 seconds.
When asked about the course, Kraut admitted that she didn’t know whether or not it suited Confu. “The one thing about him is that he’s very, very brave,” said Kraut. “He’s a little green about turning. There were a couple of very sharp turns that I wasn’t sure how he was going to handle, but he did it great. It was just one of those times where everything worked. I didn’t think I would be in the lead because normally he isn’t the quickest– he jumps very high and lands a little slow– but today he was on it.”
Kraut is part of the Rome Gladiators team on the Global Champions League, and frequently campaigns Confu in the team events. The pair was part of the team that won the Global Champions League Madrid back in May, and have contributed countless clear rounds to the Rome Gladiators.
“I’ve done a few of the team competitions with him which has been really good for his development,” explained Kraut. The two rounds of competition and always-electric atmosphere have proven valuable experience for the 9-year-old grey gelding.
This year, Kraut has found herself with a fleet of talented greys at CHIO Aachen. “I don’t know why I’ve always ended up with all these greys– it’s a nightmare for my groom!” Kraut laughed. “But they’re all three grey, they’re all three 9-years-old, and they’re all three fantastic.”
In addition to Confu, Kraut also rides the KWPN mare Cavalia (Vingino x Manhattan) and the Holstenier mare Zeremonie (Cero x Quick Star).
Kraut was recently named as the travelling reserve to the 2016 USA Olympic Show Jumping Team with Zeremonie. The pair will represent Team USA in Thursday’s Nations Cup in Aachen alongside three members of the Olympic Show Jumping Team: Lucy Davis, Beezie Madden, and McLain Ward.