It came down to a 10-horse jump-off Saturday night, but Olympic partners Laura Kraut and Cedric, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, left no stone unturned as they sealed the win in a blazing 36.48 seconds. The 16-year-old Holsteiner put forth an effort that was reminiscent of his glory days of gold medals and international victories in front of the crowd at the $50,000 Holiday and Horses World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
The quick-footed grey gelding had spectators on the edge of their seats as Kraut guided him through the shortened course, and made a mad dash to the final three tall and airy white planks set at 1.55m just in front of the in-gate. It was a superior performance, with quick turns and unrelenting speed. Only seconds before Kraut attempted the track, it seemed as though fellow contender Hardin Towell would take the win with Silence in a time of 38.00 seconds flat. Cedric wouldn’t take no for an answer, slicing the turns and staying inside competitors’ hoof prints to lay down the winning round in a heart-stopping race to break the beam a second and a half quicker.
“I saw Hardin go,” Kraut admitted. “I didn’t think that there was any way I could beat him. He is so fast and this was Cedric’s first grand prix back since the beginning of May in Madrid. I did want to win tonight with it being a World Cup qualifier, but I thought that I would be happy with second or third when I saw Hardin go. But, Cedric just was brilliant.”
Laura Kraut and Cedric captured the $50,000 Holiday and Horses World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
“It was just one of those jump-offs where ever time I turned the corner it all came up for me. Even the mad dash to the last jump, I was at full throttle and it just showed itself. Often times when you come at that speed and there is just nothing there, but tonight I was about five strides out and I was like, ‘Thank God,'” she laughed.
Kraut was also awarded the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award for her fantastic rides through out the week of Holiday and Horses. Kraut had a fantastic win on Cherry Knoll Farm’s Constable earlier on Saturday during the 1.45m Jumpers. They took the win as the only pair to jump clear in 74.755 seconds, another accolade to add to his growing career as an 8-year-old.
With the Trump Invitational Grand Prix at the Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach quickly approaching, Kraut now heads to Paris with her other talented mounts, and will let Cedric take a couple of weeks to rest before the start of the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Laura Kraut and Cedric with Martha Jolicoeur and owner of Cedric, Margaret Duprey.
“Cedric’s next show will be Trump. He jumped there a couple years ago and he quite liked it. He has had six months off, so I feel like I would like to keep him in the groove, now that he is up and running. I just want to sit down and plan out all of WEF and what I want to do. What’s nice now is that he does have age and I don’t have to jump him as often in little classes. I can just sort of peak him in bigger classes, so that would be the idea.”
Looking back on Saturday night’s exciting win, Kraut smiled, “It felt like the old days. I read this thing the other day, years ago, when McLain Ward was talking about him [Cedric] in a press conference and he said, ‘This horse Cedric, when he’s 16 years old, he’s still going to be a pain in the ass.’ and here he is 16 years old, and he was just a pain in the ass tonight for everybody, so that made me happy.”
Cedric’s owner, Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm, was ringside to watch the night unfold. She admitted that her heart was racing as she watched the duo dash for the win.
“I was really excited, and really happy to see him back on his game and loving what he does. I was definitely one of the ones screaming as they came down the final line. And I was right there as they exited the ring with his sugar cubes for a job well done,” Duprey laughed.
Source: Phelps Media