Laura Kraut finally added a title she has been coveting to her record at the 61st Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). Riding Fleurette, Kraut jumped to victory in the $136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup, on Saturday, October 26.
“It’s been a class that I wanted to win for many, many years,” said Olympic team gold medalist Kraut, who was fifth in the class in 2018 riding Confu. “I think I’ve been jumping in the international division [at WIHS] since the late ’80s. I’ve had quite a few seconds and thirds and fourths, but it’s just always seemed to elude me. I said at the beginning of the week, ‘I think this is going to be my week.’” Kraut first competed at WIHS in 1978 in the pony hunter divisions.
Fleurette and Laura Kraut topped the $136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup at WIHS. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
As the seventh to go, Andrew Welles and Primo Troy were the first pair of the 30-horse field to find their way clear over Olaf Petersen Jr.’s first-round course. The packed crowd in Capital One Arena waited to see another clear round until Kraut and Fleurette came into the ring as the final horse to jump, and a massive cheer went up when she made the jump-off.
In the jump-off, Welles ran into trouble on an early turn with Primo Troy, a 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse (Clinton x VDL Arkansas) owned by the Itasca Group. The stallion stopped, and after Welles circled and finished the course, they had accumulated 12 faults in a time of 45.69 seconds. “I tried to lay down the best round I could,” Welles said. “With a rider like Laura behind you, you want to take a shot. I tried to do that. Unfortunately it didn’t work out, but I’m thrilled with my horse tonight.”
Kraut knew the score she had to beat. “When you know you have [a buffer of 12 faults], that’s a breather. If it’s four faults, there’s pressure. Eight faults, you think, ‘I’ve got to go a bit.’ But with 12, I thought, ‘Just don’t muck this up!’” Kraut and Fleurette, a 10-year-old Selle Français mare (Verdi TN x Concorde), did have one rail in the jump-off, but with four faults in 40.99 seconds they secured the win.
Brianne Goutal Marteau finished in third with Viva Columbia, a 14-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Rose Hill Farm. They completed the first round with one time fault. “In the beginning, I have to be a bit conservative, but then I really felt her open up. She was much quicker throughout the rest of the course,” Goutal Marteau said. “It was a tough test, but it was great sport. It’s one of the few indoor shows where you really get that city feel with the huge crowds. It’s a gem we want to hold onto.”
Petersen noted that he changed seats a few times as the class went on. “I was thinking each seat was bad luck,” he joked. “I think it was a fair class. It was very exciting. We saw some really good rounds.”
Fleurette joined Kraut’s string in May, and Kraut has high hopes for the mare owned by Barb and David Roux of St. Bride’s Farm. “She’s one of these horses that I think has all the jump, all the scope, is careful, is brave, is sensible, and lets you ride her. The only thing she’s missing at this point is the mileage at this level,” she said.
WIHS was Kraut’s first indoor show outing with Fleurette. The mare shipped across the Atlantic to show, as Kraut is based in England. “She flew to New York on Sunday, was in quarantine on Monday and Tuesday, and then got on a truck and came straight here. She’s just amazing because not a lot of horses could put up with that,” Kraut said.
Laura Kraut and Fleurette claimed the win in the $136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC for the President’s Cup. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
“I didn’t know how this show would suit her,” Kraut continued. “I don’t know how much she has done indoors. One thing I do know is that she’s just such an intelligent horse. She takes everything in stride; nothing really bothers her. She’s handled jumping in a big ring like Aachen beautifully. She’s handled pretty much anything I’ve asked of her so far, and that’s just a little bit her personality. She’s a work horse.”
Kraut makes a point of adding WIHS to her schedule even though she’s based in England. “This is a fantastic horse show,” she said. “I come back for it every year. Normally I’m in Europe, going full throttle, but I always have taken the time to come back and jump at Washington because I think it’s one of the shows we don’t want to do without.”
The show’s president, Vicki Lowell, noted that the spectator numbers were strong. “I think it was a super exciting class,” Lowell said. “I’m just awed by these riders and what they’re able to do and these horses. I think we had fantastic crowds. The enthusiasm here is building. There were a ton of people here and a lot of buzz, and I think it shows how much D.C. loves equestrian sport. I can’t wait for 2020.”
For her victory, Kraut was presented with The President of the United States Perpetual Cup, donated by Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Additionally, she collected The Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy as winner of the $10,000 Leading International Rider Award and the Leading Lady Rider Award, sponsored by Longines. Fleurette’s owners, Barb and Dave Roux, were presented with Leading Jumper Owner Award.
For her two wins earlier in the week, Sydney Shulman of Israel was presented with the Juliet Weber Reid Trophy as winner of the $10,000 Leading Under 25 Award. Shulman also was awarded the Leading Foreign Rider Award.
$136,300 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington Results
1. FLEURETTE: 2009 Selle Français mare by Verdi TN x Concorde
LAURA KRAUT (USA), St. Bride’s Farm: 0/4/40.99
2. PRIMO TROY: 2009 Irish Sport Horse stallion by Clinton x VDL Arkansas
ANDREW WELLES (USA), Itasca Group LLC: 0/12/45.69
3. VIVA COLUMBIA: 2005 Oldenburg mare by Couluer-Rubin x Landor S
BRIANNE GOUTAL MARTEAU (USA), Rose Hill Farm: 1/57.19
4. CATOKI’S SON Z: 2009 Zangersheide gelding by Catoki x Aldo du Reverdy
ERYNN BALLARD (CAN), Ilan Ferder: 4/57.48
5. CREEDANCE: 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lord Z x Notaris
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Kent Farrington & RCG Farm: 4/57.48
6. ARMIK: 2009 Oldenburg gelding by Armitage x Justinian xx
CAPT. BRIAN COURNANE (IRL), Bob and Christine Stiller and Brian Cournane: 4/59.34
7. CHAQUI Z: 2006 Zangersheide stallion by Chacco Blue x Quinar Z
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm LLC: 4/59.34
8. BACARA D’ARCHONFOSSE: 2007 Swedish Warmblood mare by Asca Z x Kannan
CASSIO RIVETTI (BRA), Sloan Barnett: 4/59.40
9. CASPAR’S LASINO: 2009 Holsteiner stallion by Caspar x Lasino
DEVIN RYAN (USA), Market Street Inc: 4/59.75
10. ENJOY LOUIS: 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Coriano x Kannan
CATHERINE TYREE (USA), Mary Tyree: 4/60.23
11. TOULAGO: 2005 Oldenburg gelding by Toulon x Carthago Z
ADRIENNE STERNLICHT (USA), Starlight Farms LLC: 4/67.06
12. BULL RUN’S RISEN: 2006 KWPN gelding by Utopie x Indoctro
KRISTEN VANDERVEEN (USA), Bull Run Jumpers Inc.: 4/60.85