In the two years since Olympian Laura Kraut paired up with Cherry Knoll Farm's Constable, they have taken the European and American circuits by storm. The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) has not slowed the consistent pair down, with them topping the leaderboard every week they show. During WEF Week Six, the 9-year-old chestnut gelding rose to the occasion, placing third in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette Challenge Cup Round VI and then captured the second place on Saturday during the $35,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Round Six held at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
After the Ruby et Violette Challenge Cup on Thursday, Kraut remarked, "I am so happy with him. Today was a big test in a new venue [The Stadium] and the course didn't look as hard as it actually ended up riding. I am really happy and pleased with how he handled it."
The Dutch Warmblood was the trailblazer of the jump-off track during the Thursday class, paving the way with his naturally quick pace to take the third place finish in 42.296 seconds and a double-clear ride.
"Well, my plan all along was not to go crazy fast, but to jump a clear round," Kraut explained. "He is a naturally quick enough horse, but for sure, I was very beatable. I was happy for him, and we have a lot of the year left ahead of us. He has grown up a lot, but I am really pleased with today."
Constable continued showing his winning ways during the $35,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Round Six, which was set on the turf at The Stadium. Faced with natural obstacles including an open water and bank during the two-round test, nothing fazed Constable as he took on Richard Jeffery's course, finishing second with his consecutive double-clear ride of the week. They broke the beam in 46.082 seconds as one of only two pairs to clear the shortened speed track.
"With him, this circuit, I think I am just picking and choosing," said Kraut. "I am using this as a learning circuit, and am excited for this summer. I am on a team for the Global Champions Tour, and I think it will be great for him to get some experience doing the team stuff. I think it will be fun for him to do some four- and five-star classes internationally."
Kraut has always been a fan of The Stadium at PBIEC, which offers a change of pace for horses and riders mid-way through the 12-week circuit.
"I love it over here, I think everyone agrees," said Kraut. "It is a great venue, the International Ring is smaller, but it is manageable. The warm-up area is great, the stabling is wonderful — I think it would be fun to have more opportunities up here. We [riders] also would love to have more opportunities on the grass. I think it would be really interesting to have a complete FEI show on the grass. That field is well-established, and I believe it has been here since 1976. It can handle a lot of traffic on it, so I think it would be fun to have one full week and switch it up."