Laura Kraut and Whitney Race to Victory in $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4* at CP National Horse ShowInternational jumper competition kicked off at the CP National Horse Show on Wednesday evening with Laura Kraut of the United States taking the first jumper win of the week, and the Cavcote Welcome Trophy, aboard St. Bride's Farm's Whitney in the $35,000 International Open Jumpers Welcome Speed CSI4*.
Forty-six horses and athletes challenged the one-round speed course designed by Michel Vaillancourt, but only 11 jumped clear with no faults.
Entering the Alltech Arena as 31st in the order-of-go, Kraut and the 14-year-old KWPN mare took over the top spot from Devin Ryan (USA) and his own Cooper in 61.020 seconds to secure the win.
"I brought Whitney to do this class," said Kraut. "Last week [at Washington] I had one down in every class. Devin Ryan made it difficult for me today, and I wasn't sure if I could beat him, but it all worked out. It feels really good! I love the National Horse Show and I am really excited to be back and win the first class. Sadly, Whitney's owners are not here but hopefully they were able to watch it on the live stream. Whitney is a wonderful horse and has tons of experience. She won a ton with Ramiro Quintana, who rode her before, and knows the ropes. When she is feeling on top this is the perfect class for her because she loves being competitive."
Ryan and Cooper followed in second place in 61.520 seconds, while Great Britain's Amanda Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse LLC's Lady Maria BH rounded out the top three in 62.740 seconds.
Kraut, who is currently the leading female rider in the world in the Longines Rankings, will compete at the National Horse Show all week, riding Confu in Thursday's $130,000 CP Grand Prix International Open Jumpers CSI4*-W to qualify for Saturday's $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington CSI4*-W. Whitney will also compete with Kraut again in Friday's Salamander Hotels and Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class.
"I am surprised to be the top female in the world but I am very happy about that!" said Kraut. "Obviously, I would prefer to be the top rider in the world but it is good. I don't focus on ranking too much because, for me, no matter how important it is to you, it doesn't make you try more or less. You have to do what is right for your horses."