The second week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) is well underway, and Olympian Laura Kraut has already proven that she is a force to be reckoned with in the show ring this 2016 circuit. Kraut rode Cherry Knoll Farm's Constable to an impressive win in the $8,000 1.45m Douglas Elliman Real Estate Open Jumpers. Kraut also rode Andretti S, owned by Stars and Stripes of which Cherry Knoll Farm is a part, to a tight second place finish in the second round of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge.
Cherry Knoll Farm's horses have acquired a reputation for success in the show ring. Riding Cherry Knoll's Constable, Kraut rode a fault-free first round in 74.645 seconds, putting her in a solid position for the jump-off among 13 other competitors. Kraut and Constable narrowly beat out Peter Wylde on Shakira Z, last week's winners, by 0.55 seconds to win over the shortened track, finishing in 34.049 seconds.
"That's one of the few times that I have ever really put some pressure on him to win a class, and he was fantastic," Kraut said of Constable. "I didn't think I would win because I saw Peter [Wylde] go and he was really, really quick, but I think Constable has a lot of natural speed and it was one of those nice jump-offs where everything comes up."
Kraut began Constable's WEF 2016 season last week in round one of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge, coming away with a fourth place finish. Winning the $8,000 1.45m Open Jumper class Thursday morning is just another stepping stone to Constable and Kraut's international show career.
In today's second round of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge, Kraut finished second riding Andretti S. After completing her first round with a time of 78.66 seconds, Kraut rode a clear and quick jump-off time of 36.352 seconds, securing speedy finish just behind Eric Lamaze on Rosana du Park for the second place. Kraut was one of only six riders to jump to a clear speed round.
Kraut was very pleased with Andretti S, saying, "He was wonderful. That's two weeks in a row now, he's jumped really, really well. I am so happy with him. I think that in the jump-off he was really quick. Sometimes he jumps a little high and I lose a little time in the air, but I am happy with him jumping too high. He's learning to go quick and he did everything I asked of him today."