On Sunday, Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric proved why they are veterans at the top of the sport. The Olympic duo raced to the top of Sunday’s $150,000 Ocala Grand Prix, besting Kevin Babington and Andre Thieme to lead the victory gallop, and prove why they are two of the best in the world.
Kraut tackled the short track with unparalleled dexterity, piloting the speedy Cedric around the course to the win by leaving out a stride in the first line. They were able to just nick Babington’s time, crossing through the timers in 36.04 seconds, just 4/10ths of a second faster to take the lead, and ultimately the win.
“Seven strides from one to two was so forward — I felt like I was flat out,” admitted Kraut after her victory. “I cringed when he left the ground because I thought for sure he was going to hook it behind. I only beat [Babington] by a few tenths of a second, and that’s a blink.”
Kraut continued, “Cedric is a veteran. My partner Nick [Skelton] said, ‘That horse sure knows how to get out of jail.’ He’s always a trier. Unfortunately, I have had a whole career of this kind of thing with him. He’s either on top of the world or I’m laying in the middle of the ring, so I’m used to it. When you go through the gate, your mind is just on getting the job done.”
Cedric certainly got the job done and wrapped up the final day of the Nations Cup week at HITS Ocala in perfect fashion. This is Cedric’s third grand prix win in three months, and Kraut is going to continue aiming him at the events he knows he can win.
Kraut also successfully showed Constable, owned by Cherry Knoll Farm, to the seventh place finish during the $34,000 HITS Jumper Classic on Saturday morning. The young gelding has continued to develop into a consistent partner for Kraut as she moves him up through the pipeline to international competitions.
Owner Margaret Duprey was ringside for the entire Nations Cup week, rooting on Constable and Cedric. “It was very exciting to see Constable in his first FEI show, moving up to the 1.50m classes and doing so well. He got a ribbon in both classes,” said Duprey.
Duprey concluded, “Even though the Nations Cup day was not Cedric’s best, he certainly knows how to make a comeback in style. I was very excited about both of my horses doing so well. I also want to give a big thanks to Laura for her commitment as a trainer and rider.”
For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm, please visit www.cherryknollfarm.com.