It has been a whirlwind of excitement for Laura Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm’s Cedric during the 2013 Longines Global Champions Tour (GCT). After leading the GCT Series from the start, they played their last pawn at the state-of-the-art Al Shaqab Equestrian Centre in Doha, Qatar, during the final event of the GCT. The anticipation continued as they entered into a heated battle of the best, finishing third in the series with 187 points.
The 15-year-old grey gelding recently returned from an injury in September, rising to the challenge of the Doha 2013 CSI5*. The class consisted of two rounds, with the top 18 from the first round progressing into the second round.
The pair was nothing short of incredible as they adeptly navigated the first round course. They made a brilliant turn to the daunting wall, clearing it with ease, and as Kraut and Cedric approached the last line the audience sat in a frenzy of anticipation. A clean round was in their grasp, but the second to last fence fell as they accrued four faults for their effort.
“I would have been willing to bet you that he wouldn’t have had a rail down coming down the last line, but he just got a little quick off the ground. It’s plain and simple; he just jumped too low,” Kraut said. “It was just an unfortunate time because for the rest of the course he jumped amazing.”
Kraut continued, “He was phenomenal out there, especially after his injury, but that’s sort of Cedric. He has made a career out of having some funny incidents happen and coming back and putting it behind him. I had a lot of faith in the fact that he wasn’t really going to remember his experience in Lausanne. Thankfully, I was right. Every horse makes a jumping error now and then. I am thrilled with how he went, and now we are going to go to Paris and try to win that.”
Although Kraut and Cedric did not progress into the second round of the competition, their partnership throughout the GCT proved successful enough to score Kraut a 187-point total and eventually the third place finish. Christian Ahlmann (GER) found his way into the second round with a clean first effort, and although he finished fourth in the final event, he sealed his spot as second in the series. It was Scott Brash (GBR) aboard Hello Sanctos who jumped in the standings from eighth to first place to clench the Longines Global Champions Tour Series title.
“I am pleased with that [third place]. When I went there, I told them that if I stayed in the top five I would be happy,” Kraut explained. “I was pleased with third. It was a very nice bonus, and if it weren’t for Margaret [Duprey] and Cedric, as well as the Le Bon’s allowing me to ride Jubilee d' Ouilly, I would not have had such a wonderful series and finished where I did.”
Owner Duprey was onsite at Al Shaqab, watching the competition unfold before her eyes. It was a very exciting event for Team Cherry Knoll Farm, and Duprey could not have been more proud of Kraut and Cedric.
“It was an exciting time on Saturday,” Duprey expressed. “I am so proud of Laura and Cedric on a great series this year. After Cedric's accident in Lausanne, his comeback to jump like a stag at Doha was fantastic. What a pro he is!”
Kraut concluded, “It was a beautiful facility, I was pleasantly surprised with the whole week. The people were so friendly; the facility was incredible, so were the people and the horses. It was an incredible event; I would be very pleased to go back.”
For more information on Laura Kraut and Cedric’s performance throughout the Longines Global Champions Tour please visit www.globalchampionstour.com.