Laura Kraut and Caelle Win $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m at the Winter Equestrian Festival
U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Laura Kraut was victorious riding Caelle in the $35,000 Douglas Elliman 1.45m speed class to open week ten on Wednesday, March 15, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Michel Vaillancourt (USA) set the speed track for 69 starters in the morning’s 1.45m and saw 20 clear rounds. Kraut rode Stars and Stripes’ Caelle, an eight-year-old Zangersheide mare (Clinton x Darco), to the winning time of 62.25 seconds. Laura Chapot (USA) placed second in 62.31 seconds riding her own and Mary Chapot’s Thornhill Kate. Emily Moffitt (GBR) crossed the timers in 63 seconds to place third riding Poden Farm’s Zagahorn. Lisa Goldman jumped into fourth place in 63.15 seconds aboard Barbara Disko’s Sovereign. Chapot also took fifth place honors, riding her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince to a time of 63.26 seconds.
“I am really pleased,” Kraut said of Caelle. “I got her at the end of her six-year-old year and just spent last year doing the seven-year-olds. This was her first time ever jumping FEI, so she is off to a good beginning.
“She is wonderful,” Kraut continued. “She is super brave, she is so fast, and she is just very competitive. This morning, even though it is her first time jumping in an FEI 1.45m class, I knew she would not have any issues. I just went as quick as I thought I needed to, and she is so fast.”
Detailing her winning round, Kraut stated, “Michel Vaillancourt set a nice course this morning. It was a few sharp turns and then quite a nice gallop across the ring a couple of times, which she does well. It was tricky enough. The triple combination was difficult to gallop in; it was a big vertical to vertical and then an oxer. She handled that well. Really, I just tried to be as neat and quick as I could. Then towards the end of the course, I took a little bit of a pull and slowed her down just because she does not know still about going flat out at that height of jump, but she responded. I am just very happy with her.”
Caelle will jump again in Friday’s 1.45m competition. Kraut is taking her time bringing the mare along and hopes to step her up to 1.50m later this season.