Laura Kraut and Cedric could not be stopped on Thursday, June 21, 2012, as they emerged the victors of the qualifying 23'000 € 1.55 m Syndicaat van de Rotterdamse Havenbedrijven Prix. The Concours Hippique International Officiel (CHIO) has seen some of the world's greatest competitors vie for the prestigious title of the Rotterdam CHIO champion, and it looks as though Kraut and Cherry Knoll Farm's Cedric are going to leave nothing to chance.
Laura Kraut and Cedric. Photo by Erin Cowgill.
The pair showed pure control over the challenging course, designed by Dutch course designer Louis Konickx, earning a spot in the jump-off as one of six out of 54 entrants to post a clear first round effort. When Kraut returned for the jump-off, she knew that she was going to be competing against some of the world’s best, and she couldn’t leave anything to chance.
“There were five coming back for the jump-off, and I knew that the other four were really quick,” Kraut explained. “It was a good jump-off for me. I gave my best to win, and he was as quick and as careful as he could be.”
The Netherland’s very own Harrie Smolders guided Regina Z around the winding short track, and although it seemed as though his speed would carry over from the first round of the qualifying prix, an unfortunate rail eventually earned the pair the third place position. His blazing fast time could not be touched for the remainder of the jump-off, making him the fastest four-faulter.
Kraut entered the ring just behind Smolders. She knew that Regina Z was a quick and speedy horse, but Kraut was more interested in the accuracy of her jump-off. She set a smooth and quick pace, placing Cedric at all of the correct distances as they seemingly dominated the daunting course. The pair tripped the beam in 37.07 seconds as the first of only two double-clear horse and rider combinations. Kraut knew that her time was beatable, but she hoped that accuracy would prove more important for her competitors.
“I saw Harrie get the rail down on that fence, and I knew it was a really difficult turn, so I took a little extra time during the jump-off to make sure that I was accurate and careful. I was fortunate that my time held strong with my double-clear effort.”
Kevin Staut and Estoy Aqui De Muze H D C of France were next to maneuver the obstacles. Staut followed a similar path to Kraut’s, leaving all rails in their cups, but posting a time of 39.06 seconds, almost a full two seconds slower than Kraut’s time. He would eventually pick up the second place prize as the only other rider to post a double-clear effort.
France’s Pénélope Leprevost abord Topinambour were awarded the fourth place prize for their four-fault round in a time of 41.09, and Denis Lynch of Ireland accrued 11 faults in a time of 51.18 seconds for the fifth place prize. Simon Delestre and Napoli Du Ry of France chose to save their strength for another day, earning the sixth place prize for their jump-off qualification.
The journey has only just begun for Kraut and Cedric, however. Their winning title from Thursday, has qualified them for the highlight class of the Rotterdam CHIO, the €200.000 1.60m Longines GrandPrix Port of Rotterdam. To support Laura Kraut and Cedric as the go neck to neck with the best, please visit http://www.chio.nl/en/chio-2012/chio-live/chio-live-on-your-pc on Sunday, June 24, 2012, at 8:30 am.
“I am planning to try to win the Longines Grand Prix on Sunday, Cedric has been feeling great and has been so together. I know that the course on Sunday will be difficult, Rotterdam is always big, but we are going to give it our all,” Kraut concluded.