Laura Kraut’s galloping grey Cedric was retired in a moving ceremony in Florida on Friday (3 March) after an outstanding 11-year international career.
He and Laura formed an enviable partnership, winning everything from an Olympic team gold medal in 2008 to the richest grands prix around the world. The 19-year-old Cedric, owned by Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm, is now set to live out his retirement in the fields of Laura’s partner Nick Skelton’s Warwickshire farm. Here are just some of the reasons we will miss the brilliant and adorable “Monkey”.
1. He’s a pint-sized wonder horse
Despite standing only 15.2hh high he’s a real fighter with an enormous heart, and never wants to touch a pole.
2. Doesn’t everyone love a grey?
Laura first spotted the fleabitten grey Holstein gelding by Chambertin jumping “like a deer” at a show in Belgium when Cedric was a green seven-year-old — a similar story to Laura’s discovery of her partner Nick Skelton’s Big Star.
3. Cedric is Laura’s ‘horse of a lifetime’
Cedric made his international debut as an eight-year-old, but he’s been something of a late developer, with all his biggest wins coming later in his career as this charismatic and quirky gelding became more and more reliable. Laura describes Cedric as her “horse of a lifetime”.
4. He’s one to have on your team
Cedric unfailingly produced the goods during Nations Cup team competitions and former USA chef d’equipe George Morris had full belief in him, describing the gelding as “a horse you don’t forget”.
5. All that glitters is the ultimate prize — Olympic gold
Laura and Cedric played a key part in helping the US showjumping team win Olympic gold in Beijing in 2008, jumping clear in the crucial jump-off.
6. When winning one grand prix just isn’t enough…
In 2010, Cedric wasn’t content with winning the Global Champions Tour of Chantilly and went on to claim back-to-back trophies at the next event in Valkenswaard, Netherlands. He ended his career with four GCT titles to his name as well as some of the most prestigious grands prix across the globe.
7. He’s a double clear machine
This powerful equine athlete is the most agile of jumpers and clever as a cat, having produced 45 double clears in top class competitions and amassing over $2million in prize-money.
8. Cedric versus Usain Bolt? No contest
Don’t let his carefulness fool you though — when it comes to the jump-off, Cedric also loves to gallop! His deceptively fast stride has seen him victorious in some of the most exhilarating battles in the sport — this horse is always exciting to watch.
9. He’s a cheeky monkey!
We think Cedric is a brilliant name for a horse, but he first earned the nickname “Monkey” when one of his original owners described him as a cheeky monkey as he had a buck and a play as a youngster with Laura. In honour of this, a toy monkey is often found hanging in his stable.
10. Cedric is a sucker for all the attention
Which is just as well as he has built up an enormous fan club around the world, earning huge support at every show. We also love the big pats Laura saves for her favourite horse.
Like this? You might also enjoy reading these:
11. It’s been emotional
We’ll miss watching the wonderful partnership between Cedric and Laura, but there’s nothing better than seeing this 19-year-old with a heart of gold retire healthy, happy and sound after such a long and distinguished career. As the showjumping world bid farewell in a touching ceremony at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida, Laura certainly wasn’t the only one to brush away a tear or two. “I’ll never have another horse like him,” she said.