AT her first show with the 11-year-old gelding Baloutinue, US rider Laura Kraut scored an eye-catching grand prix win on Sunday (18 April) on the final day of ESP Spring II in Wellington, Florida.
The talented gelding, whom Laura describes as “one of the best in the world”, had previously been competed by Adam Prudent, winning a CSI4* grand prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) early in April.
Laura’s owners St Bride’s Farm signed the deal to buy the horse on 9 April, the final date for Olympic transfers ahead of this year’s Tokyo Games, and Laura has earned her place on the US team shortlist with Confu and Goldwin as well as this exciting new recruit.
“I’m fortunate enough to be very good friends with the Prudents,” said Laura. “Everyone in the world has asked to buy him, including me many years ago. It was a great horse for Adam to have to go to the highest level, which he did and did very well, so when the opportunity presented itself, I was very fortunate to have an owner who was ready to step in and buy him for me.
“Katie and Henri [Prudent] have the utmost faith in him and think he’s one of the best horses in the world, and so do I. I can’t even believe it; I feel like the luckiest person to have him.”
The Olympic team gold medallist and the Balou Du Rouet gelding triumphed against 10 jump-off rivals in Sunday’s CSI3* grand prix with the fastest double clear of the day, having also finished fourth in Friday’s $37,000 JTWG Qualifier in only their first week of competition together.
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“I’m just absolutely thrilled,” said Laura, who was chased home by Beezie Madden with her 15-year-old partner Breitling LS in the grand prix.
“What I always loved about him is that he reminds me of a thoroughbred. He has a lot of blood, he is brave, scopey, and has all the best qualities that a thoroughbred has. He’s just a fast horse. That’s the thoroughbred type of quality because I didn’t ride a fast round. I did more strides than other people, but he’s just that quick. He lands and he gets away from the jump very, very fast, so I think that was where I got the edge.”
Don’t miss an exclusive interview with Laura Kraut in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine, out Thursday 29 April.
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