Laura Kraut continues to be unstoppable at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival. With over $100,000 in total prize money already won this tour, Kraut posted her latest win on Saturday afternoon in the $20,000 1.50m Classic at the Tampa Bay Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. " /> Laura Kraut continues to be unstoppable at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival. With over $100,000 in total prize money already won this tour, Kraut posted her latest win on Saturday afternoon in the $20,000 1.50m Classic at the Tampa Bay Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. " /> Laura Kraut continues to be unstoppable at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival. With over $100,000 in total prize money already won this tour, Kraut posted her latest win on Saturday afternoon in the $20,000 1.50m Classic at the Tampa Bay Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida. ">
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Laura Kraut and Miss Independent Capture $20,000 1.50m Classic at Winter Equestrian Festival in Tampa

Miss Independent and Laura Kraut Race to 1.50m Win at WEF. Photo © Randi Muster

Laura Kraut continues to be unstoppable at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival. With over $100,000 in total prize money already won this tour, Kraut posted her latest win on Saturday afternoon in the $20,000 1.50m Classic at the Tampa Bay Classic at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, Florida.

Forty two horse and rider combinations took the field on Saturday for the featured event at 1pm. The $20,000 1.50m Classic was scored under Table II Sec 2(a), Time First Jump Off.  Canada’s Michel Vailancourt is this week’s Course Designer.

The 1.50m course featured thirteen numbered obstacles with sixteen jumping efforts with a double and triple combination. Nine riders completed the first round course without penalty to qualify for the timed tiebreaker. Fourteen competitors had a single knockdown while nineteen had eight faults or more.

Niall Grimes and Mr. President were the first to challenge the jump-off course which was reduced to seven obstacles including the first two elements of the original triple combination. Grimes, riding for The Shannon Group, started things out with a fault free performance and a quick but careful time of 37.810 seconds.

Grimes held the lead only until Aaron Vale, the next in, crossed the finish line. Vale, aboard Andrea King’s Sea Cloud put on a fantastic performance, knocking a whopping 4.04 seconds off of Grime’s time. Vale tripped the timers in 33.767 seconds to take over the lead.

Markus Beerbaum of Germany, riding Constantin 24 for Bert and Diana Firestone, pulled a rail early in the tiebreaker and cruised home in 43.052 seconds. Candice King and Louisberg Farm’s, Coco Cabana, also picked up four faults, but snuck home ahead of Beerbaum in 41.939 seconds.  Ellen Whitaker of Great Britain had an uncharacteristic eight faults with Amaro/Whitaker Sporthorse’s AK Kanseiier, clocking in at 36.922 seconds.

Aimee Aron, riding Ostara for the Kinloch Enterprises, toured the jump off course without penalty and finished with a time of 37.328 to move ahead of Grimes and behind Vale for second place.

Then it was time for Miss Independent, owned by the Pasmore Stables, and ridden by the red hot Laura Kraut. Enjoying one of the most dominating seasons ever recorded on the Winter Equestrian Festival tour, Kraut would add another win to the record books today.

Kraut found every perfect spot and never let up on the gas pedal from the start of the speed course until she crossed the finish line. When the flashy gray mare broke the beams at the finish line, the timers read 32.571 seconds. Kraut had knocked 1.19 seconds off of Vale’s previous top time.

Schuyler Riley and Nottingham, from the South Beach Stables, followed with a clear go in a time of 41.373 seconds and Todd Minikus on Sasha, owned by Harry R. Gill completed the afternoon festivities with 19 faults in 53.858 seconds.

Kraut, who has posted two major Sunday Grand Prix wins plus a two WEF Challenge Cup wins added another prize to the trophy case with today’s victory.  “My horses are amazing. Miss Independent is a phenomenon. I trust her and she believes in me and when you have that going, it’s all just much simpler,” said a smiling Kraut.

Knowing Vale’s route helped Kraut plan her own attack. “I did not get to see Aaron go in the jump-off, but I was told he made the inside cut in front of 11 to the combination at 7A and B and that was my big question; whether I was going to go inside to the double or not,” Kraut explained. “He’s always so fast and he’s usually unbeatable so I just went as fast as I could go and hoped for the best.”

Second place finisher Vale was satisfied with the day’s result. “I was pretty happy with the ride. I had a small slip or a stumble after number eight on my way back to the second last jump so that held me up a little there,” he said. “So, I knew that I’d left the door open a bit to get beaten. Laura found a really good distance coming forward to that vertical and I knew I was cooked when I saw that.”

“The first round course, I thought, was very, very difficult. The triple combination was really, really short,” Kraut laughed. “It took a real careful or very experienced horse to back up and jump that clean.”

Vale agreed. “I thought it was quite difficult. The triple was very technical and all the fences were big enough that you could have a knockdown anywhere. Plus, many of these horses today did the WEF Challenge Cup on Thursday, and that course, being so tough I think it took a lot out of those horses today,” Vale estimated. “They didn’t jump quite the same today, after that big effort the other day.”

Did today’s exceptional performance by Miss Independent make her the front runner as Kraut’s Budweiser American Invitational mount? “It’s still up in the air,” Kraut conceded. “I’ll probably make that call on Wednesday but she’s really on form right now, but I’ll wait to Wednesday to make the final decision. I’ve got a lot coming up. Right after the Invitational, I’ve got the Charlotte Jumper Classic and then the Budweiser World Cup in Las Vegas and then we’re going to Europe, so I’ve got a lot of decisions to make,” smiled Kraut. “If I had to make the call today, yes, it would be Miss Independent.”

“If I was making the call, that mare of Laura’s would be definitely be doing the Invitational,” Vale offered.

For Vale, just arriving at this year’s Winter Equestrian Festival from the circuit in Ocala, it would take a big ribbon in Sunday’s Grand Prix of Tampa for him to make the big dance. “That’d be great, but really, I’m just here to get some experience against these guys down here,” he said. “I’ve got some new horses and I’m just getting to know them at this level, but, if we could qualify for the Invitational that would be great.  If not, hopefully I’ll have them ready for the Charlotte Jumper Classic the week following,” said Vale.

Official Results - #1001 $20,000 1.50m Classic Table II, Sec 2 (a) – 03-26-05 – Covered Arena

1 – Miss Independent, Laura Kraut – 0-0/32.571
2 – Sea Cloud, Aaron Vale - 0-0/33.767
3 – Ostara, Aimee Aron - 0-0/37.328
4 – Mr. President, Niall Grimes – 0-0/37.810
5 – Nottingham, Schuyler Riley – 0-0/41.373
6 – Coco Cabana, Candice King – 0-4/41.939
7 – Constantin 24, Markus Beerbaum – 0-4/43.052
8 – AK Kanseiier, Ellen Whitaker – 0-8/36.922
9 – Sasha, Todd Minikus – 0-19/53.858
10 – Mianta, Callen Solem – 4-69.081
11- Harlem de Mescam – 4-69.551
12 – Intrepid Du Valon, Alison Firestone – 69.741

Georgina Bloomberg Edges Sloan Coles for Gamblers Choice Win. Charlie Jacobs Wins Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur Classic

Georgina Bloomberg and Sloane Coles each collected 1200 points on Friday night in the Gamblers Choice competition, but Bloomberg’s time across the finish line gave her the victory.  The Gambler’s Choice, a high score competition with each jump having a value based on its difficulty, was held Friday evening in the Covered Arena.

Bloomberg and Nadia swept across the timers in 66.093 seconds to win by nose over Coles. Coles and Cloud Nine tripped the timers in 66.288

Julie Welles and Chappie gathered in 1170 points to finish third. Lexy Reed and Newdle were fourth with 1130 points. Juilana Fischer took home fifth place with 1070 points and Carolyn Kelly and Blast finished sixth with 780 points.

On Saturday, Charlie Jacobs emerged victorious in the $10,000 Amateur Owner Jumper Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic.

Jacobs, aboard the Deeridge Farm’s Innocence topped a field of twenty two for the win. Jacobs posted double clear rounds and a finish time of 36.989 in the jump-off.

Cara Cheska and Modra, owned by Donald Cheska finished second. Cheska crossed the finish line in 39.279 seconds. Third went to Salsa and owner rider Gabby Slome. Slome had the time but picked up four faults in the tiebreaker. She finished in 36.733 seconds.

Paige Johnson and Reddy Teddy were fourth while Katherine Miracle and Madonna took home fifth place honors. Sixth went to Quickstar II Z and Cayce Harrison.

Hunters at the Tampa Bay Classic on Saturday

While a number of weekend divisions kicked off, including Junior Hunters and Ponies, only two divisions wrapped up on Saturday.

In the 36-50 Year Old Adult Amateur Hunter Division, the Championship went to Carolyn Anderson and Rockerbar. Wendy Lewis picked up Reserve honors with Circus.

The 36 and Over Amateur Owner Hunter section it was Attache, owned and shown by Ellen Toon taking home the tri-color. Lee Cesery on What D‘Ya Know grabbing Reserve honors.

 

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