West Berkshire, UK - May 20, 2014 - Cherry Knoll Farm's Constable made his first debut last year while competing in the 6 Year Old Jumpers at the Global Champions Tour Jumping Chantilly, and his stride has not shortened. Once again the chestnut gelding made his mark, but this time in the United Kingdom. Laura Kraut piloted Constable to the top ranks during the Royal Windsor Horse Show, running from May 14-18, 2014, claiming the second place award in the Land Rover Grades B & C Handicap Jumping Competition, and finishing in the top ribbons during the Royal Windsor Horse Show 7 & 8 Year Old Championship.
A field of 76 horse and rider combinations tackled the track for the Land Rover Grades B & C Handicap Jumping Competition, entering a race against the clock as they took on the 1.40m course. Although each pair put in valiant efforts, Kraut and Constable took the lead in the class as only the fifth to go. They completed the course in 54.19 seconds, leaving all the rails in their cups.
Consecutive competitors attempted to match their pace, but it wasn't until Michael Duffy of Ireland guided Shahenaz through the course as 60th in the order that defeat seemed possible. Duffy completed the track in 52.91 seconds, pushing Kraut and Constable into the second place position with a difference of only 1.28 seconds between them.
Kraut was thrilled with the way Constable handled the course, saying that it was a designed big for a 7-year-old. Their second placing proved great preparation for Thursday's Royal Windsor Horse Show 7 & 8 Year Old Championship. With the third slot in the order to go, Kraut navigated Constable to a speedy first round in 83.24 seconds, but one lowered rail made them the fastest of the four-faulters, securing their eventual ninth place position.
"I have to stay patient with Constable," Kraut explained. "We have been moving him up slowly, and he has a lot of potential. He became very competitive last year in Europe, and he only continued to get better when in Wellington for the winter circuit.
"We are showing him very sparingly throughout the summer and fall, probably only six to eight times throughout the rest of the year," Kraut explained. "We are planning to put more pressure on him as an 8-year-old."
The Royal Windsor Horse Show also was the unveiling for one of Kraut's most recent mounts, Andretti S, a 17-hand Dutch Warmblood who started out with a humble beginning in England. The 9-year-old came to Kraut last fall and was purchased through the Stars and Stripes syndicate, which Cherry Knoll Farm's Margaret Duprey is proud to have ownership in. The Royal Windsor Horse Show proved the perfect place to showcase the new mount's talent, as he showed over a 1.60m track for the first time Sunday.
"Andretti is a very quirky horse in many ways, he's almost like a thoroughbred. He is very brave, and has a good mouth," Kraut described. "He is very big, a lot bigger than I am used to riding at 17 hands, but he is very manageable, and I am lucky to have the ride."
The CSI 3* Alltech Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy saw 31 horse and rider combinations, but only 12 were able to master the opening track and move into the jump-off. Although Kraut and Andretti S put in a double-clear effort, their time of 42.22 seconds through the shortened course would prove good enough for the fourth place finish, a validating placing for the gelding's 1.60m debut.
"He has been coming along so well, and I am very excited to have the ride on him. We have been working slowly, working to build him up for the next level," Kraut said. "The goal is to prepare Andretti for new venues, and he is traveling alongside Cedric as the second horse. The hope is that he will take Cedric's position next year."
Kraut will continue to show her top string of horses throughout the summer in Europe. She will move on to Norten Hardenburg CSI 3* in Germany from May 23-25.