Cannes, France - June 18 - The competition in the Longines Global Champions Tour entered its fifth leg Saturday night during the €285,000 GCT Grand Prix of Cannes. Although it was Germany's Marcus Ehning who delivered the winning ride, it was Laura Kraut of the United States who stole the attention as she overtook the first place slot in the Global Champions Tour ranking.
Kraut originally took the lead in the rankings with Cherry Knoll Farm's Cedric during the Grand Prix of Wiesbaden in May. She held the lead until Luciana Diaz pushed ahead during the Global Champions Tour at the Olympic Park in London, but Kraut was only in second place for a week before regaining the lead aboard her second mount, Jubilee d'Ouilly. Kraut now sits in the top spot with 132 points, leading the Global Champions Tour standings, and she has her eye set on the sixth leg of the GCT at Monaco.
Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani devised a technical track for the €285,000 GCT Grand Prix of Cannes. During the first round, 48 contenders attempted to best the track; however, only eight were able to make it through without fault. During the second round, five riders jumped to double-clear scores, paving the way for a nail biting jump-off.
Kraut had entered the Longines GCT Grand Prix of Cannes in the second position, but Luciana Diniz of Portugal did not make it into the second round, allowing Kraut to overtake the rankings. Now sitting in the first position for the Global Champions Tour, Kraut is just eight points ahead of the world's number one ranked rider, Christian Ahlmann of Germany. The series will head to Monaco beginning June 27, and the race for the first place position is sure to only intensify as Kraut makes a dash to hold onto her winning position.
The technical track proved difficult for many of the riders, and with only eight jumping clear in the first round, it was apparent that the night would be full of anticipation as riders competed to make their way into the top 10 series rankings. Kraut rode Jubilee d'Ouilly to a speedy four-fault round, returning in the second round to jump clean. Kraut was pleased with Jubilee for the night, and she was thrilled to once again hold the top spot on the GCT rankings.
"I think it is best to just keep focusing on each individual competition," Kraut said during the €285,000 GCT Grand Prix of Cannes. "I was really pleased with Jubilee tonight, she jumped fantastic. I am just really honored and pleased to be in the position I am. The first round tonight was probably the biggest I have jumped-very big, very scopey. I am very lucky to have two super horses at this level."
Jan Tops, Longines Global Champions Tour President said, "We always have incredible sport here. The horses feel good. The footing was great this weekend, the riders were really prepared for this class and when you have all these circumstances together you have great sport. Laura has a good place in front, she is far ahead and the rest is still open. I think like last year it will come down to the last leg to see who will be the winner."
Kraut is prepared to take on the challenge as she begins to ready herself for the Prince Albert II of Monaco Grand Prix. Kraut and Cedric will compete during the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ in Rotterdam June 21, hoping to duplicate their efforts from Wellington and help the USA bring home another victory. From Rotterdam, the dynamic duo will then head to the CHIO Aachen 2013 World Equestrian Festival. For more information on the Longines Global Champions Tour, please visit http://www.globalchampionstour.com/events/. To keep up to date with the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ please visit http://www.fei.org/.
Cedric is known for his spry jumping, athleticism and quick feet, and was a solid selection for participation in CSIO Wellington FEI Nations Cup. Kraut is on par with her athletic mount, and is leaving nothing to chance as she heads into the International Arena to defend her turf at home throughout the Winter Equestrian Festival. For more information on Cherry Knoll Farm, Inc. please visit http://www.cherryknollfarminc.com/.