Wellington, Fla.—March 3
Tonight, before the start of the $150,000 FEI Nations Cup, the spectators got to bid farewell and thank you to one of show jumping’s top competitors over the last decade—the diminutive but powerful and charismatic jumper Cedric.
Laura Kraut, who rode Cedric on the U.S. team that won gold at the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong and to grand prix wins around the world, and owner Margaret Duprey of Cherry Knoll Farm decided to retire Cedric, a 19-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Chambertin 3—Cortina, Carolus LL), after the 2016 season.
There were quite a few tears shed as Kraut and Cedric made their last appearance in the ring, accompanied by Duprey and Cedric’s longtime groom Johanna Burtsoff. A highlight video of Cedric’s career played and George H. Morris weighed in on the mighty little gray’s career and character.
“Cedric has been the horse of a lifetime for me,” Kraut said. “He has been incredible, and I’ve learned not to give up and to persevere. It took a long time as he was a little bit slower to develop than your normal grand prix horse. He’s been amazing, and I think I’ll never have another horse like him.”
Cedric made his Fédération Equestre Internationale debut in 2006 as an 8-year-old, and his partnership with Kraut has spanned the 11 years since then as they competed all over the world.
In addition to their gold-medal Olympic performance in 2008, when Cedric was just 10, the pair were on the U.S. team at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.), where the team placed 10th. Kraut and Cedric made numerous Nations Cup appearances, including at Rotterdam (the Netherlands), La Baule (France), Rome (Italy), St. Gallen (Switzerland), Aachen (Germany), Wellington (Fla.), Dublin (Ireland) and Barcelona (Spain) on multiple occasions.
Kraut and Cedric have also been successful players on the Global Champions Tour and to this date are the only horse-and-rider combination to win back-to-back Global Champions Tour events, winning in Chantilly, France, and then just two weeks later at Valkenswaard, the Netherlands in 2010. He won two other GCT events (2012 in Lausanne, Switzerland and 2013 in Wiesbaden, Germany).
“For me, one of the biggest career highlights with Cedric was him winning multiple Global Champions Tour grand prix events,” Kraut said. “For him to win back-to-back huge grand prix competitions like that was a tribute to just how great he is.”
His last class, and last win, was in a 1.45-meter class at the June 2016 Rotterdam CHIO.
Cedric amassed well over $2 million in prize money won and, in major competitions of $100,000 or more, produced 81 clear and 45 double-clear rounds. In 2010, Cedric was named The Chronicle of the Horse’s Show Jumping Horse of the Year.
U.S. chef d’équipe and legendary horseman, George H. Morris, helped Kraut and Cedric at many competitions over the years. He was essential in selecting Cedric—then an unproven and relatively unknown 10-year-old—for the 2008 Olympic team.
“I wanted to go with [Cedric] because he was a careful and competitive horse,” said Morris. “I never underestimate a little horse, and the rider—nobody rides better than Laura. He is an absolute blood horse. With all of that Thoroughbred blood in his veins, there is no bottom to Cedric. Careful, clever as a cat, so handy, so fast—all of the qualities that really make a superb show jumper.
“He’s what I call a darling horse,” continued Morris. “That of course was a great asset for the team. He had many, many wins in Nations Cups around the world representing Team USA. Besides the Olympic Games, he’s a horse you won’t forget. You won’t forget Cedric.”
At the start of his career, Cedric was owned by Happy Hill Farm and Peter Wetherill, one of Duprey’s childhood friends. When Wetherill passed away in 2012, Duprey stepped in to help keep Cedric in Kraut’s barn.
“I thought owning Cedric would be a great opportunity to become involved in the jumping world with one of the best,” Duprey said about her decision to purchase the grey gelding in 2012. “To be able to carry on Peter’s love of this horse, and his love of Laura, makes it very special.
“It has been a privilege to own a horse like Cedric,” Duprey continued. “Because of him, I have experienced international show jumping at the highest level around the world. I am so thankful for everyone who has played a role in his life, from the farriers, grooms, veterinarians—it truly takes a village. There will only be one Cedric, and I am honored to have been a part of his journey.”