Monday, May. 27, 2024

Cedric and Kraut Claim $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix CSIO****, and Tristan Takes Trials Title

While Laura Kraut and Cedric have amassed a spectacular international record together, including a team gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Bejing, China, there’s one type of class they haven’t won all that much: grand prix.   

But Cedric jumped to the top of the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix CSIO****  today, March 7, in Wellington, Fla., edging out Danny Boy and Beezie Madden, who took second.

“I think this is only the second grand prix win of his career, because normally we’re jumping in trials or Nations Cups,” said Kraut.

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While Laura Kraut and Cedric have amassed a spectacular international record together, including a team gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Bejing, China, there’s one type of class they haven’t won all that much: grand prix.   

But Cedric jumped to the top of the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix CSIO****  today, March 7, in Wellington, Fla., edging out Danny Boy and Beezie Madden, who took second.

“I think this is only the second grand prix win of his career, because normally we’re jumping in trials or Nations Cups,” said Kraut.

The class also served as the U.S. Equestrian Federation Show Jumping World Equestrian Games Trial No. 5, with first-round faults only counting toward the standings. Nicole Shahinian-Simpson’s relatively inexperienced partner Tristan jumped brilliantly to add nothing to her score and finished the trials on top of the scoreboard with 9 points. They took third in the class. Winning Nations Cup teammates, Canadians Mac Cone on Ole and Beth Underhill on Top Gun took two rails apiece in the second round to finish fourth and fifth.

Guilherme Jorge set a tough track for the 56 competitors, and after the drag break 26 horses in, no one—including show jumping powerhouses McLain Ward on Sapphire and Eric Lamaze on Hickstead—had found a clear way around the course.

But Tristan and Shahinian-Simpson found a path, not touching a rail on their way to a clear round, which paved the way for five more riders to join them for the jump-off.

Cedric came back second last for the second round, which included a few tight roll backs and a long gallop to an in-and-out. Kraut let the gray gelding gallop in a way she never had before, and he took her up on the offer.

“I’m positive that’s the fastest I’ve ever gone on him—I never let him go like that!” she said. “I almost lost control of him after the double. He was freaking out, thinking, ‘What is she doing up there?’ “

Madden couldn’t have been happier with her round aboard Danny Boy, which helped her finish in a tie for third in the overall standings. She praised her partner’s improvement over the two weeks.

“I was a little disappointed with the first two trials that were at night; he was a little tense there,” she said. “But he rose to the occasion after that. He was good on the field [in Trial No. 3], Friday [in Trial No. 4] he had a solid round, even a little fresh. And today he was excellent.”

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Trials winner Shahinian-Simpson praised rising star Tristan and said that the process of the trials had helped him improve by leaps and bounds

“I’m thrilled with his progress and the experience through the trials, we’ve really learned a lot about each other,” she said. “I had a lot of confidence that he’s a very, very scopey horse and brave. I knew it would be a matter of the technical elements; I knew we could do a lot of different things to suit the course.”  

The leaders after Trials No. 3 and 4, Richard Spooner and Cristallo, finished the Selection Trials in second, having picked up two rails this afternoon.

“I think I underestimated exactly how fit he is,” said Spooner. “I should have worked him harder yesterday; he was a little too fresh today. He was a little too up; he wanted to go and wanted to jump. When he gets like that I have to pull a little harder.”

Both Kraut on Cedric and Lauren Hough on Quick Study had had their names added to the USEF Show Jumping Long List by the USEF Ad Hoc Committee on Selection after clear rounds in Trials No. 1 and 2. Hough jumped for the big purse today but suffered two rails, one of which she chalked up to rider error, and one to a bit of bad luck.

“I’m not thrilled with an 8-fault ride, but I have a lot of confidence with the horse. I know the program he needs to be in going forward, and we’ll be ready to produce when the time comes,” said Hough.

Long listed before the Trials began, Sapphire and McLain Ward accrued 8 faults today, which Ward attributed partly to her fitness.

“I struggled with the plan,” said Ward. “The horse has had six months off since [the Spruce Meadows (Alta.) season], and she’s probably not fit enough and ready enough.

“Part of giving her a bye and waiting is to be able to peak at the right time,” he went on. “One of the tough things of the Trials in these shows: Usually we would use these shows to build up. This isn’t a normal week 8 grand prix. If we have two down in [the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix CSI***** March 27], then we have a problem.”

The Show Jumping Long List will be announced Monday, March 8, and will include 15 horse/rider combinations. Kraut, Hough and Ward on Sapphire have already been granted three of the six available byes, which may go to any horse and rider. The remainder of the Long List will be determined by the results of the Trials, which are ranked by faults accrued. Clear rounds break ties in the standings, and in case of no clear rounds, lower-fault rounds break ties.  

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Chef d’Equipe George Morris defended the two week-long trials process, acknowledging that while the timing of the trials makes it challenging for horses early in the season, it’s a necessary evil in order to get horses prepped before the Meydan Nations Cup season.

“We have to have trials before April 1 because we have World Cup Finals, and we have [the Meydan League],” he said. “As long as I’m on the job, nothing is going to interfere with the [Meydan League]; that’s our preparation for championships. If we’re out of the [Meydan League], we’re in deep trouble in my opinion.”

The horses and riders on the Long List will travel to Europe and compete at in CSIOs La Baule (France), Rome (Italy), St. Gallen (Switzerland), Rotterdam (the Netherlands), Falsterbo (Sweden), Aachen (Germany), Hickstead (England) and Dublin (Ireland) before the WEG team is selected in late September.

Final Results: $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO**** and WEG Trial No. 5

Top 12 Prize Money Results Only— Find full results at www.shownet.biz

1. Cedric/Laura Kraut 0-0/48.04
2. Danny Boy/Beezie Madden 0-0/48.19
3. Tristan/Nicole Shahinian-Simpson 0-0/51.24
4. Ole/Mac Cone 0-8/49.07
5. Top Gun/Beth Underhill 0-8/50.50
6. Presley Boy/Jamie Azcarraga 0-21/64.22
7. Pavarotti/Todd Minikus 4/91.59
8. Urico/Mario Deslauriers 4/91.92
9. Flexible/Rich Fellers 4/92.17
10. Rothchild/McLain Ward 4/92.29
11. Let’s Fly/Rodrigo Pessoa 4/92.54
12. Hickstead/Eric Lamaze 4/93.67

USEF World Equestrian Games Selection Trials Final Standings

Download standings with faults here

1.Tristan/Nicole Shahinian-Simpson—9
2.Cristallo/Richard Spooner—14
3T. Urico/Mario Deslauriers—16
3T. Danny Boy/Beezie Madden—16
5. Rothchild/McLain Ward—17
6. Quincy B/Hillary Dobbs—20
7. Mademoiselle/Beezie Madden—21
8. Skara Glen’s Davos/Candice King—21
9. Flexible/Rich Fellers—24
10. Pavarotti/Todd Minikus—28
11. Ublesco/Cara Raether—29
12. Graf Lando/Bob Kraut—29
13. Chivas Z/Ashlee Bond—29
14. Georgina Bloomberg/Fiedi 3—31
15T. Kilkenny Rindo/Nicole Shahinian-Simpson—33
15T. Armani/Jeffery Welles—33
17. Athena/Charlie Jayne—36
18. Ralvesther/Brianne Goutal—41
19. Hidden Creek’s Campella/Margie Engle—44
20. Romantovich Take One/Christine McCrea—45
21. Metropolitan—Georgina Bloomberg—46
22. Blue Curacao/Marilyn Little-Meredith—48

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