Washington D.C.—Oct. 26
Laura Kraut’s partnership with Fleurette is still new, and she thought the Washington International Horse Show would be the perfect place to test out the mare indoors.
Kraut has been chasing a win at Washington since she started showing in the international jumper division in the late 1980s, so the lure of the feature $136,300 Longines FEI Washington World Cup qualifier was another reason to put St. Bride’s Farm’s 10-year-old Selle Français mare (Verdi TN—Kiss Me Not De Breve, Concorde) on a plane.
The quick trip was well worth it as Kraut led the victory gallop tonight after topping the two-horse jump-off over Olaf Petersen Jr.’s course.
“I’ve had quite a few seconds and thirds and fourths [here] and it always seemed to elude me,” said Kraut, who’s based in Europe most of the year. “I said at the beginning of the week, ‘This is going to be my week.’ I had a good feeling about it. She jumped really well on Thursday. It was very special. It was also special because her owners were here to watch.”
Andrew Welles and Primo Troy were the only other pair to make it to the jump-off, and they picked up 12 faults, which included a stop, to finish second.
“My feeling is I’m afraid to look in the mirror because I have many more white hairs, but I think it was a fair class,” said Petersen. “We saw some really good rounds. We saw it was possible to be clear, and I wish we’d had two more in the jump-off, but…The key of the course was from 7 to 8, the FEI to the red one, if you rushed there too much it was very difficult.”
Watch the jump-off via FEI.
Kraut picked up 4 faults in the jump-off. “For sure when you know you have 12 [in hand], that’s a breather,” she said. “If it’s 4 faults there’s pressure, with 8 faults even you think ok, but with 12 I thought, just don’t muck this up. She jumped well, and she got to the double and got behind the bit and jumped really high over A and even higher over B, and I thought, ‘Oh no, don’t mess this up!’ She’s fine, she’s wonderful. It was a bummer that that happened for him, but it was good for me.”
“I thought for sure we were going to have a jump-off, with the quality of riders here,” said Welles. “I personally thought it was exciting that it wasn’t a lot of clears. I know as a spectator I’m drawn to classes where you’re fighting for clear rounds. I was just trying to stay focused on my plan to try and lay down the best round I could. With a rider like Laura behind you, you want to take a bit of a shot, and unfortunately it didn’t work out but I’m thrilled with my horse tonight.”
Primo Troy, a 10-year-old Irish-bred Irish Sport Horse gelding (Clinton—Ark of Diamonds, VDL Arkansas) owned by Itasca Group, LLC, is just stepping up to the level.
“He’s a younger horse stepping up, and I’m so proud of him,” Welles said. “We had part of his ownership group here so for them, to pull off a result like that is a special night.”
The gelding wears a mask in the ring made of liquid titanium.
“It’s something I tried in Spruce Meadows [Canada] with another horse this year at the recommendation of Tiffany Foster” Welles said. “The idea behind it is it’s like a ThunderShirt for a dog. I thought, with the atmosphere here and we had a little bobble on Thursday so I wanted him to be as relaxed as possible. I think it’s one of those things that doesn’t hurt to add in there. “
The Chronicle will be on site at Washington International all week. Keep up with all the Chronicle’s online coverage, and follow the Chronicle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse. We will have full analysis of the competition in the Nov. 18 issue of the magazine. Subscribe today!