BRIDGEHAMPTON, NY (Aug. 30, 2001) - Laura Kraut, U.S. Equestrian Team member and Olympic veteran, and Cingular have won the first two rounds of the AmeriChoice Young Jumper Championship for 5-year-olds at the 26th Annual Hampton Classic Horse Show.
Cingular, a bay Dutch warmblood owned by Jessica Pasmore, had the best score of the more than 20 horses competing in round one on Wednesday and round two on Thursday at The Classic. The horses and riders are vying for $20,000 in prize money in the finals of the AmeriChoice Young Jumper Championship for 5-year-olds on Sunday, September 2.
Kraut, based in Oconomowoc, Wis., also placed fifth and 10th in the first and second rounds of the 5-year-old Young Jumpers aboard On Line, a chestnut Dutch stallion owned by Kate Bomgaars.
The first round of the Young Jumper Championship for 6-year-old horses was won Wednesday by S&L Buzz, a Dutch warmblood gelding ridden by Erynn Ballard of New Canaan, Conn., and owned by S&L Farms. The class was the first step towards the $30,000 AmeriChoice Young Jumper Championship for 6-year-olds, which also will be held Sunday, Sept. 2. The second round will be held Friday at The Hampton Classic.
These horses are just youngsters, but you wouldn’t know it to see these future grand prix jumpers negotiating a course of jumps more than 4 feet high at The Hampton Classic.
“It’s great for us,” said Laura Kraut, U.S. Equestrian Team member and Olympic veteran. “Before this we had no place to start young horses in competition.”
More horse shows are offering Young Jumper classes, said Kraut. Before, these young horses just starting out in serious competition often were showing against older, more experienced veterans of the horse show world. Now they have a chance to make a mark at an early age, and trainers like Kraut welcome the opportunity to give these young horses seasoning.
“You have to jump a certain number of clears [clear rounds with no fences down] in order to come here,” she said. “It’s great experience for a young horse to be at such a large show. We joke about Cingular. He’s a 5-year-old with a 15-year-old brain. He’s born to be a show jumper.”