Wellington, FL - Laura Kraut (USA) and Tortola, owned by Beverly Widdowson, took over the top spot in the $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Jumpers. They were the fastest in the speed round over second place finishers Pablo Barrios aboard G&C Napoleon and Peter Charles on Murkas Nevada VI.
Today's class opened up competition for the fourth week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), and the week four title sponsor is Adequan. The $75,000 Adequan Grand Prix, CSI 2* runs in the International Arena on Sunday at 2 p.m.The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of competition that conclude on April 4, 2010, and the circuit will be awarding almost $6 million in prize money through the circuit.
The highlight competition for the next three days in the International Arena is the Exquis World Dressage Masters, which takes center stage in the International Arena on Thursday and Saturday for competition. The Grand Prix runs on Thursday at 1 p.m., while the Grand Prix Special is on Saturday at 1 p.m. and the Musical Freestyle goes under the lights on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available at www.equestriansport.com or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) was the course designer for today's class, which ran in a Time First Round format in the DeNemethy Ring. Kraut and Tortola cleared the course in a time of 73.997 seconds, followed closely behind by Barrios and G&C Napoleon, who is owned by Gustavo and Carolina Mirabal in 74.134 seconds. Peter Charles and Murkas Nevada VI, owned by Olga White, were third in 74.206 seconds.
Kraut has added another talented grey to her string of horses, having had Miss Independent at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games and Cedric on the gold medal winning team at the 2008 Olympic Games. She said that Tortola is often mistaken for a mare. "He looks like a mare; he's sort of thin and lean. With a girl name like Tortola, it doesn't help either, but he's a gelding," she said with a smile.
Tortola (left) is an eight-year-old Belgian Warmblood who Kraut believes has the talent to move up in the show jumping world, and while he has the carefulness similar to Cedric, there are differences beyond that and their color. "He's as careful as Cedric is; he's really careful, but different in that he's much bigger. He's a lot braver. He's not as spooky as Cedric," she laughed.
Kraut has only had the ride on Tortola since the end of December. She explained, "I found him as a six-year-old, and Nick (Skelton's) owners bought him and brought him along. Nick felt like he suited me better, so I've gotten the ride, which is nice for me!"
The slow and steady plan is working well for the "brave, careful, and scopey" gelding, and Kraut is working on Tortola's speed. "He barely jumped 1.40m before this, and now he's jumping the 1.45m and 1.50m. He does (the speed) nicely, and it's getting better. I've been going slow because it's sort of a step up in height, and I didn't want to throw everything at him at once. Today was much better. He's starting to think about the speed a bit. I have high hopes for him. I think he's going to be really outstanding."
Kraut was pleased with her win today and pointed out the great prize from the sponsor, Sentient Jet. "I got a Helly Hansen rain jacket, which is really nice! I'm sure I'll put it to good use," she said.
The fourth week of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival continues tomorrow with the fourth round of the $30,000 WEF Challenge Cup at 1 p.m. in the DeNemethy Ring, with the Grand Prix dressage competition for the Exquis World Dressage Masters in the International Arena at 1 p.m.
Final Results: $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Timed First Round
- 1. TORTOLA, LAURA KRAUT, BEVERLY WIDDOWSON: 0/73.997
- 2. G&C NAPOLEON, PABLO BARRIOS, GUSTAVO & CAROLINA MIRABAL: 0/74.134
- 3. MURKA'S NEVADA VI, PETER CHARLES, OLGA WHITE: 0/74.206
- 4. PF TWISTER II, HUGH MUTCH, PARADYSZ FARM: 0/77.615
- 5. LET'S FLY, RODRIGO PESSOA, DOUBLE H FARM: 0/78.389
- 6. CEDRIC, LAURA KRAUT, HAPPY HILL FARM: 1/79.861
- 7. MURKA'S MR. BACARDI, PETER CHARLES, PETER CHARLES: 4/74.568
- 8. CHAPEAU Z, DEBBIE STEPHENS, DEBBIE & STEVE STEPHENS: 4/75.290
- 9. RMW SAN FRIESE, KYLE KING, ROCKY MOUNTAIN WARMBLOODS: 4/76.703
- 10. SCARABERAS, MICHAEL MORRISSEY, MICHAEL MORRISSEY: 8/77.08
- 11. TALOUBET, PAULO SANTANA, JENNIFER SANTANA: 8/77.841
- 12. CHAMP, RODRIGO PESSOA: 15/85.113
The 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 13 through April 4. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $5.5 million in prize money will be awarded.
Photo Credit: Laura Kraut and Tortola won the opening $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Jumper class during week four at the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © 2010 Randi Muster/Mustphoto, Inc., Official Sport Photographer of the 2010 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.