Laura Kraut and Jubilee d'Ouilly jumped to victory in the $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 on Thursday afternoon at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) in an exciting jump-off of top competitors. Last to go in a 24-horse tie breaker with McLain Ward holding the first and second positions, Kraut and Jubilee shaved fractions off of the leading time to win in a dramatic finish.
Luc Musette of Belgium is the course designer in the International Arena for week two. In Thursday's $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2, Musette saw 57 entries in the first round of competition with 24 advancing to the jump-off. Only nine competitors were able to clear the short course without fault as they raced against the clock, and Laura Kraut and Jubilee d'Ouilly's time of 35.57 seconds took top honors.
McLain Ward finished second and third with his mounts Rothchild and Zhum CW. Ward and Sagamore Farm's Rothchild stopped the clock in 35.70 seconds to place second. Ward guided Zhum CW, owned by Ilan Ferder and Missy Clark, to third place in 36.22 seconds.
Jubilee d'Ouilly is a 16-year-old Selle Francais mare by Palestro II x Graphit, owned by A. Le Bon and F.X. Le Bon. The mare has had a very successful career in Europe and just made her first trip to the United States this winter as a new mount for Kraut. The rider detailed, "I got her at the end of November. She is now 16 years old. She has had an illustrious career with Penolope Leprovost and Trevor Coyle, so I have big shoes to fill."
"Trevor unfortunately got hurt, so they called me and asked if I would take over the ride, which was an unexpected and pleasant surprise," Kraut smiled. "I have jumped her twice. I jumped in Paris and then London. In London she was very unlucky; she had one down in the grand prix, but she should have been clear, she jumped a really good round."
Jubilee just got out of quarantine in Wellington on Monday and is off to a great start for the winter. Kraut is not sure how long she will have the ride, but plans to enjoy her time with the talented horse.
"Trevor doesn't know how long his injury is going to last, so he is not sure when he can come back," Kraut explained. "I think they both agreed that she is not getting any younger. She needs to kind of go on if she is going to go, being 16, so I don't know. I am just happy to have the ride on her for now."
Last to go in the jump-off, Kraut was able to watch McLain Ward go on his first mount and figure out a plan with Jubilee. Their times were extremely close.
"I stayed specifically to watch McLain go on Rothchild," she noted. "I didn't see him go on his second, but he did six strides from jump one to jump two, which I knew I couldn't do. She doesn't have that kind of stride, but she is a very quick horse, so I just thought I could outturn him to the orange jump. That would be the only place I made up that time because he was galloping."
Ward was not sure if his time would hold up with some of the good horses and riders that followed him. He stated, "I actually thought all four at the end of the jump-off had a chance; they are all great riders and fast horses. That mare with Laura is a very experienced, older horse who has always been super fast, just naturally fast. Rothchild did kick out pretty hard rolling back, which I think slowed him up a little and I checked to the last jump. Smooth is always faster and that wasn't so smooth, so there were a couple of little mistakes on my part, but I was thrilled with both of my horses. The horse of Ilan and Missy's is new. I went as fast as I really wanted to go today and it wasn't quite fast enough. A great rider and a very experienced horse beat you and that is going to happen sometimes."
Kraut looks forward to the rest of the circuit now having Jubilee as well her Olympic partner Cedric to show in the big classes. She stated, "The owner is obviously aware that I have Cedric and so I think that she is looking forward to me being able to jump Jubilee alongside with him. With her being 16 years old and Cedric being 15 years old, neither one of them can go, go, go all the time, so I think it is really nice that I will have two sort of premier horses and just be able to flip-flop between them."
Also showing in the International Arena on Thursday, Katie Monahan-Prudent earned victory in the $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Jumper Classic aboard Michael Smith's V. Out of 41 competitors and seven entries that made it to the jump-off, the pair had the fastest of six double clear rounds in 37.220 seconds. Andres Rodriguez and Arao Enterprises, LLC's Aberdeen 33 finished second in 37.508 seconds.
Final Results: $33,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 2
1. JUBILEE D'OUILLY: 1997 Selle Francais mare by Palestro II x Graphit
LAURA KRAUT (USA), A. Le Bon and F.X. Le Bon: 0/0/35.57
2. ROTHCHILD: 2001 SBS gelding by Artos x Elegant De L'Ile
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Sagamore Farms: 0/0/35.70
3. ZHUM CW: 2004 KWPN gelding by Querlybet Hero x Cambridge
MCLAIN WARD (USA), Ilan Ferder & Missy Clark: 0/0/36.22
4. ZAFIRA: 2004 KWPN mare Nassau x Cappucino van Berkenbroek
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Haity McNerney: 0/0/37.33
5. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), LAURA CHAPOT & MCLAIN WARD: 0/0/38.19
6. WANNICK WH: 2003 KWPN stallion by Heartbreaker x Joost
CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble/Windsor Show Stables: 0/0/38.43
7. G&C FLASH: 2002 Hanoverian gelding by Forrester x Grannus
LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), Gustavo Mirabal: 0/0/38.72
8. ULTIMO: 2001 KWPN gelding by Marlon x Laroche
HECTOR FLORENTINO (DOM), Stransky's Mission Farm: 0/0/39.18
9. UTAN: 2001 KWPN gelding by Burggraaf x Concorde
ANGELA COVERT (CAN), Eastwood Group: 0/0/39.99
10. CARLOTTA SINGULAR: 2002 Hanoverian mare by Chasseur x Singular Joter
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan Grange: 0/4/36.38
11. ROCKY W: 1998 KWPN gelding by Libero H x Corofino
KAITLIN CAMPBELL (USA), Kaitlin Campbell: 0/4/36.49
12. HH LET'S FLY: 1999 Hanoverian gelding by Lordanos x Forrest
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farm: 0/4/36.76
Source: Lauren Fisher and Laura Cardon for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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