The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) recently announced the 10 athletes named to the Short List for the 2022 FEI Jumping World Championship (formerly part of the World Equestrian Games), to be held in Hernig, Denmark this summer. The first observation event takes place this weekend at CSIO5* Rome, with the following riders set to compete:
· Lillie Keenan
· Laura Kraut
· Brian Moggre
· Chloe Reid
· Spencer Smith
As these athletes navigate observation events on the road to Hernig, Prixview is breaking down the numbers of compelling team candidates (Read our take on Chloe Reid here).
Next up, Laura Kraut:
Laura Kraut could be considered the ultimate teammate. The Olympic and World Equestrian Games gold medalist has been a fixture in the coveted red jacket denoting a #TeamUSA rider for nearly two decades. She is Short Listed for the 2022 World Championships aboard both Baloutinue—her Tokyo Olympic Games mount—and the veteran that is Confu, who won the CSI4* Horseware Ireland Grand Prix in March at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) after suffering from a serious virus at the end of 2021.
Over the years, Kraut has held every role on the team, from cheerleader to information gatherer, momentum swinger and team anchor. A glimpse at the ingate during a Nations Cup or Championship will reveal Kraut in a state of emotion, seemingly jumping every fence with her teammates, but remarkably, she is a picture of poise and focus once she takes her own turn in the saddle.
By far the most experienced American athlete competing this week in Rome, Prixview broke down the numbers that confirm Kraut’s immense contributions to Team USA’s success on the world stage.
In 46 Nations Cup appearances since 2008, Laura Kraut has jumped 33 clear rounds (Keep in mind that Nations Cup competition consists of two rounds, with typically the top eight teams returning for the second round). Her average faults and average placing (team) remain remarkably similar. Kraut has averaged less than a rail—3.7 faults—in Nations Cup competition, meaning that when it counts most, she can be counted on to deliver. In those 46 Nations Cup appearances, Team USA has averaged a placing of 3.4.
Unsurprisingly, Kraut’s Olympic gold medal mount from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Cedric, contributed to more Nations Cup starts than any other of Kraut’s mounts, jumping 24 rounds (since 2008) of Nations Cup competition, excluding Championships. But the horse with the second-most appearances has been Confu.
At 15, Confu has not jumped on the Olympic or World Championship stage, but he did contribute to a team silver medal at the 2017 Nations Cup Finals in Barcelona. The gutsy grey gelding’s average placing in Nations Cup competition is 3—best of any of Kraut’s Nations Cup mounts. He similarly has averaged just 3 faults in these outings.
In six appearances at either the Olympic Games or World Championships, Kraut’s team has only finished off the podium twice—the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games (Kraut’s Olympic debut) and the 2010 World Equestrian Games. Her average placing in these team Championships is 3.7.
When Kraut is on the team, her squad is making the podium or coming agonizingly close to it.
Follow Laura and the entire U.S. Short List through Prixview’s fantasy games at Prixview.com/fantasy.