Articles: Press Release
U.S. Show Jumpers Forge Ahead at World Equestrian Festival
PHOTO CREDIT: Laura Kraut and Anthem in the Preis von Nordrhein-Westfalen at Aachen, Germany. Photo by Ken Braddick-HorseSport USA
Mason Phelps, Jr. of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)
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Aachen, Germany, Aug. 25 - The United States show jumping team claimed a victory and a fourth place finish Thursday on the eve of the Samsung Super League Nations' Cup competition at the World Equestrian Festival.
Jeffrey Welles, of Ridgefield, Connecticut, piloted his nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding Sampras to victory in the Youngsters Cup, while Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, finished fourth on the Dutch Warmblood gelding Anthem in the Preis von Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Welles and Sampras finished in the fastest time of 61.8 seconds ahead of the Dutch mare Purple Rain, ridden by Heinrich-Hermann Engemann of Germany, in second place and Toni Hassmann also of Germany, finishing third on the mare Aisha.
Kraut was the sole American among the six riders to make the jump off. The pair dropped a rail to finish fourth behind Otto Becker of Germany on Dobel's Cento, Markus Beerbaum of Germany on Le Mans 8 and Gerco Schröder of the Netherlands, on EuroCommerce Milano.
"I was just too cautious," Kraut said of the jump-off. The grass field was wet from rain throughout most of the day at this six-day competition, which offers more than $1.2 million in prize money and draws more than 300,000 people.
"I should have been my usual aggressive self," she said.
Kraut has been in Europe competing for the U.S. team for most of the time since the World Cup Final in Las Vegas at the end of April.
She will show Miss Independent, her nine-year-old horse that has anchored three of the six Super League contests so far, in the Super League Friday, but plans to ride
Anthem in the Aachen Grand Prix on Sunday.
Anthem has been her longtime top level international mount and "has been incredible the whole summer," she said.
George Morris, Chef d'Equipe of the U.S. team, named Jeffery Welles on Armani, Laura Kraut on Miss Independent, McLain Ward on Sapphire, and Beezie Madden on Authentic to the Samsung Super League Nation's Cup team for Friday.
The U.S. drew last place, eighth in the order of go, for the double-round competition that is the seventh in the series of eight contests between the world's top show jumping nations.
Ward is still riding with a broken collarbone sustained in a Super League competition at Hickstead, England four weeks ago but said after he was named to the squad: "It's doing fine. We'll be okay."