Olympic Experience: 2008, Gold medal in Team Jumping
Horse: Cedric (10-year-old Dutch-bred gelding; Owned by Happy Hill Farm)
Laura Kraut and Cedric ran the board at the 2008 USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping, jumping clear in the first round and never looking back. They made one mistake over the five rounds but were always well clear of the competition. Keeping with her winning ways, she won the CSI4* aboard Miss Independent and the CSI1* Prijs Kyra K on Olympia 90 at Antwerp in Belgium. In securing these victories she was named the show's leading rider. Always a top competitor in grand prix circles, Olympic veteran Laura Kraut was an integral part of the U.S. team in the Samsung Super League in 2007. Riding Anthem, she was part of the all-female team that romped to victory at CSIO Hickstead (England) in July and second two weeks later in Dublin, Ireland. Kraut had a big European victory in August with Cedric. Together they won the grand prix at the CSI*** Hachenburg in Germany over a very competitive field of 53 horses and riders from across Europe.
With Miss Independent, Kraut was third overall at the World Equestrian Games qualifiers in March 2006 in Wellington, Fla., securing their spot on the short list for the U.S. team for WEG. Kraut spent much of the 2005 summer representing the United States in the competitive Samsung Super League series in Europe. Kraut helped the U.S. secure wins in Aachen, Germany, and LaBaule, France, and second place in Rome and in Hickstead, England, riding both Anthem and Miss Independent.
Also in 2005, Kraut had a first-place finish at the $75,000 Cosequin Florida Open riding Miss Independent, a third place at the $60,000 Lincoln Idle Dice Classic riding Anthem, and a fourth place at the $100,000 Washington International President's Cup riding Anthem - all in Wellington, Fla. Coming into her seventh World Cup Final, Kraut ranked second in the East Coast League.
In 2004, Kraut was a member of the second-place team in the $50,000 Samsung Nations Cup in Florida, and helped the United States secure a fourth place overall finish in the Samsung Super League. In 2003, Kraut was the top placed American at the World Cup Final, where she tied for the fifth position out of 41 starting horse and rider combinations. In 2002, she was a member of the U.S. Team which won the first outdoor Nations Cup held in the United States; and at the Samsung Nations Cup Series, she was named leading rider after tying for first place on Liberty in the individual competition. Kraut was a U.S. team alternate at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Spain, and in the 2000-2001 competition season she was honored as reserve champion AGA Rider of the Year. Kraut was also a member of the U.S. show jumping team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.
Kraut began her riding career at age three in Atlanta, Ga., where she rode with her mother, Carol Kent. She competed very avidly in the 1980's and after an injury forced her to take a brief respite in 1988 she returned to the sport with a vengeance that sent her right to the top of international rankings. A very generous person, Kraut serves on the AHSA Board of Directors and is active in the AHSA Jumper Committee. In her life outside the show ring, Kraut is married to fellow equestrian, Bob, and the couple has a young son, Bobby. They make their home in Wellington, Fla.