News / Articles
Laura Kraut and Confu Secure Gold Medal Win for Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team at FEI Nations Cup™ CS
Olympians Kraut and Lauren Hough collect double clear performance as part of winning effort
Dublin, Ireland – Laura Kraut and Confu’s double-clear performance fended off a potential jump-off against France to help lead the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to gold medal honors at FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO5* Dublin on Friday. As part of this prestigious competition, Ireland’s President Michael Higgins awarded the U.S. team the prestigious Aga Kahn Trophy for the seventh time and the first for an all-female U.S. team. Lauren Hough, Lillie Keenan, Kraut, and Beezie Madden represented the U.S. and finished on zero faults. Together, they accumulated six clear rounds, while Kraut and Hough secured two out of the four double clear rounds in the competition. France finished with five faults, followed by The Netherlands with seven faults.
The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team celebrate their win (©Rockmountain Studios / Rolf Stenberg)
“The Aga Kahn Trophy is probably the most coveted trophy in the sport. When we have the opportunity to compete at Dublin, we make it a big priority,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “This was an incredibly exciting competition as it went down to the last round, but we had riders who ride under pressure very well. All four riders were unbelievable today; they were aware of the pressure, but as great riders do, they rose to the occasion.”
Heading into the competition, the U.S. knew they faced one of the most difficult Nations Cup courses. However, they rode through with ease. In the first round, Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and Ohlala, The Ohlala Group’s 13-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare, Keenan (New York, N.Y.) and Super Sox, Chansonette Farm LLC’s 11-year-old Hanoverian gelding, and Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and Confu, St. Bride’s Farms’ 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding went clear. This allowed them to drop Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Darry Lou’s four fault score.
The U.S. sat tied with home team Ireland on zero faults, while France and The Netherlands followed with one and two faults, respectively, after the first round. The Netherlands’ first two combinations went clear adding pressure on the U.S. Following three combinations, the U.S. held the lead thanks to clear rounds from Hough and Madden. With The Netherlands’ resting on a two-fault total and France on a five faults, it came down to Kraut who had to jump with four faults or less. With an incredible clear round, she clinched the historic victory for the U.S. This is the second consecutive year that horses from Barb Roux's St. Brides Farm have produced double-clear rounds in Dublin. Cavalia, a 10-year-old KWPN mare, did it last year.