Hometown: Oconomowoc, WI
Laura Kraut is a long time, tough competitor on the show jumping scene, and over her career Kraut has collected an impressive set of wins. Although her name may not be familiar to casual show jumping fans, professionals in the business consider Kraut to be one of the best and brightest in the industry.
Although Kraut had some top placings in the late 1980's, it was not until 1992 that she got a lot of attention for her equestrian prowess. That year, with her long time partner, Simba Run, she was named first alternate for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The next year, the pair placed twelve times in grand prix competition, a remarkable accomplishment.
Then, in 1994, Kraut and Simba Run represented the U.S. at the World Cup Finals in Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. Kraut and Simba Run continued their winning ways right through 1998 by galloping to victory in the $87,462 Queen Elizabeth Cup in Calgary, Canada. A remarkable and consistent horse, Simba Run also won the 1999 $50,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix. Simba Run will be officially retired this year at the American Invitational in Tampa, FL—a fitting honor for a remarkable horse.
Kraut has also enjoyed grand prix success with such horses as Athletico, Classified, Felix, Sunday II, Jolly Roger and Anthem. With her 2000 Olympic mount, Liberty, a bay, Dutch Warmblood mare, Kraut conquered the first Olympic Trial in Gladstone in June and won the 2001 $100,000 USET Opening Jumping Championship.
Kraut and Anthem have been riding to success. In 2002 they took 1st place in the US Team CSIO Calgary Nations' Cup in Alberta Canada. That same year they were named as the reserve pair for the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain. In 2004 Laura and Anthem won 1st place in the $100,000 Budweiser AGA Championship in Wellignton, Florida. 2007 was very rewarding for the pair. Together they won the Equestrian Sportsman Grand Prix at the Northern Ireland International Horse Show in Belfast, Ireland.
In February 2008 Kraut won second place riding Cedric in the WEF Challenge Cup, the first of five United States Show Jumping Team Selection Trials for the 2008 Olympic Games. By trial three Kraut and Cedric were top on the standings. In the fourth trial, the CN Jumper Classic, Kraut rode Miss Independent to victory. In April, Kraut and Anthem won the $500,000 Grand Prix in Charlotte, NC. In the summer, Kraut and Cedric joined the U.S. Olympic Team in Show Jumping at the Bejing Olympic Games and won gold. In May 2009 Kraut and Anthem won the Grand Prix of Madrid.
Kraut has added another talented gray to her string of horses, a Belgian Warmblood gelding named Tortola. Both Kraut and Tortola have been on a winning streak in the beginning of 2010. They took the top spot in the $8,000 Sentient Jet 1.45m Jumpers and the $25,000 Suncast 1.50m Classic at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival.
To top it all off, Kraut and Cedric won the $150,000 CN U.S. Open Grand Prix, CSIO 4* at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival on March 7, 2010. And in July they won the Grand Prix of Chantilly, France, a CSI5 event which is part of the Global Champions Tour.
Kraut serves on the AHSA Board of Directors and is active in the AHSA Jumper Committee. Additionally, she is a popular coach stressing to her students that horsemanship is fun. Kraut is generous with her time, often staying after a show to sign autographs for fans. In her life outside the show ring, Kraut has a son with her husband, Bob, who is also an equestrian.