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Kraut and Cedric put in Repeat Performance, Maintain Lead at the USEF Selection

Kraut and Cedric put in Repeat Performance, Maintain Lead
at the USEF Selection Trial for Show Jumping

Release: March 05 2008

Wellington, FL - The third leg of the USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping got underway between the raindrops at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL on March 5, 2008. With 30 riders left in the mix for Short List for the 2008 Olympic Games, the third of five trials was for Selection Trial horses only.

Sponsored by Equine Motorcoach and Hong Kong Tourism, five selection trials are running over 10 days. Following Sunday's finale, a Short List of ten horse and rider combinations will be named. These 10 combinations will travel to Europe to fine tune their skills before the 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong.

Coming into the evening, 42-year-old Laura Kraut, who lives in Wellington, FL was leading the USEF Selection Trials with one fault on Happy Hill Farm's Cedric - as the diminutive grey gelding set off around the course, it was evident that he was not in danger of relinquishing his lead. He bounded around the course, jumping clear for the third round in row but picking up a time fault bringing his two day Selection Trial score to two faults.

"I didn't think he'd be leading the trials," said Kraut about the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood. "He's an unbelievable horse. I was saying about a month ago that he really understands the sport. He knows he's not supposed to knock poles down. He gets it and he tries very hard but I've never jumped more than one 1.60m round in a row with him. I always drop him down in between for confidence so I was worried how he would go round after round after round over grueling courses. I'm thrilled and I'm so proud of him. He's gotten so mature tonight."

Kraut, a veteran of the Sydney Olympic Games and the Silver Medal winning Team at the 2006 World Equestrian Games, had two rails down with 17-year-old Anthem whom she rode first, bumping the veteran out of the second spot - down to fifth. Kraut took responsibility for Anthem's mistake and applied what she learned to Cedric's round.

"When I walked I had a completely different plan than what the first six or seven (riders) were doing. But I've sort of learned to ignore that now. I know these horses well and I knew what I needed to do. I made a rider error on Anthem, I just came too slow to the double of oxers and under the lights he's almost overly careful sometimes. With Cedric I knew not to come too slow and he handled it easily."

Nicole Simpson, jumped clean again (repeating her fault-free effort from Sunday's Trial) with SRF Dragonfly, carrying eight faults into the third leg of the USEF Selection Trials. She unfortunately fell-off Vicomte D (who was in fourth place going into the third Trial).

SRF Dragonfly now lies second in the Trials Standing with 8 faults behind Cedric.

Will Simpson, the winner of Sunday's $100,000 Zada Enterprises Grand Prix (which also served as the second Selection Trial), continued to make his cross-country trip from Thousand Oaks, CA worth the effort. He was very speedy again and jumped another clear round winning the class with Carlsson Vom Dach, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding owned by El Campeon Farm. With 12 faults - Simpson sits in sixth place in the trials standings.

"Compared to last week under the lights - when it was 9:30 at night and freezing cold and his first class of the year - I was so proud of him (tonight)," said Simpson. "He came in and did everything step-by-step exactly how I wanted him to. Its like a lifetime worth of work that comes down to one or two weeks to determine whether the lifetime worth of work was worth it or not basically."

The lifetime dream continues in the USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping this evening at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

For complete Trials standings, please see www.usef.org and for more information please contact Joanie Morris, USEF High Performance Communications Manager at: jmorris@usef.org.

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