Accordian Wins Cleveland Grand Prix
Wisconsin's Bob Kraut surprises with jump-off victory at Cleveland Grand Prix equestrian meet
by Marge Fernbacher/Special to The Plain Dealer
Sunday July 12, 2009, 11:03 PM
MORELAND HILLS, Ohio -- Wisconsin pro Bob Kraut scored an upset victory in show jumping competition Sunday, winning the $35,000 Cleveland Grand Prix.
The grand prix was the feature event of the nine-day Chagrin Valley Hunter Jumper Classic at the Metroparks Polo Field show grounds.
With wins in both the North American Speed Stake and the $10,000 Welcome Stake earlier in the week, defending 2008 Cleveland Grand Prix winner Margie Engle was the heavy favorite entering Sunday. Engle, of Wellington, Fla., had three horses in the starting lineup, but was unable to score a faultless first round on any of the mounts.
Only four horses, including two for Argentine rider Jorge Zamudio, were able to negotiate the first-round course of 16 obstacles without penalty faults. First to compete in the tie-breaking jump-off over a raised and shortened course on Stransky's Mission Farms' Phelox, Zamudio attempted to set a fast pace. He crossed the finish line in 38.64 seconds, but his speed cost him two obstacles down, for eight faults.
Riding Stealaway Farm's Claus, Angela Klein-Moore of Johnstown, Ohio took a more cautious route and finished the course fault free in 43 seconds to take the lead. On his second mount, Stransky's Mission Farms' Ultimo, Zamudio also opted for a cautious ride, finishing with no faults in 44.139 seconds.
This left the door open for Kraut, who was able to coast around the course without hurrying and still beat the leading time by almost a full second, crossing the wire without faults in 42.232 seconds aboard Happy Hill Farm's Accordian. Klein-Moore on Claus took second place, and Zamudio finished third with Ultimo and fourth with Phelox.
Fifth went to David Jennings of Chardon on Marcus Aurelius, and sixth to Jennifer Waxman of Chagrin Falls on Venturo.
Kraut, of Oconomowoc, Wis., said he was very happy with Accordian's performance.
"I've had him since he was six," he said, "and he's gotten some nice ribbons in several grand prixes this year, but this is his first grand prix victory. He deserved this today."
"I knew the time I had to beat," he added, "and I knew I didn't have to take any really crazy shots. I wasn't planning to cut inside the triple bar, but I looked at the clock when I was going over fence 10b and thought I'd better do it. That's where I saved some time."
Sunday was also a blue-ribbon day for Kraut's wife, Meghan, who rode Quarnak de Longpre to top honors in the $7,500 Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic.