Laura Kraut accepts the Leading Lady Rider Award from Isabel Jolicoeur (left), Dr. Stephen Norton (second from left), and Martha Jolicoeur (right) during week 2 of the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Photo by Sportfot
Wellington, Florida – Laura Kraut of the United States won the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award during week two of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Sunday, January 24, in Wellington, FL.
Kraut accumulated the highest number of points among her fellow female riders in Friday’s $37,000 FEI Adequan® WEF Challenge Round 2 and Sunday’s $137,000 CSI3* Restylane Grand Prix, taking fourth place in both classes. Kraut rode Goldwin, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding (Emerald x Understone van de Kapel) owned by Stars And Stripes, to a pair of double-clear finishes on the grass derby field to secure week two’s Leading Lady Rider title.
“I think it’s fantastic that Martha Jolicoeur provides this for women in the sport,” said Kraut, a member of the gold medal team at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. “It’s important for young girls to see it and it gives them something to aspire to. It was a thrill to be recognized this week for something special, and it’s a nice added bonus to a good week.”
In recognition of earning the Leading Lady Rider Award, Kraut, of Royal Palm Beach, FL, was presented with a bottle of champagne, a bouquet of flowers, and a gift certificate for a shopping spree at Hunt, Ltd. by Martha W. Jolicoeur, her husband, Dr. Stephen Norton, and her daughter, Isabel Jolicoeur.
“I was thrilled with him,” Kraut said of her mount, Goldwin. “This was his first big grand prix and he handled it beautifully. I was really pleased with my jump-off. He’s just coming nine years old and was beat by some really veteran horses. I couldn’t have asked him to be any better.”
A sponsor and dedicated supporter of horse sport at WEF for many years, 2021 marks Jolicoeur’s 11th season presenting the Leading Lady Rider Award. A former competitor herself, Jolicoeur enjoyed a successful international show jumping career before becoming Florida’s number one Douglas Elliman real estate broker.
Martha W. Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award overall standings following three weeks of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
“This award is a testament to consistent top performances, and it was always the title that I would set my sights on winning when I was competing,” said Jolicoeur, who began presenting the award in 2010 as a way of recognizing female accomplishments in an Olympic sport where men and women compete as equals. “Wellington is the winter equestrian capital of the world and attracts some of the best riders in horse sport. To be a part of that is an honor for me, and to experience how horses have brought us all together and made a place like Wellington possible is really special.”
Throughout WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award, given in memory of fellow realtor and horseman Dale Lawler, is presented weekly to the high-score female rider based on performances in the weekly WEF Challenge Cup series and grand prix events. During the final week of WEF, the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award will be presented to the female rider who accumulates the most points throughout the season. So far this season, Leading Lady Rider titles have been claimed by Canada’s Erynn Ballard and Adrienne Sternlicht of the United States.