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Laura Kraut Wins Jack Kelly Fair Play Award

Gladstone, NJ—October 20, 2003—Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI, a member of the 2003 U.S. Pan American Games Show Jumping Team, was named as the recipient of the United States Olympic Committee’s Jack Kelly Fair Play Award. Established in 1985 to honor the late USOC President John B. (Jack) Kelly Jr., the award is presented to an athlete, coach or official for an outstanding act of fair play or sportsmanship displayed during the past year.

Sandra Kelly presented the award that bears the name of her late husband to Kraut during the opening session of the USOC Board of Directors meeting at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. In her introduction of the honoree, Kelly shared Kraut’s recent experience at the Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic, where her horse developed a slight injury. Although not serious enough that the animal would fail the veterinary inspection, there was a possibility that its condition could impact the U.S. team’s chances to win the competition. Knowing that the USA needed a top performance in order to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Games, Kraut put her team first and stepped aside.

In nominating Kraut for the award, U.S. Equestrian Team (USET) Executive Director Bonnie Jenkins pointed out that the rider could easily have packed up and headed home once she was out of the competition, but instead decided it was important to stay in Santo Domingo and support her teammates by finding other ways to contribute. Kraut assumed the role of team assistant, helping the riders in the warm-up area, watching other teams’ horses compete and reporting back with details of how the course was riding, and even running to get water for the riders or whatever else was needed. Kraut’s dedication to her team was rewarded when the U.S. won the gold medal and secured a spot in the show jumping event at the Athens Olympic Games.

Kraut began riding at the age of three in Atlanta, GA, with her mother, Carol Kent. In 1992, aboard Simba Run, she was named as first alternate for the U.S. squad at the Barcelona Olympic Games. Kraut and Liberty were members of the U.S. show jumping team that finished sixth at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, and in 2001, that horse and rider combination won the U.S. Open Jumping Championship.

Kraut and her husband, grand prix rider Bob Kraut, are the parents of a young son, Bobby.

The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers, vaulters and horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at


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