When it comes to horsepower, the U.S. isn’t messing around, with all systems go ahead of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

The U.S. Jumping Team Olympic Short List was published April 10, and no fewer than five of the 10 athletes have been short listed with multiple horses. McLain Ward, Kent Farrington, and Laura Kraut are listed with no fewer than three top level mounts and can’t be denied as favorites to make the squad should they perform well in designated observation events in Europe, coming up in June.

Kraut, a veteran of three Games and a twice a medalist, is the oldest rider of the group at age 58. In Tokyo (JPN), her team silver medal made her the oldest U.S. woman to win an Olympic medal in nearly a century (1904).

So, while it’s possible Kraut could contend for the Los Angeles 2028 (Ian Millar was 65 when he made his final of a record 10 Olympic appearances in 2012), it’s undeniable that her Olympic chances are numbered.

So she’s come armed for this Olympic cycle, with Baloutinue (2010 Hanoverian gelding), Bisquetta (2014 Zangersheide mare), and Dorado 212 (2013 Oldenburg gelding).

Which mount is Kraut’s best hope? We turned to Jumpr stats to find out.  

Baloutinue has the most experience

At first glance, the experienced Baloutinue—Kraut’s partner in Tokyo—seems to give Kraut the best chance at making her fourth Olympic team.

Kraut had been partnered with Baloutinue less than four months—and just 16 rounds at the international level—before they jumped at the 2021 Olympics, jumping double-clear in the team final to help the U.S. secure team silver. 

Still, Baloutinue hasn’t jumped all that many rounds since his last Olympic appearance, missing significant time between March and September 2022. He again did not start at the international level between July 2023 and March 2024.

They’ve now been partnered for 107 rounds and boast a remarkable record at the top level of the sport. According to Jumpr, Kraut and Baloutinue jump clear 49% of the time at 1.60m, finishing in the top 10 an eye-opening 71% clip. They have averaged just 1.7 faults at the height between 2021 and 2024. Wow.

Kraut has not been shy about describing the gelding as a “horse of a lifetime,” which carries considerable weight given her former partnership with the great Cedric, who gave Kraut her Olympic gold in 2016.

But the numbers support the praise: When healthy, Baloutinue delivers with the poise, precision and reliability of his rider. He has every quality that you look for in a championship partner. You can bet he’s being carefully managed in the months ahead of Paris, as experience isn’t needed here.

Don’t Count Out Bisquetta

Bisquetta made more than a splash when jumping a spectacular clear round in the CSI5* $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in March, ultimately finishing eighth.

At just 10 years old, this mare is still developing, but Kraut has played a much larger role in producing Bisquetta than she did Baloutinue before their first Olympic venture.

Kraut has been riding Bisquetta for 19 months already, with 89 completed rounds, according to Jumpr. They’ve made 14 starts at 1.60m, jumping clear 29% of the time and averaging 4 faults. Should a jump-off be required as it was in Tokyo, Bisquetta is also the naturally quickest of Kraut’s group, with eye-catching footspeed.

Dorado 212 delivered in Santiago

The third party has more than carried his weight as well. Dorado 212 already has championship experience, helping Team USA capture gold—and Olympic qualification—at the 2023 Pan American Games (CHI). The gelding also jumped at the 2023 Longines FEI Jumping Nations Cup™ Finals in Barcelona (ESP).

At 1.50m, Dorado is exceptional, averaging just 1.8 faults and jumping clear 62% of the time, with the 67% top 10 finishes. At 1.60m however, the numbers dip: The bay averages 3.9 faults and jumps clear 15% of the time, though he has finished in the top 10 at the height at a very noteworthy 41% clip.

Dorado has not started internationally since the Pan Ams, but his presence on the Short List indicates a readiness to compete.

Can Baloutinue, Bisquetta or Dorado 212 get Kraut to her fourth Olympics—24 years after making her Olympic debut at Sydney (AUS) in 2000? Team USA would be remiss not to hope so for one of the most successful team riders the country has ever produced.

The U.S. Jumping Team’s designated observation events begin at the Longines League of Nations – St. Gallen (SUI), May 30-June 2.

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