NAPLES., Fla.--Laura Kraut and Hunt Tosh, voted Equestrians of the Year by U.S. Equestrian members, received their awards at the Awards Dinner Celebration at the USEF Annual Meeting in Naples, Fla., on Jan. 13.
Balou du Reventon and Big Shot were voted Horse of the Year honors.
Kraut, of Royal Palm Beach, Fla., is the International Equestrian of the Year.
Kraut’s 2021 season was highlighted by a team silver medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Baloutinue.
Kraut took over the ride on Baloutinue in early 2021, and they captured their first win together in the $137,000 Grand Prix CSI3*, then helped the U.S. Jumping Team place fifth at the Nations Cup of Rome CSIO5*, followed by second place in the Rolex Grand Prix of Rome CSIO5*.
Kraut was selected for the U.S. Jumping Team for the Tokyo Olympics, her third Olympic team, and became the oldest U.S. female athlete to win a medal since 1904 with the team silver medal.
Kraut and Baloutinue then helped the U.S. team win the Nations Cup CSIO5*, the first U.S. win since 2005, and finished fifth in the Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen.
Kraut will have her name engraved on the Equestrian of the Year Perpetual Trophy and received a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine and an invitation to join the exclusive wine club list from Horsepower Vineyards.
TOSH of Alpharetta, Ga. won National Equestrian of the Year.
In 2021, Tosh claimed victory at several of the most prestigious hunter competitions in the country with a relatively new horse, Cannon Creek, owned by the Wheeler family.
Their first big victory of the year came at the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship where they dominated the field of 103 entries from the get-go.
Tosh also won the 2021 Pennsylvania National Horse Show Grand Hunter Championship with Cannon Creek, as well as the title of 2021 Leading Hunter Rider.
Tosh also had standout showings in the 2021 USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, winning the 3’ to 3’3” championship and the first round of the 3’6”-3’9” championship on Chorus, as well as placing in money-winning positions on three other mounts.
Tosh was awarded the 2021 Kenneth Wheeler Style of Riding Award for his classic riding style.
Tosh will have his name engraved on the Equestrian of the Year Perpetual Trophy and received a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine and an invitation to join the exclusive wine club list from Horsepower Vineyards.
BALOU DU REVENTON, a 2006 Olenburg stallion by Cornet Obolensky out of Georgia, by Continue owned by Ann Thompson, was voted 2021 International Horse of the Year.
Balou du Reventon, ridden by Brian Moggre, had one of the most successful years of his jumping career in 2021, representing the United States in multiple international competitions and being short listed to the U.S. Jumping Team for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
The Oldenburg stallion has had successful results with several international riders, but no success has come faster than with Moggre in the irons.
Following Moggre taking over the ride in 2020, the duo was selected to represent the U.S. Jumping Team at the Wellington CSIO4*, where the team had their first win of the 2021 season.
The pair then represented the U.S. in FEI Jumping Nations Cup Poland CSIO5*, where the team finished seventh, before securing an impressive victory in the Longines 1.60m Grand Prix CSIO5*.
The pair finished in ninth at the 1.60m Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor CSI5* before being named as a Reserve to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Team.
Moggre and Balou du Reventon were then selected to represent the U.S.at the prestigious CHIO Aachen in September, where they lifted the U.S. Jumping Team to its first gold-medal finish at the event since 2005 in the Aachen Nations Cup with their double-clear effort.
To conclude their remarkable year, the pair capped the weekend with a thrilling second-place finish in the Grand Prix of Aachen, one of the most difficult classes in the world.
In total, the pair were clear in five consecutive 5* Grand Prix classes in a row in 2021.
Thompson, Balou du Reventon’s owner, is a recipient of the Horse of the Year trophy and the Moggre family accepted a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine, plus an invitation to be a part of the exclusive wine club list, from Horsepower Vineyards.
BIG SHOT, a 2011 Holsteiner gelding by Lordanos out of Ulana, by Corrado owned by Dulcie Lou Morris, was voted National Horse of the Year.
Big Shot has been profiled several times and his 2021 competition record is all the evidence anyone would need to say that the horse, affectionately known as "Dude," can back the claim of being a Big Shot.
He returned to the show ring in 2021 after a serious metabolic disorder kept him out of competition in 2020.
The partnership between “Dude,” rider Jenny Karazissis, and owner Dulcie Lou Morris has helped position him for recognition.
With Karazissis in the irons, Big Shot earned the title of champion or reserve champion in six out of the seven performance and high-performance hunter competitions they entered in 2021.
Karazissis and Big Shot had several notable wins last year, including the $100,000 World Championship Hunter Rider West Coast Spectacular and four USHJA International Hunter Derby qualifiers.
Big Shot was the leading horse of the 2021 USHJA International Hunter Derby Qualifying Series and is currently listed in the top 50 for the USHJA International Hunter Derby – Horse Money Won lifetime standings.
Big Shot also competed with his amateur owner, Dulcie Lou Morris, while Karazissis competed him in the bigger divisions and derbies.
Morris, Big Shot’s owner, is a recipient of the Horse of the Year trophy and a premium three-bottle gift pack of highly rated wine, plus an invitation to be a part of the exclusive wine club list, from Horsepower Vineyards.
IN OTHER AWARDS, the William C. Steinkraus Trophy went to Kraut (Jumping) and Sabine Schut-Kery (Dressage), the Becky Grand Hart Trophy was won by Roxanne Trunell (Para Dressage) and the Emerson Burr Trophy was awarded to Hunt Tosh (Hunter).
Kathy Kusner of Playa Vista, Calif., was recognized witha Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kusner is renowned as a true pioneer who broke barriers for other women in horse sports.
She was one of the first women selected to the United States Equestrian Team to compete at the Olympic Games.
She represented the U.S. at the Tokyo Games in 1964, the Mexico City Games in 1968, and the Munich Games in 1972, where she was part of the silver medal-winning team.
Kusner is the founder of the nonprofit Horses in the Hood, which works with inner-city communities in Los Angeles to introduce young people to horses and their care.
A member of the Show Jumping Hall of Fame, Kusner also has conducted numerous clinics and lectures around the world, has served as a course designer and jumping commentator, and authored articles for equestrian publications.