Top equestrians and their steeds will descend on Central Park this weekend to compete in the inaugural Central Park Horse Show.
This is the first time in more than a decade a horse show has been held in New York City.
Olympian Laura Kraut, who is competing in Thursday’s Grand Prix jumping event that carries with it a $200,00 prize, said she competed at Madison Square Garden when the National Horse Show was held there in the past, and is looking forward to her return to New York.
“I think we’re all very excited to come to Central Park,” Kraut said. “I’m sure it’s a logistical nightmare, in terms of getting horses in and out safe. I think it’s going to be a great venue.”
Kraut, 48, splits her time between Wellington, Fla. and Stratford-upon-Avon in England, and trains horses and riders in addition to competing herself. Last week, her student, Jessica Springsteen, took first place at the American Gold Cup in Old Salem, NY, while Kraut came in second.
“It’s good, actually, for me. I’m very pleased,” Kraut said, adding it would be different if Springsteen came in first and Kraut in a lower ranking.
Springsteen, daughter of Bruce Springsteen, will also be jumping on Thursday, along with the former mayor’s daughter, Georgina Bloomberg.
Kraut said anyone who has an appreciation for animals and athletics will enjoy the different events at the show, which in addition to jumping include pony club games, Shetland Ponies races, dressage, vaulting and a polo demonstration.
“These are top athletes, the Michael Jordan of horses,” Kraut said, adding she thinks the difficulty of the sport can appreaciated even more by watching in person.
The show, located at Trump Rink on the southeast corner of Central Park at 59th Street, starts Thrusday evening and continues through Sunday afternoon. More information, including an event list, can be found at http://www.centralparkhorseshow.com