Coming off an enormously successful summer show season at HITS Saugerties, Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey cruised to another victory in today’s $30,000 G&C Farm Wild Card Grand Prix, presented by Pfizer Animal Health, aboard her and McLain Ward’s Quointreau Un Prince. With Frank Chapot on her mind, who is currently on the mend after surgery to repair a subdural hematoma earlier this summer, Chapot topped a 17-horse jump-off for her sixth HITS-on-the-Hudson grand prix victory this year.
“The Chapot family has been a part of HITS Horse Shows since the beginning and it’s really special to see Laura having so much success,” said Tom Struzzieri, HITS President and CEO. “These last few weeks have been a great string of wins for her and it’s obviously for her dad. ”Frank Chapot, 80, who won team silver at the 1960 Rome and 1972 Munich Olympic Games rode for the United States in six Olympic Games between 1956 and 1976 as well as served as the U.S. show jumping chef d’equipe for 24 years. The U.S. won team gold and individual gold and silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and team gold at the 1986 World Championships and the 2004 Sydney Olympic Games under his direction. “He loves to watch me ride,” said Chapot of her father.
“It really boosts his spirits when he sees the photos and watches the videos. ”Forty-one horse and rider combinations challenged Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s course as a prelude to Sunday’s Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix. Petersen used a combination of tight turns and bending lines to test both horse and rider. A testament to the talented crop of riders at HITS Saugerties gearing up for Sunday’s Pfizer Million, 17 were clear over the first round and advanced to the jump-off. Chapot set the bar high when she returned first and posted the Great American Time to Beat at 42.19 seconds.
“I am just really lucky that my horses have been jumping so well here, it’s a great place to come in the summer,” said Chapot. “This course required turns and speed and it was a great way to test the competition before Sunday. Chapot will make her debut in the third-annual Pfizer $1 Million Grand Prix after watching the coveted class from the sidelines the past two years. “My plan is to jump high and go fast,” she said of her plan for Sunday’s big-money class. After recently returning from representing Australia in the Olympic Games in London, Matt Williams of Wellington, Florida piloted Samantha Tuerk’s Watch Me VD Mangelaar to a second-place finish. Just five tenths of a second separated him from the win as he crossed the timers 42.65 seconds. “This is the best ring in the country,” said Williams of the Strongid® C 2X Grand Prix Stadium at HITS-on-the-Hudson. “It’s great to be able to bring both young and experienced horses and ride here.”
Again, just fractions of a second off the lead, Aaron Vale of Morriston, Florida rode Amen Corner Farm, LLC’s Palm Sunday to third in a time of 42.73 seconds. “I knew I was going to have to chase Laura down in the jump-off,” he said. “I used that speed in between fences, but I just wasn’t able to leave out the strides when I got there.” Darrah Kenney of Wellington, Florida rode to fourth place in the irons of Ilan Ferder’s Shum CW with a jump-off time of 42.96 seconds. Rounding out a tightly placed top-five was Tracy Fenney of Flower Mound, Texas. She piloted MTM Genau, one of one of her two mounts for the day, to fifth.
While prepping Pfizer Million riders for what they will face this weekend, tonight’s Wild Card Grand Prix also attracted new sponsors from Florida’s G&C Farm. Several G&C riders were represented in the order, including Rodrigo Pessoa, Luis Larrazabal and Mark Bluman. “Having sponsors who are willing to support this sport is a huge plus,” said Struzzieri of the new relationship with G&C Farm.
Source: pressrelease HITS
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