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Laura Chapot captures Ethel M. Chocolates CSI2* 1.45m qualifier

Sunday, 26 February 2023
CSI2* Winter Equestrian Festival 2023

Photo © Sportfot Laura Chapot & Chandon Blue, winners of the $39,000 Ethel M. Chocolates CSI2* 1.45m Qualifier. Photo © Sportfot.


Press release from Wellington International



Sixty-eight horse-and-rider duos took to the International Arena on Friday, all vying for a spot in Sunday’s $50,000 Ethel M. Chocolates CSI2* Grand Prix. The $39,000 CSI2* 1.45m Qualifier was the gateway to grand prix glory and saw Laura Chapot (USA) take top call riding Chandon Blue.

Seven riders representing seven unique nations battled it out over the tie-breaking jump-off track, but Chapot and her longtime partner Chandon Blue could not be caught.

“He really likes it down here in Florida; this is probably the one time of year he works the hardest, but he doesn’t need a lot of practice,” explained Chapot of her and Mary Chapot’s 18-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco-Blue x Landcapitol). “He loves to compete. He gets bored when he is at home, and I wonder sometimes if something is wrong but then he gets to the show ring and just grows.” 

Photo © Sportfot Laura Chapot & Chandon Blue, presented as winners of the $39,000 Ethel M. Chocolates CSI2* 1.45m qualifier by Bridgett McIntosh, Director MARS Equestrian™. Photo © Sportfot.

The gelding has been one of Chapot’s top mounts for many years and proved to be as quick on his feet as ever after clocking in a double-clear effort in 35.75 seconds. 

“I had a pretty solid plan in my mind today and I just had to watch the first horse to know if it was going to work or not,” added Chapot, who has experienced immense success in speed rounds in the International Arena at WEF. “He can sometimes get almost too enthusiastic in the show ring so the hardest thing with him is to keep him thinking and relaxed. Today he seemed settled, and he really couldn’t have ridden or jumped any better for me in this class.”  

Bumped to runner-up, Luis Fernando Larrazabal (VEN) picked up second place aboard Victoria Heurtematte’s 11-year-old Mecklenburg mare Condara (Conthargos x Catapult 7). They produced two clear rounds with a short course finishing time of 36.06 seconds to just narrowly beat out Canada’s Alicia Gabdan-Lewis rider her own 11-year-old Oldenburg mare Beneficial into the third spot after stopping the clock in 36.73 seconds. 

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