USA’s Laura Chapot took first and second place in Sunday’s $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic to conclude week ten at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Chapot was aboard Quointreau un Prince for the win, and also guided Thornhill Kate to second place.
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its eleventh week, sponsored by Rolex, featuring CSI 5*/2* competition on March 22-26, 2017. Highlights include the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*, as well as the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Series Final on Saturday, March 25, and the George Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship on Friday, March 24. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) concluded his duties in the International Arena for week ten with 47 starters in the 1.50m competition and 11 to jump-off. Out of six double clear rounds, Chapot first took the lead with her own and McLain Ward’s Quointreau un Prince in 34.79 seconds. She then jumped into second place aboard her own and Mary Chapot’s Thornhill Kate with a time of 35.88 seconds. Kent Farrington (USA) finished third, riding his own and Tanma Corp.’s Dublin through the timers in 36.69 seconds.
“I am thrilled,” Chapot said of her result. “I thought both horses were really on their game today, and they jumped fantastic. The jump-off was really fast, so I just took a big shot at it, and they came through for me.
“I tried to follow the same track with both of them,” Chapot said of her rounds. “There was a long distance between fence one and two, and I think that is mostly where the class was won. Once I got over fence one, I tried to really get over to fence two as quick as I could, because the rest of it you had to go by the numbers and just make the best turns you could. Both my horses are very fast, and I thought that was a place where I could use that speed to my advantage.”
Chapot has had Quointreau un Prince, a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Rosire), since he was five years old and knows the horse extremely well. “Prince” was also given the week ten Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award, presented by Laura Fetterman.
“He was really excited to show today,” Chapot said of Prince. “He has been excited all week because he loves the little bit cooler weather. I thought he was just jumping out of his skin today; he felt really super.”
Thornhill Kate is a 12-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare (Courage II x Clover Hill) that Chapot has had for just over one year.
“I think we really started to bond last summer,” Chapot said of “Kate”. “She won a bunch of grand prixs over the summer and into the fall. She was second in the 1.45m on Wednesday and jumped super again today. She is a real trier. She has a strong personality, but she uses that to her benefit in the ring.”
While Quointreau un Prince was always a naturally fast horse, Chapot has been working on developing Thornhill Kate’s speed.
“I think I have turned Kate more into a ride similar to Prince,” Chapot explained. “When I first got her, she was used to going more up and down and not quite as forward and long-strided. Now she really loves to gallop and leave out strides. She actually has a very big stride, so she is becoming more similar to Prince, who is just a pleasure to ride. You just gallop with him, and if he sees a long distance, he gets there in a heartbeat.”
Chapot plans to compete Quointreau un Prince, Thornhill Kate, and her other top mount ISHD Dual Star through the final weeks of WEF competition. She will then give her string a long break before gearing up for the Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania at the end of May.
Also competing in the International Arena on Sunday, Sam Walker and Twan won the $10,000 Hollow Creek Farm Medium Junior Jumper Classic. The $10,000 Equiline Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic concluded the day with a win for Reid Patton and Twisther.
Kat Fuqua and Small Suggestion Hit Their Stride in Animo Medium Pony Hunter
Kat Fuqua of Atlanta, GA, guided Small Suggestion, an entry owned by Iwasaki & Reilly, to win the championship of the Animo Medium Pony Hunter division. Throughout the winter circuit in Wellington, Fuqua has ridden the medium pony to several good placings; however, the tricolor ribbon had eluded them. The pair won the conformation class and the handy trip and placed sixth in an over fences round to clinch the championship title.
“My handy round was my favorite,” Fuqua detailed. “It feels really good to be champion on him because I haven’t been doing my best on him. I’m really happy I had some great rounds on him this week.”
Speaking of the nine-year-old liver chestnut gelding, Fuqua said, “His barn name is Ollie, and my favorite thing about him is that he loves to cuddle. He is very sweet. It takes a lot of leg to ride him because he can be really slow.”
Fuqua trains with Elizabeth Reilly and Keri Kampsen and started showing Small Suggestion during the summer of the 2016 season.
“[Fuqua’s] handy round was one of the nicest rounds I’ve ever seen her have,” said Kampsen. “She was much more consistent today than she has been. I’m really proud of her!”
While both Zayna Rizvi of Greenwich, CT, and Augusta Iwasaki, of Calabasas, CA, earned 17 points in the division, Rizvi walked away with the reserve title because she earned more points in the over fences portion. All 17 points of Rizvi’s were collected from over fences classes and Iwasaki amassed 16 points over fences aboard Isabella Griffin’s Happily Ever After.
Rizvi rode Smallwood Mystic, owned by Peacock Ridge, LLC, to win an over fences class, place third in the handy, fourth in another over fences, as well as fifth in the conformation. Smallwood Mystic is an eight-year-old Welsh Pony Cross gelding by Mapleside Wish List that Rizvi has ridden since 2015. The pair has seen much success during the 2017 winter circuit, winning the championship ribbon during weeks five, six, and eight.
The Winter Equestrian Festival continues in its eleventh week of competition on March 22-26, 2017. For more information and full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
$35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
1. QUOINTREAU UN PRINCE: 2004 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rosire
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura Chapot & McLain Ward: 0/0/34.79
2. THORNHILL KATE: 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare by Courage II x Clover Hill
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/0/35.88
3. DUBLIN: 2007 Deusches Reitpferd gelding by Cobra x Calido
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Tanma Corp. & Kent Farrington: 0/0/36.69
4. Z DIAMANTY: 2007 Holsteiner mare by Diamant de Semilly x Cor de la Bryere
KEEAN WHITE (CAN), The Z Group, Javier Salvador Stables, & Diamante Atelier: 0/0/37.82
5. DINGEMAN: 2008 KWPN gelding by Nintender x Darnels
SANTIAGO LAMBRE (MEX), Santiago Lambre: 0/0/38.34
6. CHS INCEPTION: 2008 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Clover Flush x Harlequin du Carel
ANDREW BOURNS (IRL), Andrew Bourns Sport Horses Inc: 0/0/40.43
7. ALEX: 2004 Westphalian gelding by Arpeggio x Mon Cheri
AUDREY COULTER (USA), Copernicus Stables LLC: 0/4/36.41
8. ATTICUS DIAMANT: 2009 Selle Francais gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Vas Y Donc Longane
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Catherine Lignelli: 0/4/37.37
9. FREESTYLE DE MUZE: 2005 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Lord Z x Cento
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/4/38.47
10. DINO: 2008 KWPN gelding by Vingino x Coriano
CAPT. BRIAN COURNANE (IRL), M/M Robert Stiller: 0/4/40.67
11. CAIPIRANJA: 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare by Taran dl Pomme x Darco
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/4/43.76
12. HINDSIGHT: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Vision van’t Hazelarenhoekje x Riverman
LISA GOLDMAN (USA), Lisa Goldman: 4/72.99