Wellington, FL – January 10, 2020 – Laura Chapot had the speed to claim the top two spots in the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge on Friday, January 10, during opening week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
WEF continues through March 29, 2020, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The first week of competition at WEF is sponsored by Wellington Regional Medical Center and features the crowd favorite $75,000 Battle of the Sexes, presented by Wellington Regional Medical Center, during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 11 at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.
Coming off another 1.40m victory on Wednesday, Chapot bested a field of 76 horses over Eric Hasbrouck’s speed track aboard 15-year-old Irish Sport Horse mare Thornhill Kate. Her time of 57.849 seconds was good enough to bump her second-place mount and Wednesday’s winner, Out of Ireland, a horse she owns with The Edge, into the runner-up position in 57.855 seconds.
“I was thrilled that she went as well as she did and I am hoping to move her up by the end of season,” said Chapot of the mare she imported from Ireland four years ago through Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor and owns alongside her mother Mary. “She has been a really good horse for me so it’s nice to start off on such a good note. It’s so exciting to have the horses jumping this well so early; they feel fresh and enthusiastic about going in the ring!”
Chapot is back in Wellington for the season with a dynamic string of horses, saying, “There are so many classes offered here, so we always bring a large string with some young ones, some that are moving up, and a couple for the big classes.”
When asked about the upgraded footing that was installed in the International Arena in preparation for WEF, Chapot was complimentary. “It seems really good so far. The horses like it and they are jumping great. They put in a lot of effort into stepping this facility up every year and are very conscientious about trying to do the best thing for the riders and horses, so I think this is a step in the right direction.”
Argentina’s Tomas Yofre took a chance on catching Chapot, but didn’t have the foot speed and settled for third in a time of 60.216 seconds riding Dasino, owned by Peacock Ridge LLC. Luis Larrazabal (VEN) and Luminaria LS La Silla took fourth in 62.627 seconds for San Francisco Stables LLC, while Peter Lutz (USA) and Quinta 106, owned Swede Ventures LLC, rounded out the top five in 62.847 seconds.
Also winning in the International Arena at WEF on Friday were Elisa Uribe (COL) riding Havana de la Lande in the $2,500 High Amateur-Owner Jumper, and Max Wachman (IRL) aboard Dorette in the $1,500 High Junior Jumper.
Final Results: $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Jumper Speed Challenge
1 THORNHILL KATE: 2005 Irish Sport Horse mare by Courage II x Clover Hill
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), Laura & Mary Chapot: 0/57.849
2 OUT OF IRELAND: 2006 Anglo European mare by Lougherne Connaught x Amiro M
LAURA CHAPOT (USA), The Edge & Laura Chapot: 0/57.855
3 DASINO: 2009 SBS gelding by Casino x Gladstone
TOMAS YOFRE (ARG), Peacock Ridge LLC: 0/60.216
4 LUMINARIA LS LA SILLA: 2011 SLS mare
LUIS LARRAZABAL (VEN), San Francisco Stables LLC: 0/62.627
5 QUINTA 106: 2007 Holsteiner mare by Quidam de Revel x Cento
PETER LUTZ (USA), Swede Ventures LLC: 0/62.847
GRANT SEGER (USA), Hillary Drummond Sport Horses LLC: 0/66.073
7 SATOYAMA: 2006 Warmblood gelding
CARLOS QUINONES (ARG), Michelle Navarro-Grau: 0/66.647
8 HIGH QUALITY SVG: 2012 KWPN gelding by Quality Time x Air Jordan Z
SAYRE HAPPY (USA), Stephex Stables: 0/66.655
9 ALTER EGO: 2011 gelding
JONATHON MILLAR (CAN), Wyndmont: 0/66.716
10 CASSANDRA: 2007 Oldenburg mare by Chacco Blue x Calero
ANNA DRYDEN (USA), Louisburg Farm: 0/67.594
MARILYN LITTLE (USA), Phoebe Manders: 0/68.326
12 FRASCATI: 2010 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Tangelo van de Zuuthoeve
JONATHON MILLAR (CAN), Wyndmont: 0/68.506
Terri Irrer and Café Noir Clinch Adult Hunter Championship
Terri Irrer of South Lyon, MI, opened her WEF season with a tricolor in Section A of the Older Adult Amateur Hunter division riding Café Noir. After a year-long break from the show ring, the pair received first, second, and third-place ribbons to earn them the championship in the E.R. Mische Grand Hunter Ring.
Irrer has been riding the 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding, owned by Debra Gross, for four years and is thankful to be back at WEF and in the show ring. “Today I was working on being smooth and straight,” commented Irrer on their performance. “He just went in there and did his job and did it well.”
The pair’s goal for the season is to continue to learn and stay consistent in the adult amateur division.
Café Noir was sidelined from showing last year but came back strong for Irrer, who said, “I’m so excited so have him back in the ring again and I’m so thankful for my wonderful trainer, Heather Irvine, and her staff.”
Irrer describes Café Noir as one of the kindest horses she knows and her favorite to ride. “Everyday I tell the owner, Debra, ‘Have I told you today how much I love him?’ It’s my favorite line of the day!”
Not far behind Irrer was Carolyn Anderson, of Calgary, AB, and Playbook. Anderson rode Playbook to first, second, and fourth placings to secure reserve champion.
Hunter competition will continue at the Winter Equestrian Festival on Saturday in the Rost Arena with the crowning of Junior Hunter champions for Week 1.
Photo Credit: Photos © Sportfot, Official Photographer of the Winter Equestrian Festival. These photos may be used only in relation to this press release and must include photo credit.