Edited Press Release
Saugerties, N.Y. – June 10, 2022 – The last week of the spring series at HITS-on-the-Hudson is underway at HITS Saugerties, and on Friday the Grand Prix ring hosted its third $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix of the season. Known for her speed, Laura Chapot has dominated the ring this week. Friday was no exception as she piloted Diarado’s Flying Dutchman to victory in an eight-horse jump-off, and earned the third-place honors with Chandon Blue.
“It’s just been a long process getting to know [Flying Dutchman],” expressed Chapot after her win. “It’s going on almost two years now, but when he came he was a lot greener than I expected. He has been getting to know my ride, and I’ve been getting to know him. He jumped a lot of clear rounds this year in Florida, and [it’s exciting] he could add another grand prix win to his roster today.”
Course designer Oscar Soberon posed many questions to the riders in the first round of the $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, including one technical double combination and one triple combination. Eight were able to clear the course and advance to the jump-off. The tiebreaking track included an oxer to a vertical followed by a rollback around the gazebo to another oxer. The Yvel vertical was next, followed by a one-stride vertical-oxer combination to an option to make a very tight rollback to the last jump before galloping through a bending line to the final SmartPak oxer.
Seven of the eight that qualified for the jump-off were able to master the track a second time. Chapot rode third in the jump-off aboard Diarado’s Flying Dutchman, posting a double clear effort in 38.763 seconds to set an unbeatable pace that would leave the remaining riders trying to catch her and the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding. Christian Coyle and Coco Mercedes followed four rounds after Chapot, never touching a pole. Still, they were just 3/10ths of a second slower with a time of 39.142 seconds to place second. Chapot and Chandon Blue followed directly after Coyle, and were right on their heels with a time of 39.410 seconds, which would be good enough for third. Chapot returned to the ring to accept the blue ribbon for her winning ride aboard Diarado’s Flying Dutchman.
“[Flying Dutchman] just has a lot of fast rhythm, but I don’t necessarily want to stick to specific numbers with him because the most important thing for him is just to keep an even pace,” explained Chapot. “He is actually very good on his terms, he looks and he goes, and as long as you keep him on the same rhythm all the way around, he really focuses and jumps clear. He’s a very fast horse naturally, so I don’t really ever want to press him to go very fast.”
Chapot enjoys competing at HITS Saugerties because it offers many opportunities for her business and clients. “It’s just a great atmosphere, and they offer a division for everyone,” she concluded. “Our customers love coming here. Everyone is very friendly and always willing to accommodate us, no matter the situation. They offer many opportunities for you to develop a young horse or, if you have amateur riders, for them to start and grow as they move upward. There’s just a lot of opportunity available to show, and we love the big [Grand Prix] ring.”
On Thursday, riders were greeted with a welcoming course during the $10,000 HITS 1.40m Jumper Classic in the Grand Prix Ring. Seven advanced to the jump-off, but only three were able to leave all the fences intact during the tiebreaker. Pablo Mejia was the first to do so with Roving Reporter, posting a double clear effort in 37.320 seconds to set an unbeatable pace that would leave the remaining riders trying to catch him and eventually claim the victory. Lauren Fischer and Concouleur Z went one round after Mejia, and they were able to clear the course, but their slower time of 38.878 seconds would place second. Claudia Citrin and Balada De Colores advanced to the short course after Fischer, but in an effort to leave all the rails in place they had a more conservative time of 39.159 seconds for third place.
The $5,000 Stal Hendrix Open Welcome took center stage on Wednesday, where Chapot and Out of Ireland produced the lone double clear effort to capture the top prize. It was just the beginning of her dominating week. She had two mounts in the three-horse jump-off and placed second with Gideon, who was the fastest 4-faulter. Delaney Flynn and Cassinnia rounded out the top three as the first to compete in the jump-off, lowering the height of the second fence for a 4-fault effort.