Winter Equestrian Festival

Laura Chapot & Chandon Blue Claim Champagne Honors in $36,000 Equinimity Challenge Cup Rd 10 CSI 3* at WEF

2019. WEF CSI 3 Ch Cup Rd 11 Laura Chapot & Chandon-Blue Sportfot

Wellington, Florida, USA – March 14, 2019 – Laura Chapot (USA) and Chandon Blue were victorious in the $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 CSI 3* yesterday during the tenth week of competition of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).

Eighty-two combinations entered the International Arena to face Michel Vaillancourt‘s (CAN) course. The time allowed of 72 seconds was not a major factor and several combinations managed to clear all the obstacles, thus qualifying for the jump-off.

Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Chinook II were the first ones to do so, a feat that was also accomplished by eighteen other pairings. Among the nineteen, six elected not to participate in the decisive phase, most likely trying to save their horses for the $134,000 Horseware Ireland next Saturday.

Katherine Strauss (USA), Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), Jonathan McCrea (USA), Margie Engle (USA), Vanessa Mannix (CAN), Francisco Musa (BRA), Amy Millar (CAN), Lorenzo de Luca (ITA), Laura Chapot (USA), Zoe Conter (BEL), Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Michael Murphy (USA) all chose to go for the gold in Thursday’s feature class.

Once again, Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Chinook II led the way but their time of 40.265 seconds came at the expense of two rails down. The last three obstacles took a toll on the contestants in the tiebreaker, one that included going from one fence into a tight rollback towards the next one and then the final line to the Farmvet fence. As a result, the next eight combinations had at least one pole down while trying to go fast.

In the end, it turned out that the first three places would be taken by the only three combinations with a double clear.

Being one of the fastest riders in the circuit, Laura Chapot (USA) guided Chandon Blue to the first double clear, going fast but not as fast as usual. In fact, the American held her 14-year-old bay gelding (Chacco Blue x Landcapitol) back before facing the last obstacle. It turned out to be a very smart strategy, since Chapot’s time of 39.212 seconds could not be overcome.

Zoe Conter (BEL) and Davidoff de Lassus‘ (Ugano Sitte x Origine du Mont D’or) claimed silver honors in 40.486 seconds.

Georgina Bloomberg (USA) and Manodie II H (Carthago x Zeus) were even more conservative and their gamble paid off, securing third place in 45.815 seconds.

2019. WEF CSI 3 Ch Cup Rd 11 Cel Laura Chapot & Chandon-Blue Sportfot

Laura Chapot (USA) & Chandon Blue with Ringmaster Steven Rector during the awards ceremony

Winner’s Circle

Laura Chapot

“I think that with so many in the WEF class, being a qualififer, but there were a lot of difficult questions asked throughout the course, a lot of distance questions, and options so you could really choose whatever suited your horse.”

“You have so many in the jump-off, you really think it’s going to be very, very fast. People were going extremlely fast at the expense of a rail, so towards the end of the jump-off, it became more of like, you have to go quick but you also have to get a clear round. Maybe I didn’t put the fastest jump-off ever, but my horse jumped great, and fortunately I had a good clear round. I didn’t take any risks to the last jump and fortunately it held out.”

“I had planned one less (stride) from one to two, he ended up jumping so high over the first jump, it was going to be a real run to make it one less stride. I know he’s a quick horse anyway, I figured if I could be really neat and jump clear. It wasn’t really so much about the number of strides in the first part of the course, but making sure I jumped all the jumps clean and not leaving too much open for the next competitors.”

“It seems like he jumps better and better, every time I ride him. he feels like he has a lot of ability, he always tries his heart out. He’ll have next week off, and the we’ll decide what we’ll do for the last week. We just have to see what opportunities show for him. He feels great, he’s jumping easily, he is really happy and sound. We’ll try to keep him that way, take it step by step.”

Results: $36,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 10 CSI 3*

Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Sire x Dam Sire / R1 Penalties / Jump-off Penalties / Time

1) Laura Chapot (USA) & Chandon Blue (Chacco Blue x Landcapitol) – 0 / 0 – 39.21

2) Zoe Conter (BEL) & Davidoff de Lassus (Ugano Sitte x Origine du Mont D’or) – 0 / 0 – 40.48

3) Georgina Bloomberg (USA) & Manodie H (Carthago x Zeus) – 0 / 0 – 45.81

4) Amanda Derbyshire (GBR) & Roulette BH (Moschino x Michellino) – 0 / 4 – 38.74

5) Francisco Musa (BRA) & Catch Me Império Egípcio – 0 / 4 – 39.05

6) Jonathan McCrea (USA) & Aristoteles V (Padinus x Lux) – 0 / 4 – 40.03

7) Vanessa Mannix (CAN) & Valentino d’Elte (Castronom Z* de Hus x Windsor) – 0 / 4 – 43.01

8) Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) & Soory de L’Hallali – 0 / 4 – 47.50

9) Katherine Strauss (USA) & All In (Aachen x Indoctro) – 0 / 8 – 38.68

10) Darragh Kenny (IRL) & Chinook (Verdi x Little Rock) – 0 / 8 – 40.26

11) Margie Engle (USA) & Dicas (Diarado x Cassini I) – 0 / 8 – 41.20

12) Michael Murphy (USA) & Magic Mike – 0 / 8 – 42.41

For full results, please click here

Text: Lo-Ami Souza

Photos: © Sportfot