Wellington, Florida, USA – February 03, 2021 – Laura Chapot (USA) had a stellar day to open the Marshall & Sterling/Great American Insurance Group CSI 4* week at the 2021 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), taking the win in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jumpers aboard Shooting Star, an entry owned by Laura and Mary Chapot, and adding to that by capturing the top four spots with her other mounts on Wednesday, February 3, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
A total of 96 combinations contested the opening day, two-phase track set by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER). Chapot and Shooting Star, her 20-year-old gelding (Phin Phin x Filexa), were the first to enter the International Arena. Their speedy effort of 26.825 seconds in the jump-off held from start to finish for the victory.
“I think Olaf always sets a nice track, especially for the first day here,” she said. “The first part of it was pretty straightforward and allowed you a little opportunity to go fast in the jump-off. Shooting Star may be 20 years old this year, but he’s the smallest horse with the biggest stride. The big, open ring really plays into his strengths because he can really gallop across and leave out strides that way. That’s where he can be really fast.”
“Since he [Shooting Star] had to go first in the ring, I had to set my plan and stick with it and once he went, I figured the rest of them could pretty much follow what he did because fortunately, all my horses in this class have long strides. Once he set the pace and I knew it was possible, I knew how much I needed to press the others to do the same thing.”
Chapot also finished second in Section A aboard Calafornia, a 14-year-old KWPN gelding (Ultimo x Lux), owned by Laura and Mary Chapot in a time of 27.280 seconds.
Erynn Ballard (CAN) and Nespresso van’t Laekhof (Cicero Z x Grandeur) completed the podium with no penalties and a time of 27.79 seconds at the end of the second phase.
“I probably should retire and go home after this,” she said with a smile, noting this as the first time she’s ever finished in the top four spots in the same class. “We have a couple of older horses here who are just going to stick with their divisions, and I have a few younger horses just coming up. I don’t have a real strong one for the grand prix classes right now, but we’re hoping that maybe by the end of circuit, one of them might be able to jump into that.”
Stay tuned for the article about Chapot’s win in section B of the contest, in which she also claimed the top two spots!
Coverage continues on Thursday as CSI 2* and CSI 4* competition gets underway with the $6,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic 1.40m Jumpers and $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.45m Jumpers on the Derby Field at Equestrian Village. We’ll also shine the spotlight on the Pre-Green Hunter 3 & 4 Year Old division, taking place in Ring Six.
Coming up on Friday is the $50,000 Adequan® WEF Challenge Round 4 on the grass Derby Field at Equestrian Village, the $25,000 Hermès U25 Grand Prix Series Team Event in the Global Stadium Arena, and in the International Arena at PBIEC is the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Hunt & Go at 1 p.m.
Saturday’s schedule is highlighted by the $37,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic on the Derby Field followed by the Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® taking place in the International Arena on Saturday night. The week wraps up with the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic 1.45m Grand Prix CSI2* followed by the $214,000 Marshall & Sterling/Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix CSI4*, both set to go on the Derby Field. Don’t miss a minute of the action and catch all feature classes for free on the livestream.
Final Results – $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Jump-off Challenge Section A
1) Laura Chapot (USA) & Shooting Star – 0 / 0 – 26.825
2) Laura Chapot (USA) & Calafornia – 0 / 0 – 27.280
3) Erynn Ballard (CAN) & Nespresso van’t Laekhof -0 / 0 – 27.790
Source: Press release Kate Pettersen / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photo: © Sportfot