Wellington, Florida, USA – February 3, 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 both Section A and B of the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies, moreover capturing the top two spots in both sections of the 1.40m challenge 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). The 50-year-old rider from Neshanic Station, NJ, finished first overall in Section B of the California Split class aboard Out of Ireland, a 15-year-old Anglo European Sport Horse mare (Lougherne Connaught x Amiro M), owned by Laura Chapot and The Edge, stopping the timers in 26.978 seconds.
“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.”
She rounded out her incredible day with a second-place finish in Section B aboard Chandon Blue, a 16-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Landcapitol), owned by Laura and Mary Chapot, finishing their jump-off in 27.773 seconds.
Alex Matz (USA) and Flash also advanced to and completed the jump-off without having any penalties attributed to them, securing bronze honors in 28.195 seconds.
“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.”
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 B
1) Laura Chapot (USA) & Out of Ireland – 26.978
2) Laura Chapot (USA) & Chandon Blue – 27.773
3) Alex Matz (USA) & Flash – 28.195
Source: Press release Kate Pettersen / Jennifer Wood Media Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photo: © Sportfot