Scott Keach & Noble de La Chapelle Triumphant in the $100,000 Hits Grand Prix at Saugerties 

Saugerties, New York – September 3, 2023 – Sunday marked the final day of competition at Hits-on-the-Hudson VII, where Australia’s Scott Keach (AUS) had a dominating performance aboard Noble De La Chapelle to lead the lap of honor. The partners of four years were not only the first pair to go clear in the first round of the grand prix, but they also made up one of only two teams that produced the only double-clear efforts during the afternoon’s highlight event.

“We bought [Noble De La Chapelle] as a 6-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding ,” explained Keach after his winning round. “I’ve been riding him for a few years. He’s by For Pleasure, and they’re notorious for maturing a bit later. He’s 10 now, and this is the year he’s really started to work stuff out. Everything seems to be going according to standard for a For Pleasure [offspring] at the moment.”

Following Friday’s $25,000 Hits Grand Prix, Ana Catalina “Catsy” Cruz set another technical track that utilized the vast expanse of the Douglas Elliman Grand Prix stadium. The course featured a triple bar oxer, several double combinations, a liverpool, and a number of wide sweeping turns throughout the arena. Many riders who made it through the first half of the course without any issues ended up having rails later at fence 8ab. Only four riders made it into the jump-off round this afternoon, with Keach and Noble De La Chapelle as the pathfinders of the day.

“I kind of rode according to plan, which was ‘try and be quick,’” said Keach. “When you’re first to go with three more following, you’ve got to try and be quick enough, put pressure on without taking too many chances, and just hope that’s good enough.”

Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Copycat

Keach and Noble De La Chapelle set the time to beat at 39.141 seconds with a quick and clear effort over the track. Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) and Copycat were up next, and their time of 44.482 seconds slid them into second, eventually producing the only other double-clear performance of the day. The pressure was on for second-to-last pair of the day, Ashley March and Magic Hoop. Although March and Magic Hoop’s time of 42.585 was faster than Gallagher and Copycat’s, two rails on the shortened track would ultimately place them in fourth. Laura Chapot (USA) and Chandon Blue were the last challengers who attempted to take over Keach and Noble De La Chapelle’s lead. Halfway through the course, Chapot and Chandon Blue looked like they were going to win it all. However, an unlucky rail bumped them into third, making them the fastest 4-faulters of the day with a time of 38.685 seconds.

Laura Chapot (USA) & Chandon Blue

“I’ve always liked the grand prix classes here, but these improvements completely changed the quality of the show,” concluded Keach. “I think this is excellent. I’ve known what was going on because Sharn and Craig of Wordley Martin are good friends of mine. The footing is spot-on – they’re maintaining it really well, and I think it was perfect for jumping on today. I know with more improvements, this show is going to look really good. A lot of people are going to enjoy it!”

The HITS Championship will wrap up USEF competition at HITS Saugerties for the season next week. Special jumper classes featured during HITS-on-the-Hudson VIII include Thursday’s $38,700 Summit Joint FEI Welcome, Friday’s $77,300 HITS Jumper Classic, and Sunday’s $45,000 Platinum Performance Junior/Amateur Jumper Prix followed by the $300,000 FEI Grand Prix CSI 4*. Don’t miss the Horsin’ Around Saugerties Brunch before the Parade of Champions and grand prix starting at 9:30 am. The following week, riders will have the opportunity to showcase their skills during the 2023 Marshall & Sterling Finals. For more information, visit http://www.hitshows.com.

Scott Keach (AUS) & Noble De La Chapelle during the awards ceremony

Final Results – $100,000 Hits Grand Prix

1) Scott Keach (AUS) & Noble de La Chapelle – 0 / 0 – 39.141  

2) Lorcan Gallagher (IRL) & Copycat – 0 / 0 – 44.482 

3) Laura Chapot (USA) & Chandon Blue – 0 / 4 – 38.685   

Source: Press Release from Hits Horse Shows

Photos: © ESI Photography