WELLINGTON, Fla--Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, N.J., rode Chandon Blue to win the $35,000 1.50m Classic CSI 3* on Sunday, March 18, and she continues to hold a big lead in the circuit standings for Leading Open Jumper Rider.
She also finished second on Cybel II in the 1.40m class on March 21.
Chapot leads the circuit standings with 1,055 points, while her closest competitor, Chloe Jhin, has 598 points.
Chapot's horses are also high up in the standings, with Umberto leading in 1.35m section where Thornhill Kate is sixth, and in the 1.40m. section, Zealous is second and Out of Ireland is fourth.
Mary Chapot leads the standings for Open Jumper Owner and is third in Open Jumper Trainer.
Jimmy Torano of Mohrsville, Pa., is fourth in Leading Open Jumper Trainer standings, and his mount Day Dreams stands fifth in 1.40m jumpers.
IN THE 1.50m Classic Sunday, a field of 53 entries attacked the course set by Canadian Michel Vaillancourt , with 14 going clean to make it to the jump-off.
Chapot on Chandon Blue, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding owned by Mary Chapot, won in the time of 36.145 seconds.
Hunter Holloway on VDL Bravo S, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding, was second, just four-tenths of a second back in 36.565 seconds, and Lillie Keenan on Concho was third in 38.647 seconds.
Chapot has only ridden Chandon Blue for a couple of months.
She got Chandon Blue from Irish rider Cian O’Connor in December of 2017, and she has used the 2018 WEF season to get to know the gelding.
“We’ve just kind of been figuring out which buttons to press, and I think today we got them all together,” said Chapot. “He’s a really fast and careful horse. He goes in there and tries his heart out and wants to win. I like his energy.”
Since Chandon Blue is still a relatively new horse for Chapot, she kept that in mind when planning her jump-off strategy, electing to take advantage of his large step to leave a stride out in the first line but then foregoing a tight turn later on.
“I thought that that was not a hard leave-out down the first line, but I chose to go around the tree rather than inside," said Chapot. "I thought that for him, and not knowing him so well on the really tight turn inside, that was a better plan. I know that he’s just naturally very fast, and then, if I went around, I would never have to slow down.”
Chapot will continue to compete through the last two weeks at WEF before returning home to gear up for the summer season.
One of her big goals is always the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, where she has won the Leading Open Jumper Rider title almost a dozen times,
“The horses work hard down here, and we try and use this time to build the them up and get them ready for the summer,” said Chapot. “Then they get a little bit of time off to recuperate, and hopefully they’re ready for the next thing!”