Laura Chapot, who has been the Winter Equestrian Festival Leading Open Jumper Rider for over a decade, will be in Wellington to defend her title when the 12 week series begins Jan. 9, and Callan Solem who won at both WEF and HITS Ocala last season, plans to divided her time between the two circuits as well as competing at the Palm Beach Masters.
Other Delaware Valley riders who will be competing in Wellington include Clementina Brown, Louise Serio, Scott Stewart and Dorli Burke, all of whom got top ribbons on the circuit last year.
The Chapots of Neshanic Station, N.J., will take 16 horses to Wellington including some for Laura's students.
Competing in the Open Jumper division with Laura are Quointreau Un Prince, Dual Star, Chandon Blue, Thornhill Kate, Calafornia, Cybel 2nd, Out of Ireland, Zealous, Shooting Star and Umberto.
Quointreau un Prince, Thornhill Kate and Umberto will probably show in some of the grand prix.
"We're also taking two 7-year-olds by Gemini, Timeless and Pursuit of Happiness," said Laura's mother Mary Chapot. "We're kind of excited about that. We've been kind of protective of them, but they've both showed at Andrew's (Andrew Philbrick's Princeton Show Jumping), and both have placed, so they're ready to go on."
Gemini is a stallion that Frank Chapot had cloned from Gem Twist who, as a gelding, could not reproduce but was a super star whose accomplishments included both team and individual silver medals in the Seoul Olympics, and he was named Best Horse in the World Championships.
SOLEM of Chester Springs, Pa., is taking VDL Wizard, Davidson and the mare Imogen de Regor to Florida, all three of which are grand prix jumpers..
"I'm going to do a little of both Ocala and WEF," said Solem. I'm also going to show at Palm Beach Masters, That's such a great event, and it's such a beautiful venue. I'm looking forward to that."
"I've got two new horses that I'll be showing in Florida, too," said Solem. "A mare, Jasmijn von Renthoebe, just got out of quarantine, and I have a stallion, Erdento, coming in January. He'll have to spend time in quarantine."
"With the new mare, hopefully when we get to know each other we can jump some grand prix," said Solem.
Brown of Kennett Square, Pa., will be showing Eagle in the Amateur Owner, over 35.
Three times last year Eagle missed a reserve championship by just one point.
Brown trains with Louise Serio, who will be showing in the hunter division.
"I will probably show two weeks and then take two weeks off, just like I did last year," said Brown.
Scott Stewart of Flemington, N.J., was Leading Hunter Rider at WEF last year, and will return with a string of top hunters to defend his title.
Burke of Salisbury, Md., competed successfully on Charming in the Amateur Owner, over 35 section at WEF last winter and will show there again this year.