Equestrian Festival Week 5 Wrap-Up, February 23 27, 2005
Laura Chapot and Little Big Man Spring to Victory in the Zada Masters Cup
It was Little Big Man that carried Laura Chapot to the winning clear jump-off round in a time of 34.52 seconds in the $75,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, CSI 3* on Sunday, February 27. Her dad, Frank Chapot, noted Olympic Veteran and Chef dEquipe of many winning Olympic teams, feels he has the recipe to her success. I give her the best advice I can, and when she follows it she wins. That advice is to Let him go clean!
Margie Engle and Hidden Creeks Wapino were just shy of taking away the win when their clear go timed out at 34.74 seconds, less than one quarter of a second off the mark. Chapot had a plan that was unbeatable and that was to follow her fathers advice and go clear. Even though the 79 second time allowed was tight, Chapot wasnt worried. My horse and I tend to ride fast.
Despite the rainy conditions, a crowd surrounded the arena to enjoy many of the nations finest riders try their skills over the Leopoldo Palacios-Jugo designed course. Palacios, who is known for the technicality he builds into every course, tested the field with 13 jumps in the first round, which included one triple and one double combination, for a total of 16 jumping efforts.
Three days of rain forced the competition to be moved from the grass Internationale Arena to the DeNèmethy Arena. The all weather footing was better and safer for the horses to jump on by Sunday afternoon during the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club in Wellington, Florida.
Many of the 47 horses originally scheduled to compete in the class scratched due to the rain and at 3:00 when the class started, the field had dwindled down to 31 starters. Chapot was the third rider to go in the first round, and the first to go clear. When they cleared the triple combination, which had poles down 13 times at the B element and 10 times at C, she received overwhelming applause from the audience.
She later admitted, The triple was a particular challenge. It had difficult distances inside and a plank as the third element.
Six horses later, Markus Beerbaum on Le Mans 8 produced the second clear go. They cleared the fences with room to spare, and his huge stride covered the ground quickly.
It took another eight horses before Eric Lamaze, riding Tempete V/H Lindehof, put in the third clear go. They had been the big winners on Thursday, February 24, in the $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup. His round was aggressive and solid.
Noted Canadian Olympic Medalist Ian Millar was right behind Lamaze and produced the fourth clear go. Millar rode In Style, who was true to his name, and their round was one of the most stylish of the day with smooth turns to neat jumps.
Margie Engle and Hidden Creeks Wapino were 30th in the order and the next to last riders to go in the class. When Engle started around the course, it was obvious she was going for it, despite the fact that this horse is fairly new to the grand prix arena and this was their first time competing in a WEF Sunday Grand Prix. They had three rubs on the course (one at the middle element of the triple combination), but all the fences stayed up.
In the jump-off, Chapot negotiated Little Big Man so neatly, tightly and quickly around the course that Engle later admitted to a comment Millar laughingly said to her after they watched her go. I think we are all riding for second, he noted. It was obvious that this little horse with the big jump was probably unbeatable. Like a cat, he raced around the course, cut corners and jumped as if he had springs in his feet, shaving time and setting the pace and time to beat.
Chapots strategy had worked as planned, leaving the other riders with no room for negotiating a tighter, faster course. I knew I had a lot of very fast people behind me. So I tried to go all out, she explained. Since shes owned Little Big Man since he was four years old, and now hes 11, she and the Dutch Warmblood work well together. He suits me very well, she explained. Hes grown up with me and he knows how I ride.
On the sidelines her dad and mom watched as their daughter performed one of the strongest rides of her career. She knows the game now, commented her dad, but then admitted, but you get some ulcers. When asked if she likes having her dad there when she competes, Laura said, I feel really confident when hes around. I know hell be there to tell me not to do something really dumb.
After her dad saw her go, he was pleased. I thought they (the other riders in the jump-off) were going to have to pull all the stops out to beat her. She was fast after the first fence and made a good turn.
While her dad was feeling confident, albeit with nervous tension, her mom, Mary, was keeping my fingers crossed, knowing that, everyone behind you is a contender.
Next to go behind Chapot in the jump-off was Beerbaum and Le Mans 8. They ended up taking down 5A half way through the course and tripped ever so slightly after 5B. They finished with 4 faults in 37.75 seconds.
Lamaze and Tempete were next, but their pace slowed down towards the end of the course and, though they were clear, their time of 36.34 seconds put them 3rd in the final order.
Millar and In Style were the next to go. They finished with a 4 fault round in a time of 36.12 seconds.
Engle and Wapino were last to go and in her usual, formidable style she began right from the start to go for it. They made some of the nicest turns of the day and nearly had the time, but ended just shy of the lead. Engle was pleased.
I was thrilled with him, commented Engle. Laura was flawless. I knew she would be hard to beat. Laura rode a beautiful round. Everything was forward, off the turn, and she got what she wanted I figured, Id give it a shot I knew she was going to be hard to beat today, and I felt I went as fast as he was ready to go.
Chapot had a good week, also winning Fridays Acorn Hill Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge on Sprite. They (Little Big Man and Sprite) are both very near and dear to my heart. I could be dirt poor and I wouldnt sell those horses. They are two special horses you dont find every week, she confided.
Its really exciting to win a class like this, she concluded. Its always special and especially on that horse. Hes always cocky and I love when he gets recognition.
Week Five Jumper Highlights- Wednesday through Sunday
The course designer for the Internationale Arena during the Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters was Leopoldo Palacious-Jugo of Caracas, Venezuela.
The scoring for the Wednesday morning feature, the $7500 1.45m, was Table II, Sec 2(b), Time First Jump-Off. Thirty-eight starters went to the post for the 9 A.M. start. Twenty-two of those horse and rider combinations produced clean rounds and advanced to the timed jump-off and of the 22 that moved on to the tie-breaker, ten were double clear.
When the dust had settled, it was Eric Lamaze edging McLain Ward for the Wednesday win. Lamaze, aboard Stacey Krembils Pulque, cruised across the finish line with a clean round in a hasty time of 34.376 seconds.
Ward finished just off the top time. Aboard his mount Galant, Ward finished up just fractions short of the mark set by Lamaze. Ward broke the beams in 34.718 seconds, off the pace by 0.342 seconds.
For Canadian rider Lamaze, it was the first win of the season. I was second two times, but it felt great to finally win one, Lamaze laughed. It is more competitive than ever out here and you really need a good horse to win. There are so many riders and great horses. The sport has elevated like crazy here in the past two years and its very difficult to win a class. The quality of the horses has improved so much, he added. With everyone now competing in Europe and seeing what it takes and then finding and bringing those kinds of horses back here, Ill tell you, its just great sport. I dont care what anybody says, but I think that the horses that are winning here could be winning anywhere in the world, Lamaze estimated.
The huge turnout for 1.40m Jumpers on Wednesday necessitated a split class with 80 plus in each section. The scoring was Table II, Sec 2(b) Time First Jump-Off. There were 83 starters, 30 produced clear rounds and eight were double clear.
In Section A, McLain Ward reversed the results of earlier in the day, turning the tables on Eric Lamaze and edging him by even closer fractions than Lamaze posted to win the 1.45m.
Ward, aboard George from the Double H Farm, got under the wire in a lightning quick 39.644 seconds for the win. Lamaze, aboard Torrey Pines Stables Hickstead, finished only .006 seconds behind Ward, racing home in 39.650 seconds. Cody Baird and Fit 3 from the October Farm finished third in 42.267 seconds.
It was a nice comeback for Ward and George. It was his first competition back from an injury suffered at the National Horse Show here in December. George is actually Cayces (Harrison) horse and Im just getting him back into shape, and hopefully shell be back up on him soon, Ward speculated.
Eric Lamaze aboard Tempete V/H Lindehof, owned by Ashland Stables started out in the first place position as the first to go in the first round of the fifth $25,000 WEF Challenge Cup Series on Thursday, and never looked back. Sixty-one horses negotiated the Leopoldo Palacios designed course at the Winter Equestrian Festival during the Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters. Tempete was one of only eight to go clear, over the 13 jump course. In the shortened jump-off course, Tempete set the pace and his clear round in a time of 43.36 seconds proved unbeatable.
When Ken Berkley entered the arena on his mare Ratina Z as the next to last rider to go in the jump-off, the audience was jumping each fence with him. Ken negotiated his mare carefully but boldly around the course with an obvious push down the last line. By that time, he had kept all the rails up and with one line to go he opted to be bold in an attempt to overtake Lamazes leading score. He almost made it, but in the end, less than a second separated the two. Ratina Z finished on a clear round but in a slightly slower time of 43.88 seconds on the Carolyn Kelly owned horse.
It was no surprise when Sprite, ridden by Laura Chapot, crossed the finish line with a clean round and the fastest time of 57.780 seconds in Fridays Acorn Hill Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Not only had they won the Acorn Hill Farm Speed Challenge during the same week last year, but they were the winner of the series as well and received the 2004 Acorn Hill Farm 1.40m Speed Series Award. The format for the 1.40m Speed Challenge was Table II Section 1, Faults and Time in the First Round.
This year, things are looking pretty good for the pair. They have already claimed second and third place ribbons in two of the three previous Acorn Hill classes. The class is usually held in the Internationale arena on the grass, but on Friday the conditions were a bit different.
The rain came down in buckets very early Friday morning and the decision was made to move the $5,000 Acorn Hill Speed Challenge out of the grassy Internationale Arena and into the sandy DeNemethy Arena in order to ensure good footing for the horses.
No one else was able to meet the challenge that Sprite presented and a very happy Chapot claimed the first place ribbon. It was obvious the love she has for her mount. I really love it when that horse wins. Shes very special to me. Ive had her since she was six years old. She is a show jumper and she knows how to play the game!
Saly Glassman and Ginger Watt produced the winning round in a field of 27 starters in the Adequan Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Table II, sec 1, on Friday morning, February 25, in the rain at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
Fourteen competitors negotiated clear rounds and advanced to the jump-off, where seven of the 14 riders produced double clear rounds.
Ginger Watt crossed the finish line in 36.070 seconds, two seconds ahead of second place finisher Kelly Soleau riding Carrera, who had a clear go in 38.636 seconds. Max Utopia and Louise Otten finished in third place in 40.005 seconds.
Paige Johnson sped across the finish line with her 10-year-old mare Kadena R with a clear go in 38.880 seconds to win the $20,000 1.50m Classic on Saturday. This was her second win of the day, having also finished first in the $10,000 High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic on Reddy Teddy. The 1.50m was the featured event on Saturday afternoon at the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. This was a Table II Sec 2a, Time First Jump-Off class.
The scopey mare bested a field of 44 competitors to boldly take the class, despite the muddy conditions which were the result of intermittent rain throughout Saturday.
What you see is what you get, commented Johnson, her excitement showing in the speed of her conversation. She was very proud of her mare. You get a really honest, wonderful feeling in the air. She has a great mindset and does not have a mare attitude.
Johnson really set the pace and their clear time of 38.880 was hard to match. While it proved easy for Kadena R, going into the round Johnson was most concerned about the combination back to the plank jump. It was an awkward turn but it ended up working out perfectly, she commented. She listened to everything. Johnson knew there were some good riders still to go and although she had a good shot at the win, she knew it wasnt over yet.
Next to enter the ring after Johnson was Eric Lamaze on Hickstead. They rode aggressively and brilliantly around the course, almost appearing faster than Johnson, but Kadenas long stride can be very deceiving. Hickstead stopped the clocks in 40.699 seconds and finished second.
After the course, Johnson admitted that she knew her ride was fast, but I didnt know if it would hold up. When that last rider went over the course and she knew the victory was hers, she admitted, I couldnt be happier. It was a really good day!
Johnsons dad, Bob Johnson is a big supporter of his daughter and of horse sports. He is a majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats organization. The organizations signature fundraising event is the Charlotte Jumper Classic. The second annual event will take place April 8-10 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Addison Phillips rode Rastella to a clear round in a time of 40.172 seconds in the High Junior Jumpers at the Internationale Arena on Saturday, February 26 at the Winter Equestrian Festival. On Cantus Anuberth II, she finished sixth.
Thirty competitors started in the Table II2b jump-off class. Five horse and rider combinations produced double clear rounds from the eight who went clear over the first round.
Phillips and Rastella were first to go in the jump-off and went for broke setting a time that proved impossible to catch. Just behind Phillips with a clear go in 41.473 seconds was Aimee Aron aboard Heaudine. This was the first time this combination competed in the Internationale Arena. In third was Onira, ridden by Brianne Goutal to a time of 41.504.
Week Five Hunter Highlights- Thursday through Sunday
The first hunter championships of week five of the Winter Equestrian Festival at the Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Center, the Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, were awarded on Thursday. Two new faces for the season stood out at the winners circle in the Second Year Green Working Hunters and the Green Conformation Hunters.
Both Seduced, Second Year Green champion, and Fortuitous, Green Conformation champion, were ridden in the professional divisions to prepare them for their owners to show later this week.
Seduced and rider Jennifer Bauersachs were very consistent on Wednesday, as they won both over fences classes and placed third in the under saddle class. The seven year old gelding was a little bit fresh for the first jumping class on Thursday, said Bauersachs, but then he settled and was really good for the second over fences class and ended up in second place. Those top ribbons gave him the win over Sardonyx and Kara Raposa, who rode for Stephen Martines to the reserve championship.
There was a similar situation in the Green Conformation Hunters on Thursday, as Tammy Provost rode Fortuitous to the win for amateur Donald Graves. It is a fairly new ride for Provost, and she remarked that the fancy dark chestnut was a beautiful mover and easy to ride. The pair were first and second over fences on Wednesday and received a fifth place in the under saddle. Like Seduced, Fortuitous was a little green in the first class, but came back for a solid second place ribbon in the last over fences class.
Fortuitous has shown the benefits of being brought along slowly, said trainer Heather Irvine. He showed two full years in the pre-greens and thats why, up to this point, hes such a special horse in the division, Provost clarified. Theyve really taken their time with him. The extra time paid off on Thursday, as Fortuitous claimed the championship over Bridget Hallmans Hear Say and Louise Serio.
The gloomy weather at the Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) did not keep the champions of the First Year Green Working Hunters down. Fellini and Scott Stewart and Saline and Charlie Weaver saw blue, as they both won all four over fences classes in their respective sections on Thursday and Friday.
Fellini, who is owned by Molly Ohrstrom, was fantastic on Friday, despite the muddy footing and large puddles. Hes a mudder! exclaimed Stewart with a smile. Fellini had two beautiful rounds today and added two blue ribbons to the two he won on Thursday for the tricolor, while Remedy and Danny Robertshaw, who rode for Margaret Edge, won the reserve championship.
Saline and Charlie Weaver were also stellar in the sodden Grand Hunter Field. Saline, owned by Marigot Bay Farm and Stormy Good, won their over fences classes on Friday with high scores of 88 and 90. The pair also won both jumping classes on Thursday and were second under saddle. Even without the sun, they outshined the rest of the field. Reserve champion went to Afterglow and Peter Leone, who rode for Lionshare Farm.
Saline and Weaver are a new partnership, as Good only bought the striking bay mare last week. Their first time in the show ring was Thursday, and Weaver was not really surprised with the results. I knew that at some point she would be this good, but I didnt know it would come right out the first time and that we would do so well, explained Weaver. I didnt know her well enough to predict it. Weaver did know, however, that she had the capability to win. Shes a really special horse, Weaver expressed. You just present her with the jump and leave it up to her and she just does it right. Shes what a hunter is meant to be.
The Adult Amateur 51 & Older Hunters finished on Friday, and it was yet another win for Indian Summer and Holly Caristo, who have dominated the division this year. They have earned championship honors every week by winning almost every class they enter, and this week was no different.
Indian Summer won the under saddle and two over fences classes, and was second in the last over fences class in Section A. They overwhelmed the competition, beating the reserve championship winner, Harmony Bay and Carol Cone, by 20 points.
In Section B, Francesco and Lora Schultz were champions, while Dialog L and R. Bruce Duchossois won the reserve championship.
The top junior riders competed in the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic, and Sloane Coles came away with the win in the jumper phase over Jessica Speiser. The hunter phase was cancelled, due to the inclement weather.
Coles was also second in Section B of the USEF Show Jumping Talent Search to Blythe Marano. Brianne Goutal won Section A over Whitney Weeks.
There was only one hunter championship awarded on Saturday in the soggy conditions at the Winter Equestrian Festival during the Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters. Krista Weisman rode Prove It for Alexa Weisman to the tricolor, despite sloppy footing.
Weisman had a good day on Friday, riding Prove It to first and third place ribbons in the over fences classes and fourth in the under saddle. Weisman also rode For The Music in the division, who won the other over fences class and received two sixth places, and Tribute, who also won a sixth place ribbon. Weisman entered the ring for the second over fences class on Friday on Prove It while she was leading the class with For The Music. For The music was winning, and I was trying so hard [with Prove It] because I love him and I wanted him to win, recounted Weisman. Prove It had a beautiful trip, but had to settle for third place behind his brother.
Weismans three horses seemed unfazed by the footing, and Weisman exclaimed, Theyre all mudders! Prove It also placed third in one over fences class on Saturday to give her the championship over Fiddlers Bridge and Stephanie Riggio.
The wet weather on Sunday morning made the going even rougher, but the junior riders got tougher. With a solid downpour all morning, the entries dwindled in the earlier divisions. However, the Stadium Jumping staff did a fabulous job of keeping the show running smoothly on the last day of the Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
On Saturday in the Large Junior 15 & Under Hunters, Westcliffe and Christy Russo, riding for Elizabeth Russo, dominated the division. They won both over fences classes with scores of 84 and 85. She came into Sunday with two wins under her belt. Russo was really excited, but did not want to put pressure on herself for todays classes. She explained, I didnt want to psyche myself out and get all worried about it. So I tried to not think about what happened yesterday and ride each jump by itself today.
Russo was solid today and she placed second in the under saddle and third and fourth over fences. She also won an over fences class on her second horse, Miracle. Although she did not win every class, Russo had enough points to gain the championship over Mrs. Quentin Alexanders Noir and Maggie McAlary. Russo mentioned about her horses, I thought they were good today, but yesterday was better. Im going to work really hard to make sure that every day becomes a better day than yesterday.
In Section A of the Large Junior 16-17 Hunters, the championship went to a rider from Virginia. Sloane Coles rode Fanfare for Nancy Amling. They had a win over fences on Saturday in the first class, but had a rail in the second class. Fanfare and Coles returned on Sunday to win the under saddle class and one over fences class, and received fifth place in the final jumping class. They received the tricolor, while Jazz and Megan Schall were reserve champions.
Fanfare is a new ride for Coles, because owner Amling is away at college. The duo were fantastic in their first week together during the Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular. They garnered grand junior championship honors and the opportunity to compete under the lights in the AHJF Hunter Classic Spectacular of Palm Beach.
Coles conceded, I was more confident this week because I knew him. It was a new ride last week, but hes such an amazing horse. Coles confidence helped them this weekend, but she is humble about her success today. Hes such an easy horse and so fancy, she said. Fanfares simplicity made winning a breeze.
In the equitation classes, competition was still intense as the USEF Hunter Seat Medal and the ASPCA Maclay Horsemanship class each had more than 55 entries. They were split into two sections.
In the Maclay class, Julie Welles won Section A over Cordelia Allsopp and Caitlin Donovan won the blue ribbon over Catherine Wright in Section B. Maria Schaub won Section A of the USEF Medal, while Cordelia Allsopp had to settle for second place again. Blythe Marano won Section B of the Medal over Cassie Herman.
2005 Winter Equestrian Festival Fast Facts
Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida
DIRECTIONS: Approaching the show grounds from the Florida Turnpike, take Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over 441. Travel five miles to South Shore Blvd., turn right on South Shore and proceed one mile to Pierson Road, then turn left at the light. Spectator Entrance is first left, on Equestrian Road. Approaching the show grounds from Interstate I-95, take Exit 49. Travel west on Forest Hill Blvd. 11 miles to South Shore Blvd. Turn left on South Shore and follow to Pierson Road. Turn right at the light on Pierson. Spectator Entrance is first left Equestrian Road.
THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is the home of the Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup held in the United States. The competition areas include the 400 x 400 grass Internationale Arena, which is surrounded by bermed seating, chalets, and VIP areas; plus the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena and Grand Hunter Field, both with all weather footing. Amenities include The Jockey Club VIP area.
PRIZE MONEY: Over
$3 Million in total prize money, including:
FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor courtyard and at vendors around the Internationale Arena, and are open during show hours
ECONOMIC IMPACT: The Winter Equestrian Festival, produced by Eugene R. Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., is the largest and longest consecutively running sporting event in the world. It is also the largest equestrian event and major contributor to Palm Beach Countys $553+ million equestrian industry. (Courtesy of Palm Beach County Equestrian Commission, Inc.)
PALM BEACH POLO EQUESTRIAN CLUB: 14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, FL, 33414; Tel: 561-793-JUMP; Fax: 561-753-7727; Website: www.stadiumjumping.com
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