Laura Chapot and Church Road On a Roll at HITS Saugerties with Two Big Wins
RELEASE: September 9, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Chris Mayone
Laura Chapot took advantage of the enviable last-to-go spot in the jump-off of Thursday's final $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix of the season at HITS Saugerties on September 4, as she captured the blue aboard Church Road to rev up an exciting weekend of show jumping.
Chapot and Church Road got the best of 16 pairs to challenge course designer Jerry Dougherty's first-round track and the five combinations that advanced to the jump-off to win $7,500 in prize money for horse owners Sarah Becker and B&B Saddlery.
Church Road is 12 years old, and Chapot has been in the irons since January. Chapot had two mounts advance into the jump-off, including Bradberry, who was the first to show in the jump-off. The combination dropped the final three fences on the seven-obstacle jump-off track to finish in fifth place.
Jimmy Torano rode his mount Morgan into the ring next. A rail down at the first hurdle and another midway through the round put the pair in fourth place. Third to show was Kelley Robinson and her mount Solaman. A single rail down catapulted the pair into first place with just two riders left to show. However, when the class was complete they would finish in second place.
Fourth to go were Callan Solem and her eight-year-old mount VDL Torlando. The pair also had four faults and finished in third place. " I am thrilled with my young horse," she said. "I have only entered him in a handful of grand prix classes and he is coming along great."
Solem was also seventh aboard Mianta, picking up an additional $1,000 in prize money adding to her winnings for the United States Grand Prix League (USGPL) Standings. Currently, the 29-year-old from New Jersey is in second place but nearly $20,000 behind the top combination of Patty Stovel and her mount Shandor 41. In fact, the leading pair has already locked up the title and earned the right to golast in the $100,000 USGPL Invitational Grand Prix on September 28 during the USGPL Finals at HITS Culpeper.
Rounding off the field in Thursday's jump-off were Chapot and Church Road. Knowing all that she had to do was go clear to win the blue, the accomplished equestrian navigated the course to perfection stopping the clocks in 42.70 to take the victory gallop.
"The horse is just naturally fast," said Chapot. "I knew that we could take the same track as the leader and probably be fast enough even if we dropped a rail. I am going to show him again on Sunday and we will see about my other two grand prix horses later on."Take Two for Chapot
Chapot took the victory gallop again at HITS Saugerties when she navigated the fastest double-clear effort on Dougherty's route to win the blue in the final $50,000 HITS Grand Prix of the season aboard Church Road.
Chapot and Church Road got the best of 19 pairs to challenge course designer Dougherty's first-round track and the eight combinations that advanced to the jump-off to win $15,000 in prize money for horse owners Sarah Becker and B&B Saddlery.
The win was the fourth grand prix that Chapot has won with Church Road and the third of the season at HITS Saugerties. It also marks the second triumph of the week for the pair as they won Thursday's $25,000 Ariat Grand Prix. In July, the duo won the $50,000 Strongid® C 2X™ Grand Prix, presented by Brook Ledge.
"I can always trust [Church Road] to go fast, especially on the tight inside turns and hard angles," said Chapot. "I have been riding him since Florida, and I am really glad that Sarah Becker put us together. She believes in me, and I hope we are together a long time."
Laura Bowery was the first of eight to return for the jump-off aboard Indy Starr II, and the pair proceeded to lay down a very fast clear round in 45.095 that looked for most of the rest of the jump-off to be untouchable. However, when the class was complete they would finish in second place.
Chapot was second in the order