Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – October 20, 2021 – Laura Chapot (USA) of Neshanic Station, NJ, and Calafornia topped the $10,000 1.40m on Wednesday, October 20, to kick off the Open Jumper divisions at the 75th Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA.
Chapot and the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, owned by Laura and Mary Chapot, were the second of 22 entries to contest the one-round speed track set in the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex’s Harrisburg Coliseum by course designer Manuel Esparza (MEX).
With 20 horses still to follow Chapot (USA) and Calafornia, it seemed there would be plenty of opportunities to top their time, but no one would come close to besting their 55.384-second finish. Second place with a time of 57.592 seconds went to Hadden Frost (GBR) of Upperville, VA, riding his own Finou 4. Chapot (USA) also finished in third with a time of 58.354 seconds aboard Chandon Blue and fourth in 60.766 seconds with Diarado’s Flying Dutchman, both owned by Mary Chapot.
“He’s a speed specialist, and he always been good at this venue,” said Chapot of Calafornia, who also finished in second in the $10,000 1.40m opening class at the 2019 PNHS. “I was really pleased for him to be able to walk in today and put in such a good round. He’s been very consistent. He’s gotten more and more consistent over time, and we’ve really gotten to have a very good partnership now.”
While Chapot has been coming to the Pennsylvania National Horse Show for decades, the introduction of 1.30m and 1.40m USEF 6* Jumper classes, rather than previously held, Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)-sanctioned classes, presented a new opportunity for her.
“We really loved the idea of having the two divisions, and it really gives us a great opportunity to bring the young horses here,” said Chapot, who recalls first competing at the PNHS on ponies in the 70s and 80s. “I brought two young horses, and it’s just nice for them to get around over a little bit of a more reasonable-sized course, rather than coming in the first time here and having to jump the top of the standards. A lot of horses are a little bit set back by being indoors with the coliseum feeling, where the stands and the people are above them. That can be very distracting to them. So, it’s really great that they’ve given us this opportunity to give those horses a little bit of experience.
“Harrisburg is a very big tradition in our family,” concluded Chapot. “We love this show, and this is really the only indoor show I go to. Now, it’s the best venue for the horses. The stabling is good, and the improvements they’ve made this year with the expansion of the schooling areas has made a big, big difference. I think that the feedback is going to be very good.”
Final Results – $10,000 1.40m
1) Laura Chapot (USA) & California – 0 / 55.384
2) Hadden Frost (GBR) & Finou 4 – 0 / 57.592
3) Laura Chapot (USA) & Chandon Blue – 0 / 58.354
Source: Press Release from by Emily Randolph for Pennsylvania National Horse Show
Photo: © Andrew Ryback Photography