Chapot wins sixth grand prix in Lake Placid

Laura Chapot rides Chandon Blue over a jump in the opening round of the Lake Placid Grand Prix at the North Elba Show Grounds on Sunday. The pair won the Lake Placid Grand Prix, which gave Chapot her sixth total grand prix victory in Lake Placid. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

LAKE PLACID — Laura Chapot has been competing in the Lake Placid Grand Prix for a long time, and her experience showed on Sunday.

Chapot, who won the Lake Placid Grand Prix in 1996 and 2004, won her third Lake Placid Grand Prix title after riding her horse Chandon Blue to back-to-back fault-free rides in the opening round and the jump-off to capture the $100,000 Great American Grand Prix at the North Elba Show Grounds.

“(Chandon Blue) was really focused today,” Chapot said. “I was really happy with him, he felt super energetic and ready to do the job. I just tried to stick with my plan and he came through for me.”

The grand prix started with a field of 21 in the 16-jump first-round course, but just four horses and three riders put together a fault-free opening round to advance to the eight-jump tiebreaker jump-off. Chapot rode two of the four entries.

Riding her 17-year-old horse, Chandon Blue — who happened to be older than some of the riders — Chapot cruised through the course in the jump-off, finishing a clean ride in 33.903 seconds to win the event.

Laura Chapot rides Diarado’s Flying Dutchman over a jump in the tiebreaker jump-off round during the Lake Placid Grand Prix at the North Elba Show Grounds on Sunday. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

“My first horse — the horse that won (Chandon Blue) — has a very long, massive stride so I knew that I could be pretty fast early on, leaving out a stride in the first few lines,” Chapot said.

With her second horse, Diarado’s Flying Dutchman, she wasn’t able to top herself and had to settle for third place in 36.510 seconds.

“(Diarado’s Flying Dutchman) is not quite as big and strong,” Chapot said. “He tends to be — he has to keep his mind settled a bit, he’s very quick naturally. He isn’t one where you could just take all the leave-out options.”

Alex Matz, the defending Lake Placid Grand Prix champion who also won the I Love New York Grand Prix last year, and 16-year-old Zayna Rizvi had clean runs in the jump-off but weren’t able to match the speed of Chandon Blue.

Rizvi, who rode Exquise Du Pachis, finished as the runner-up in 35.933 seconds, while Matz rode Ikigai to fourth place title in 36.882 seconds.

The win marked Chapot’s sixth grand prix victory in Lake Placid, having won the I Love New York Grand Prix twice and the Adirondack Grand Prix once. She earned $30,000 for taking first place on Sunday.

Chapot also added on an additional $13,000 for third place out of the combined $100,000, which was spread out based on placing among the top 12 entries.

“Every time I get onto the first horse, I’m like, ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘Do I belong here?'” Chapot said. “It always looks like a challenging task because the hill adds another difficulty factor to the course.

“Even though you might have a plan in mind, just the factor of going up and down the hill can change your strategy part way through the course,” she added. “It’s always fun to come up here. It’s always different every time and we really enjoy this challenge that we get when coming to Lake Placid.”

The grand prix on Sunday wrapped up a week of action in the Lake Placid Horse Show. Competition at the North Elba Show Grounds took a break Monday and is slated to resume with the I Love New York Horse Show today.

Chapot will likely compete in the I Love New York Grand Prix on Saturday at the Richard M. Feldman Grand Prix Ring, but it is unclear if she will ride Chandon Blue.

“(Chandon Blue) loves it up here,” Chapot said. “The grounds looked beautiful this year. The footing was great. The horses always jump well up here.”


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today