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Thursday, December 01, 2022

Alex Matz, Laura Chapot and McLain Ward head a list of top riders to compete at the Lake Placid shows

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.--Alex Matz, who won both grand prix at the two Lake Placid Horse Shows last year, and Laura Chapot, who has dominated grand prix competition there for the past 10 years, including finishing second to Matz last year, are both taking a number of horses there this year in defense of their titles.

Alex Matz on Cashw KindMediaAlex Matz on Cashew winning the Lake Placid Grand Prix last year (Photo by KindMedia)The Lake Placid Horse Shows run June 28 to July 10, offering a full schedule of world-class competition with more than $600,000 in prize money, including two $100,000 Grand Prix.

Matz of Coatesville,, Pa., won both grand prix last year, with Cahew CR the first week and Davidson the second week, and was just the sixth rider to sweep both Lake Placid grand prix in the same year.

This year Matz will be taking three different horses, Ikigai, Erdente van de Meeuwerk and Nikita van de Meeuwerk, to defend his grand prix titles.


CHAPOT of Neshanic Station, N..J., fresh off winning the $74,000 Idle Dice Stakes on Diarado's Flying Dutchman at Devon, will be taking Dutchman as well as Chandon Blue and  Calafornia to compete in the grand prix.

Laua Chapot on Diarados Flying Dutchman Photo by Emma MillerLaua Chapot on Diarados Flying Dutchman winning the Idle Dice Stakes at Devon (Photo by Emma Miller)Matz said he will also be taking four young horses, and Chapot said she also is taking Gideon, Out of Ireland and a new horse, Ciego, to Lake Placid.

Matz, the son of Show Jumping Hall of Famer Michael Matz, now an accomplished race horse trainer, and Pan American Games bronze medalist D.D. Matz, is just returning from a multi week tour of Europe, where he rode a double clear round on Cashew CR in the Lisbon Nations Cup.

"Europe was a really great experience," said Matz."My horse jumped fantastic. It was great to be on a team with such supportive teammates and to get so much from the experience of Anne Kursinski (who was chef d'equipe)."

"It's very different showing in Europe," said Matz. "At both those shows, everything was really focused on the Nations Cup, so it's a very special atmosphere. It was a learning experience to be with riders from so many different countries, to get to know them and to see how their training programs are compared to mine."

Chapot has dominated competition in Lake Placid’s Grand Prix ring over the last 10 years, including claiming the Richard and Diana Feldman Trophy as the rider with the most prize money in the Lake Placid grand prix in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

For the Chapots, mother Mary and sister Wendy, who shows in amateur jumpers, Lake Placid has always been a special show, and they treat it as almost a vacation.

"It's a fun place to go," said Mary.

Olympic veterans and other top stars of the sport of show jumping are also entered to compete in the 2022 Lake Placid Horse Shows,

Five-time Olympian McLain Ward of Brewster, N.Y., who most recently won the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon on Contagious, will certainly have a say about who wins this year's Lake Placid grand prix classes.

Ward is one of the top riders on the international stage, having earned four Olympic medals (team gold in 2004 and 2008; team silver in 2016 and 2021).

He also competed in four World Equestrian Games (team silver in 2006, team bronze in 2014 and team gold in 2018), and he has taken home two gold medals from the Pan American Games (2011, 2015) as well as winning the FEI World Cup™ Finals in 2017.

Kursinski of Frenchtown, N.J., who served as chef d'equipe for the recent younger rider's tour of European Nations Cups, has represented the U.S. internationally on five Olympic and three World Equestrian Games teams.

She won Olympic team Silver medals in 1988 and 1996 as well as team and individual Gold medals at the 1983 Pan American Games.

Among the other riders who will be vying for top honors is Peter Lutz of Waccabuc, NY.

Lutz has also had many top performances worldwide, winning competitions such as the $100,000 FEI World Cup Jumping Las Vegas in 2015 and the $375,000 Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows in 2016.

Splitting her time between the top levels of both the hunter and jumper rings, Heather Caristo-Williams of Saugerties, N.Y., has claimed many championship titles, ridden to multiple podium finishes in American and European grand prix competition, and made several appearances in international hunter derbies.

Leading show hunter trainer and rider Amanda Steege of Califon, N.J., will join Caristo-Williams in the hunter rings, defending her title from Lake Placid’s $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.

Top junior rider and 2021 ASPCA Maclay National Champion Zayna Rizvi will also return to Lake Placid.

She won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Junior/Amateur Jumper Classic during both weeks at the 2021 Lake Placid Horse Shows before riding to the individual Gold medal at the 2021 North American Junior & Young Rider Championship. She was also the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series Junior Division champion for 2021.

Other top entries entered in the Open Jumper division include Ailish Cunniffe of South Salem, N.Y., Quentin Judge of Ridgefield, Conn., David Tromp of Rye, N.Y., and Mattias Tromp of North Salem, N.Y.

Located in the Olympic town of Lake Placid, N.Y., the Lake Placid Horse Shows offer two weeks of competition on show grounds surrounded by breathtaking views of the Adirondack Mountains.

The Lake Placid Horse Show, June 28 to July 3, is highlighted by the $100,000 Grand Prix on Sunday, July 3, and the I Love New York Horse Show follows on July 5-10, with highlights including the $100,000 Grand Prix on Saturday, July 9, and the $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship North on Sunday, July 10.


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