WELLINGTON, Fla.--Halfway through the 12 week Winter Equestrian Festival, Laura Chapot is exactly where she has been for at least the last decade - first in the Circuit Standings for Overall Open Jumper Rider.
With 987 points, Chapot of Neshanic Station, N.J.,has more than double of the second leading rider, Mimi Gochman of New York, N.Y., who has 403
Her mother, Mary Chapot, is leading the standings in Overall Open Jumper Trainer with 1,114 points and Overall Open Jumper Owner with 579 points to Gochman Sport Horses LLC's 461 points.
Laura Chapot also was presented with the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider Award on Friday night, Feb. 15, during the sixth week of competition at the WEF.
Chapot placed second in the qualifying $36,000 CSI3* WEF Challenge Cup Round 6 riding Chandon Blue on Thursday before contesting Friday evening’s grand prix.
She and the 14-year-old Oldenburg gelding posted the fastest four-fault performance over a difficult track to finish third in the $134,000 CSI3* Grand Prix.
HER CONSISTENT top performances secured Chapot the Martha Jolicoeur Leading Lady Rider title.
“I think it’s really great that Martha offers this award, and it’s an honor to be leading lady here,” said Chapot. “It’s nice that it’s done over both classes because it rewards that you’ve done well all week.
“It’s nice that she continues to do that year after year,” said Chapot, who won the Martha Jolicoeur Overall Leading Lady Rider Award in 2017. “The year I was overall, I won a custom jump, which is really cool. It’s a great thing to have something that’s useful and for sure all my horses have to jump over that!”
In recognition of her Leading Lady title, Chapot was presented with a bottle of champagne, bouquet of flowers, and gift certificate for a shopping spree at Hunt, Ltd.
En route to being number one in the Rider standings, Chapot won numerous classes and has horses standing atop two sections in the standings.
In the 1.35M Jumpers, Umberto is first with $4,475, Cybel is second with $2,095 and Alouna de Fredeville is fifth with $1,140 in a secttion that has had 198 different horses winning at least some money.
In the 1.40M Jumpers, Thornhill Kate leads with $6,610, Calafornia is third with $4,025, Shooting Star is fourth with $4,015 and Out of Ireland is sixth with $3,800, and in that section 330 horses have won something, albeit some as little as $10.
Chapot has two horses by the Gem Twist clone, Gemini, showing in the 7-Year-Old Developing Jumpers, and Pursuit of Happiness stands 10th with $363 and Timeless is 11th with $359 behind the leader Elano, ridden by Steve Schaefer of Maple Park, Ill., who has $591.
"Timeless and Pursuit of Happiness have both moved up to the 7-Year-Old classes now at WEF," said Mary Chapot. "We took our time in the schooling jumpers where they competed in several different rings getting good experience in different places. We have been careful not to be over zealous with competitions, as well, doing a couple of shows, then time off, and generally, only two classes per week when showing."
"Each horse has won a class, and I am so proud of their progress, plus it's great fun for Laura and myself, knowing the sire and dam as we do," said Mary Chapot.
Chapot also trains Barbara Rochford who is third in the standings of Adult Amateur Jumper on Butterfly Ambition with $4,060 behind the leader Heidi Schaefer, who has $9,030.
Kevin Babington of Gwynedd Valley, Pa., is third in the Circuit Standings in the WEF Challenge Cup on Mark Q, and Lucy Matz of Coatesville, Pa., is eighth in Amateur Owner Jumpers, Medium, on Bailey VI.
IN HUNTERS, Scott Stewart of Flemington, N.J., leads in both Overall Hunter Rider and Overall Hunter Trainer, both with 2,032 points, and second in both is Tori Colvin with 1,690 points.
In Green Conformation, Scandal, ridden by Stewart, leads with 215 points, with Consent, ridden by Kelley Farmer of Keswick, Va. second with 174 points and Critics Choice, ridden by Stewart, third with 128 points.
In Green Hunters, 3'6", Bright Side, ridden by Stewart, leads with 368 points, with Everwonder, again ridden by Stewart, second with 309 points, and Farmer rode both the third and fourth placed horses, Me Too with 54 points and Consent with 145 points.
Becky Gochman leads in Amateur owner Hunters, 3'6", on Catch Me, and Clementina Brown of Kennett Square, Pa. is eighth on Eagle with limited showing.