Laura Chapot rode Quointreau Un Prince to the win in the fourth round of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette Challenge Cup during the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) Week 4.
Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 2, 2017 – As the first rider on course in the fourth round of the $35,000 Ruby et Violette Challenge Cup, Laura Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince showed that determination and consistency pays off. Chapot, of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, was the only rider out of 47 entries to produce a double-clear effort over the Steve Stephens-designed track.
“I’m just thrilled with him,” Chapot said about the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding that she co-owns with McLain Ward. “I thought going first is always a little bit difficult but I had a good plan with him. He really rose to the occasion and jumped super today.”
Chapot expertly navigated the first round, leaving all of the rails untouched and setting the standard for the remainder of the class. Chapot also led the jump-off round, and sped through the timers in 38.677 seconds.
“My horse has a very big stride and he has no problem leaving out a stride, especially into a combination,” Chapot explained. “He almost prefers that, so that’s one thing he has to his advantage. I never have a worry about taking a stride out because he’s used to that and he actually thrives on that.”
Laura Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince
“The jump off had some very fast riders, and I think I learned my lesson from last Saturday night.” Chapot rode to a fourth-place finish aboard ISHD Dual Star in Week 3’s Saturday night class under the lights. “I was maybe not quite aggressive enough, and I just didn’t want to leave the door open again. I just wanted to put down my best round and see what happened. Let them try and catch me.”
Chapot made sure she gave it her all and tried her best to improve her efforts from last week.
“When you go out and do the best you can, even if you get beat, you’ve got to still be happy with that. I felt like Saturday night when my horse was jumping great, maybe I just didn’t push it quite enough and do the best round I could have,” Chapot said following her win. “I played it a little bit too safe, so today I was really ready to go in there and try to win the class.”
It was obvious to the spectators around the International Ring that the partnership between Chapot and Quointreau Un Prince was solid and both horse and rider trusted each other.
“I’ve actually had him since he was five years old. I bought him from McLain and he’s still part-owner of the horse. He’s been a super horse for me his whole life. He’s won a ton of Grand Prixs. He won the first Grand Prix down here last year.”
While he is a professional in the show ring, Chapot revealed that Quointreau Un Prince is not as fond of practicing flatwork and schooling at home as he is competing.
“He is a horse who really enjoys his job. It’s funny because he’s really just a show horse. He doesn’t care too much to go out and exercise or do flatwork,” Chapot laughed. “He’s funny that way, but when he enters the ring he’s a totally different horse.”
Chapot noted the importance of attentive and personalized horse care, saying, “I think each horse is an individual and you have to cater to their needs. That horse in particular, sometimes the hot weather can get to him. We always try to keep him a little bit fresh and fit enough so that the heat doesn’t bother him as much.”
Chapot was one of only four horse-and-rider combinations to advance to the second round of competition. Darragh Kenny and Robert Castro’s Caliber 9, also made the cut but the Irish rider opted not to jump-off, leaving the title up for grabs for three riders.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle, who went 30th in the original order and were clean in the first round, had one knock-down in the jump-off.
Kent Farrington and Gazelle
Gazelle, owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, blazed through the second round in 38.498 seconds, beating Chapot’s time of 38.677 seconds, but their knockdown secured Chapot’s victory.
Rounding out the top three spots was Hardin Towell aboard Evergate Stable, LLC’s Emilie De Diamant A S. Although the pair went late in the order, they were able to navigate the course with no faults. In the jump-off, Towell was unable to best the other riders’ times, clocking in at 39.074 seconds to earn the third-place ribbon.
Hardin Towell and Emilie De Diamant A S