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Sprite and Laura Chapot win $30,000 Stillwill-Hansen Grand Prix.

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Laura Chapot Guides Sprite and Samantha to a One-Two Finish in $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix at 110th Annual Monmouth County Horse Show

Written by: Kenneth Kraus, Jennifer Wood and Jenny Ross
Client: Monmouth County Horse Show
Release Date: 2005-08-21

Kenneth Kraus, Jennifer Wood, and Jenny Ross for Phelps Media Group, Inc.

MEDIA CONTACT: Kenneth Kraus of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561) 753-3389 or at

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PHOTO CREDIT: Sprite and Laura Chapot win $30,000 Stillwill-Hansen Grand Prix. Photo by Randi Muster

Laura Chapot Guides Sprite and Samantha to a One-Two Finish in $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix at 110th Annual Monmouth County Horse Show

Freehold, NJ – August 21 – Under the sweltering sun of a broiling Sunday afternoon in New Jersey, red hot Laura Chapot burned up the jump-off track and soared to a one-two finish in the $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix as the 110th Annual Monmouth County Horse Show came to a close at East Freehold Park.

Forty starters went to the post in the 1:30pm main event at the Stillwell-Hansen Arena. The class was scored under Table II, Sec 2a, Time First Jump Off. Blake Alder of Germantown, Tennessee, designed today’s challenge.

It was apparent early on that it would be a very large field returning for the timed tie-breaker, as four of the first six horse and rider combinations mastered the first round track with ease. In the end, the scoreboard showed that twenty of the forty entered qualified for the encounter against the clock with first round clears. Eight riders had four faults, and twelve had eight or more in round one. Today’s class was seven shy of the record clear for a jump-off, set at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Tampa, Florida, when twenty-seven qualified for the second round.

Memphis and Caitlyn Shiels led off the tiebreaker with a clear go and a jump-off time of 27.719 seconds to set the pace. Ken Berkley, the eventual third place finisher, rode third in the jump off and took over the top spot early on with Maestro,owned by Rivers Edge Farm. Berkley tripped the timers in 26.349 seconds.

Carsten Jaeger, a consistent ribbon winner all week at Monmouth rode fifth and slid into second place behind Berkley. Riding Classic H, owned by Winley Farm, LLC, Jaeger stopped the clocks in 26.512 seconds.

The Sundance Group’s Samantha and rider Laura Chapot entered the fray from the seventh spot in the order and moved right to the top of the leader board with an amazing time of 25.536 seconds. Her time was 8/10ths of a second faster than that of Berkley’s.

Lavaletta, owned by the Trelawny Farm and ridden by Eric Hasbrouck, followed Samantha by two and gave it a go. But when the dust settled for Eric, he had to settle for a slot on the leader board just behind Jaeger in fourth place with a time of 26.944 seconds.

Max Amaya and Sarah Becker’s Church Road also looked like contenders, but the scoreboard flashed 26.954 seconds, putting Amaya right behind Hasbrouck in the standings.

Laura Chapot returned with Sprite in the seventeenth spot in the posted order. It was obvious that the New Jersey duo’s reputation preceded them as the crowd buzzed with a noticeable excitement. The large gathering’s anticipation of a fast and furious go was rewarded straight away. It was time to turn out the lights as Sprite and Chapot flashed across the finish line in 25.239 seconds, 0.29 seconds faster than her ride on her first gray mare Samantha.

“I think because there were so many in the jump-off you really couldn’t hold back,” Chapot said following the one-two finish. “You had to go all out for the win and both of my horses are very fast horses. So I really had an advantage that way. You had to make all the angles, you had to make all the turns, you just had to take a shot,” she said.

Ken Berkley, whose time held up for third place, admitted that he knew he was riding for third place. “Ah yes, I knew,” he said laughing. “I don’t know Samantha that well, but I do know Sprite, and she’s like lightning. She is so fast,” Berkley said. “Maestro is a slow horse anyway, so this was a good jump-off for him. He’s slow and more comfortable over a big Palm Beach course where that kind of speed is sometimes not necessary.”

Laura’s father, Frank Chapot, was honored for his years of service just prior to today’s $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix and following the class, was asked if he expected a one-two finish from his daughter. “No,” he laughed. “But, I’m sure glad she did! There weren’t a lot of options in the jump-off, so you just had to put your foot to the floor and go. It was a great day for the whole family today at Monmouth,” Chapot went on to say. “I was touched by their ceremony for me before the class.”

Laura Chapot spoke of the value of having her father help her prepare. “He gives me a tremendous amount of help. We go over the course and he gives me advice on how to ride and what risks to take,” she explained. “And he supports and reinforces my ideas on how to ride the course. I can bounce ideas off of him. And he watches the first part of the jump off while I’m warming up and gives me an idea of what the course designer’s done for the speed phase. He has so much knowledge and experience and knows just where I can and can’t do certain things,” Chapot said.

Chapot talked about the huge jump-off and felt that Alder was a notch or two away from a better total. “I think if he could have just tweaked a few parts of the course here and there he could have had a lot less clear,” she said. “I think the track was fine so maybe just one hole here or there or a flat cup here or there and things might have been totally different.”

Both Chapot and Berkley had nice words for this year’s edition of the Monmouth County Horse Show. “I think they try hard here and the management team really does a good job with this facility,” Chapot noted. “And every year they continue to work on it, and every year this show improves. They’re somewhat limited on space, so some of the secondary rings aren’t ideal, but I really think they’ve done the best with what they have to work with.”

“I think it’s nice to see the numbers they’re getting here in the big jumper division,” added Berkley. “What’d they end up with? Forty-one starters? That’s pretty nice for a New Jersey horse show. The footing is good, the courses are good and they do a great job.”

Laura Chapot’s Mom, Mary, summed the day up best. “Over the top!” she beamed. “The two mares were fantastic, and the Monmouth County Horse Show did such a nice job with the ceremony for Frank. I think he really appreciated it.”

Official Results - $30,000 Stillwell-Hansen Grand Prix – Table II, Sec 2a – 08-21-05 – Stilwell-Hansen Arena – Course Designer, Blake Alder

1 – Sprite, Laura Chapot- Laura Chapot -0-0/25.239
2 – Samantha, Laura Chapot – Sundance Group – 0-0/25.536
3 – Maestro, Ken Berkley – Rivers Edge Farm – 0-0/26.349
4 – Classic H, Carsten Jaeger – Winley Farm LLC -0-0/26.512
5 - Lavaletta, Eric Hasbrouck – Trelawny Farm – 0-0/26.944
6 – Church Road, Max Amaya – Sarah Becker – 0-0/26.954
7 – Capitano, Danielle Torano – Sir Ruly, Inc. – 0-0/27.190
8 – Mianta, Callan Solem – Quiet Winter Farm – 0-0/27.351
9 – Casar, Brianne Goutal – Cloverleaf Farm – 0-027.457
10 – Memphis, Caitlin Shiels – Caitlin Shiels -0-0/27.719
11 – Olympus, Cara Raether – Trelawny Farm – 0-0/27.857
12 – Louisiana, Peter Leone – Winshare, LLC – 0-0/28.634

The morning class on the last day of the Monmouth County Horse Show was the $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic. The class was scored as Table II, Section 2(a), Time First Jump-off, with course designer Blake Alder setting up a rolling track that included twelve numbered jumps consisting of fifteen obstacles. The time allowed was 86 seconds, which no one had a problem with this morning.

The problem section of the course came early at 4A-B, a long two stride off of a tight turn. The only fall on course came at this combination. In the first round, eleven entries were clear into the jump-off. The shortened course was pared down to only six jumps, but was spread out across the Stillwell-Hansen Arena.

First into the jump-off was 17 year old Carolyn Kelly of New York, NY on her own 10 year old gray mare Lydia. Kelly blazed around the course for a clear round in the time of 30.750 seconds. That time would prove to be the best, as no one else was able to catch her. “My grays were great this week!” Kelly said afterward. Kelly was also crowned the Grand Junior Hunter Champion yesterday on her dapple grey Small Junior Hunter, Cool Blue.

“I’m still just getting to know Lydia. I’ve only had her for a few months,” Kelly revealed. “She’s a little different ride than any of my other horses. You have to really hold your hands up high and she’ll jump up to your hands. It’s taught me a lot about body position, which I think is really important. The greatest thing about her is that she’s such a trier and she’s brave. She’ll really try anything you ask her to do.”

Kelly also qualified her second horse Blast, owned by Scott Stewart, into the jump off and went seventh in the order. “I really wanted to win it on him, because he’s higher in the national standings, and be second on her. I galloped to the last jump and had the last jump down. I still didn’t have the time, though,” she remarked.

Although she was not going all out for the win on Lydia, she did add, “I was thinking I wanted to set the pace and find a nice track.” However, Kelly and Lydia did take off time where no else could. “I think one to two was really important to be slick there, because you could hug the standard and have a really quick time. The rest of it, I just rode pretty nice, and she is so fast across the ground, that I ended up with the fastest time,” she explained.

The sixth horse into the jump-off was It’s Morado and Kelly Maloney. The big chestnut seemed to be on his way to beating Kelly’s time, but they finished just off the pace with 30.901 seconds and a clear round. Kelly and Maloney were more than two seconds faster than the third place competitor, Grazeau and William Coleman, who rode for Tivoli Farm in a time of 33.008 seconds. Fourth in the jump-off and the only other clear round was Katrina Woods and Ina Brun, who came home in 33.521 seconds. The fastest time in the jump-off was set by Shindig and Joy Slater, but they also had an unfortunate four faults to put them in fifth place.

Official Results- $5,000 Junior/Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic- Table II, Sec. 2(a)-Stillwell-Hansen Arena – 08-21-05

1 - Lydia, Carolyn Kelly- 0-0/30.750
2- It’s Morado, Kelly Maloney- 0-0/30.901
3- Grazeau, William Coleman, Tivoli Farm- 0-0/33.008
4- Ina Brun, Katrina Woods- 0-0/33.521
5- Shindig, Joy Slater, Fat Chance Farm- 0-4/30.517
6 - Blast, Carolyn Kelly, Scott Stewart- 0-4/31.017
7 - Rastella, Clementine Goutal, Halifax Farm- 0-4/31.401
8- Crackie, William Coleman, Tivoli Farm- 0-4/32.373
9 - Cash-Flow, Katrina Woods- 0-4/32.395

The Grand Hunter Arena presented two Marshall & Sterling Jumper Classics today. Both classes were also NAL and WIHS qualifiers, counting for points towards the Washington International Horse Show and the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. 35 competitors performed their first round today in the Children’s Marshall & Sterling/NAL/WIHS Jumper Classic. The Table II 2 (A) format allowed 14 horse and rider combinations to return for the Philip J. Devita designed jump-off
Tiger Lily, the second to return for the tie breaker, scored a time of 35.215 with her rider Paige Hendersen. Henderson held the lead until Moonlight Sonata and Lauren Pedicini ticked the timers with a blazing 33.208. Topping her score seemed impossible; however, Kali Jerman, the last to compete in the class, completed the course with a stellar time of 32.837. Jerman and her mount Canon earned top honors today and enjoyed a victory lap in the winner’s circle. They reside in Farmingdale, New Jersey.

Jerman rides with trainer Hugo Huesca. Huesca, a grand prix rider himself, trained four of today’s jump-off competitors. All four of his students rode double clear rounds and finished in the ribbons. Christina Johnson and Press for Time earned the sixth spot in the victory gallop, while Paula Disalvo and Forastero took seventh.

Huesca commented, “We love this show because it’s so close for us; we attend every year. And every year the place gets better and better. Carol Stillwell is such a hard worker, and she really makes everything happen here at Monmouth. You can tell that everyone takes a lot of pride in this show.”

He has worked with winner Jerman for over a year and felt that all of his riders were well prepared for the course today. “I think there were some trouble spots,” mentioned Huesca, “but I think the riders were all very well-schooled. Kali and her horse were excellent. Could not have been better! I am so pleased.” He and his two grand prix horses, Siempre and Inca, will return next year to compete in the grand prix.

Kali and Canon also earned the grand champion honors for the Children’s Jumper division. The reserve champion went to Gracia and Megan Kiessling.

The Marshall & Sterling/NAL/WIHS Adult Jumper Classic immediately followed the children’s with 40 entries. 18 revisited the ring for a tie breaker. Patricia Diamond and Little Tom of Kintnersville, PA came back 12th in the order, and took over the lead with a time of 30.530. Her time proved unbeatable, and she was presented with a beautiful bouquet and ribbon for a victory gallop. The second award went to Porzona and Heather Macnew, with third going to Rory Hovell aboard Vivace.

Diamond’s training is “a teamwork effort” according to Cindy Harrington. Harrington coached the winner this week, while Diamond works at home with Chris Kappler and Holly Mitten. “I help her whenever Chris and Holly can’t make it,” commented Harrington, “we all work together.”

“This year was awesome,” commented Harrington, “They won yesterday too. He is such an amazing horse. He’ll just jump anything for his mom. He just loves her so much. Diamond and her Little Tom tied for champion for the Adult Amateur Jumper division with Felini and Stephen T. Heineke.

Philip J. Devita commented on his course designs today, “With the classics here in a larger ring, I could design more of an open course with plenty of options, and all of the riders took the inside turns. Today’s tracks are big, flowing courses without many related distances. I put some forward lines in the earlier part of the course, with some shorter lines later on. The combination at 5AB is a bit tricky because they really needed to shorten up there. It’s tough to build at the 3’6’’ height sometimes because a lot of these horses can pat the ground and jump up, so I like to make a lot of turns so that riders can balance and adjust their horses. I wanted these courses to be fun, with serpentines and inside tracks allowing all kinds of options.”

PHOTO CREDIT: Sprite and Laura Chapot win $30,000 Stillwill-Hansen Grand Prix. Photo by Randi Muster


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