Lake Placid, NY - Irish Olympic veteran Kevin Babington rode Shorapur to the only clean round to claim victory in the $75,000 Devoucoux Grand Prix of Lake Placid to culminate the 47th annual Lake Placid Horse Show, presented by Sea Shore Stables LLC.
Thirty horses tried to master the 15-jump course designed by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany and while several came close, none could until Babington, 22nd in the order, entered the ring on his 11-year-old, Hanoverian mare. Riding in his first Grand Prix since winning the Grand Prix at Devon on June 2 on his Irish Sport Horse, Mark Q, Babington turned the trick and waited to see if anyone could match his ride and force a jump-off.
"There were still some good ones after me so I was holding my breath," he said, "and the truth is a few of them almost made it but they were a bit unlucky at the last fence."
In fact three entries after Babington were clean until the last fence -- Michael Hughes on Sans Soucis Z, Laura Chapot on ISHD Dual Star and Andrew Kocher on Ciana. "Dual Star has a big stride and I probably should have left one out coming to that last fence," said Chapot who rode the Irish Sport Horse to the win in last year's I Love New York Grand Prix at Lake Placid. "And Quointreau I think I overrode a little to the liverpool."
Chapot placed second on Quointreau Un Prince with the fastest four-fault ride and was third on ISHD Dual Star. She also finished seventh on Thornhill Kate. Fourth place went to Catherine Tyree on Enjoy Louis, fifth to Cormac Hanley on Captain Caruso and sixth to Michael Hughes on Sans Soucis Z.
"The last line really was very difficult," said Babington. "My mare is very careful and I knew I could put a little pressure on her and she came through beautifully for me. I've been riding in Devoucoux saddles for 10 years and I'm really happy to win their Grand Prix here in Lake Placid which has always been a very special horse show for me."
The win without a jump-off marked only the second time that has happened in the Grand Prix of Lake Placid. It was done in 1999 by Molly Ashe on Resolute. It also happened in Lake Placid's I Love New York Grand Prix in 2009 when Charlie Jacobs won on Secret Love.
Additional information on the Lake Placid Horse Shows, Presented by Sea Shore Stables, LLC is available on line at www.lakeplacidhorseshow.com.