Wellington, FL - January 14, 2010 - Speed was the order of the day in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge class at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ, and her trusty partner Bradberry took the blue ribbon in the last class in the International Arena.
Held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, the 2011 WEF will host 12 consecutive weeks of competition through April 3, 2011.
Course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY, set the track for today's class. There were 21 entries, and seven of those were able to keep all of the jumps up. Riding out of the ninth spot in the order, Chapot and Bradberry were chasing a very fast time set by Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Belle Blue S, owned by Jerry and Maria Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm LLC. They stopped the timers in 68.820 seconds.
Chapot and Bradberry were able to shave just enough time off the clock to move into the lead in 68.013 seconds. No one else in the class would be able to catch her time. Third place went to Juan Jose Bancalari (MEX) on Villeneuve, who was clear in 70.885 seconds.
Bradberry, a 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding, has been a steady competitor in the 1.40m classes at WEF having won the circuit championship in the division twice. Chapot has ridden him for many years, and although he has gone to different riders throughout that time, he has always returned to Chapot.
"When he first came into this country, he was with McLain Ward and just starting," Chapot remembered. "I rode him then. He's gone to different owners, but now he's back and I'm excited to have him. He's one of my favorites."
Chapot described, "He really suits my kind of ride. He's super energetic and he loves to go in there and perform. He's very careful. For a lot of people, they would say he's high-strung and erratic, but that works in my favor. That's the kind of horse I like."
With her new mare Tsarin, Chapot finished sixth. "I just got her last year and she's just starting to move up. I'm hoping to do some bigger things with her. This is her first time ever in Palm Beach," she said.
Chapot was happy to make it down to Wellington to compete and be in the favorable weather. "We just barely escaped in between storms in New Jersey," she said with a smile. "It's definitely nice to be here!"
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival will continue tomorrow with the Suncast 1.50m Classic, held at 1 p.m. in the International Arena. The highlight class of the week is Sunday's $30,000 Speed Derby at 1 p.m.
Final Results: $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge
- 1 BRADBERRY LAURA CHAPOT LAURA CHAPOT: 0/68.013
- 2 BELLE BLEU S SHANE SWEETNAM SPY COAST FARM LLC & JERRY & MARIA SWEETNAM: 0/68.820
- 3 VILLENUEVE JUAN JOSE BANCALARI JUAN JOSE BANCALARI: 0/70.885
- 4 KEEP IT SIMPLE HANNAH ISOP TRACY FREELS: 0/71.710
- 5 DAYDREAM ST PAUL O'SHEA : 0/72.335
- 6 TSARIN LAURA CHAPOT LAURA & MARY CHAPOT: 0/75.506
- 7 G&C TROPI GOLD MARIA SCHAUB G&C FARM: 0/77.784
- 8 CHILI PEPPER LAURA CHAPOT LAURA CHAPOT: 4/70.176
- 9 WINDE LAURA KRAUT PIN OAK FARM: 4/70.404
- 10 TIBOR SCHUYLER RILEY BONNIE SMITH: 4/74.941
- 11 TARANTEL'LA MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY EMILY D'ALESSANDRO: 4/77.217
- 12 THE MAN TO SEE JAMES NORTH FAIR PLAY FARM: 4/79.015
Photo Credit: Laura Chapot and Bradberry won the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge in the first week of the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.