Saugerties, NY: Laura Chapot and ISHD Dual Star claimed the first $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix of the 2015 HITS Saugerties Series on Friday afternoon at HITS-on-the-Hudson by a margin of less than a quarter-second, usurping second place finisher Olympian Peter Leone on Wayfarer, who had previously held onto the lead in the eight-horse jump-off.
"I was very pleased with my horse's performance -- she was great," Chapot said of ISHD Dual Star, owned by Mary Chapot, after taking the blue ribbon. "She has been kind of knocking at the door to win one [a Grand Prix] this year. She won a couple of classes last year, but this is her first win for this year, so I'm really pleased with that."
After an exciting first round, Quentin Judge on HH Fyloe, owned by Double H Farm, went first in the jump-off and sped through the course in 39.667 seconds but knocked down a rail to ultimately land in fifth place. Leone and Wayfarer, owned by Lionshare Farm, went second and earned the first double-clear, setting the Great American Time to Beat at 40.895 seconds, which they held until Chapot’s turn in the ring, when she clocked in faultless at 40.653 seconds.
Diego Vivero, on his Bandurria Hulman, went third, after Leone, offering excited spectators another double-clear, and clocking in at 42.245 to temporarily hold second place. Olympian Mclain Ward went fourth on HH Best Buy, also owned by Double H Farm, but quickly picked up four faults to land in sixth. Saugerties' own Heather Caristo-Williams went fifth on Freak Out, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo, but eight faults put her in seventh.
Going sixth, Chapot and ISHD Dual Star’s deft navigation of a tight turnback early in the shortened course and a crisp ride thereafter set them on a clear path to the win. Neither rider following Chapot successfully challenged her first place position. Ronan McGuigan and his Capall Zidane, who had bested her on Wednesday in the Brook Ledge Open Welcome, felled two rails and placed eighth, and Amanda Flint, on her VDL Wittinger, had four faults to place fourth.
"We've had a great week," said Chapot, of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, who plans to compete at HITS-on-the-Hudson throughout the summer. "We were second in the Brook Ledge [Open Welcome] and first and second in Open Speed yesterday.”
She praised course designer Alan Wade's work. "He always does fantastic courses; it's nice to know when you come here, you're going to get a good, competitive class out there."
$25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix - HITS-on-the-Hudson I
Place Horse Owner Rider Prize Round 1 Faults JO Faults JO Time
1 ISHD Dual Star Mary Chapot Laura Chapot $7,500 0 0 40.653
2 Wayfarer Lionshare Farm Peter Leone $5,500 0 0 40.895
3 Bandurria Hulman Diego Vivero Diego Vivero $3,250 0 0 42.245
4 VDL Wittinger Amanda Flint Amanda Flint $2,000 0 0 43.241
5 HH Fyloe Double H Farm Quentin Judge $1,500 0 4 39.667
6 HH Best Buy Double H Farm McLain Ward $1,250 0 4 42.085
7 Freak Out Mr & Mrs Ralph Caristo Heather Caristo-Williams $1,000 0 8 42.650
8 Capall Zidane Ronan McGuigan Ronan McGuigan $750 0 8 46.842
9 Qui Vive Des Songes Z Mr & Mrs Ralph Caristo Heather Caristo-Williams $750 1 * *
10 Bill Clinton Ronan McGuigan David Tromp $500 2 * *
11 Aries Noel Gross Jonathan Corrigan $500 2 * *
12 Thunder D'Amuray Darragh Kegrins & Maarten Huygens Darragh Kerins $500 3 * *