Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue. Photo © Sportfot.
Wellington, FL – March 18, 2018 – The tenth week of competition at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded with a win for Laura Chapot (USA) and Chandon Blue in the $35,000 Hollow Creek 1.50m Classic CSI 3* on Sunday, March 18, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
The $35,000 Hollow Creek 1.50m Classic saw 53 entries contest the track set by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), with 14 advancing to the shortened jump-off track. Over the short course, it was Chapot aboard Chandon Blue, a 13-year-old Oldenburg gelding (Chacco Blue x Landcapitol) owned by Mary Chapot, who turned in the winning time of 36.145 seconds.
Second place went to Hunter Holloway (USA) and VDL Bravo S, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding (Ephepe For Ever x Chellano Z) owned by Hays Investment Corp, with a time of 36.565 seconds. With American ladies taking all three of the top spots, it was Lillie Keenan who finished in third with a time of 38.647 seconds riding Concho, a ten-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Cassaro 5 x Acord II) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC.
Chapot acquired her winning mount, Chandon Blue, from Irish rider Cian O’Connor in December of 2017, and she has used the 2018 WEF season to get to know the gelding.
“We’ve just kind of been figuring out which buttons to press, and I think today we got them all together,” said Chapot. “He’s a really fast and careful horse. He goes in there and tries his heart out and wants to win. I like his energy.”
Emma Vandenhouten and Spiderman Top Rosenbaum PLLC Large Pony Hunters
The last day of week ten at the Winter Equestrian Festival featured an exciting win for Emma Vandenhouten and her own entry, Spiderman, who earned the championship in the Rosenbaum PLLC Large Pony Hunter division. The pair secured the title with a sixth on the flat and a first, first, and seventh over fences.
“This win means a lot to me,” said Vandenhouten. “I thank my family for always being so supportive.”
The junior rider first began her journey to the top with Spiderman in the Large Children’s Pony Hunter division over a year ago, and the duo has continued to progress.
When asked about her history with the 11-year-old Welsh Pony Cross, Vandenhouten said, “When we moved up to the [Large Pony Hunter division], it definitely took us a little bit to get going, but we have done well. I have been mainly focusing on keeping him straight in the lines and in-and-outs and not letting him swap. He jumps his heart out, and he loves his food!”