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Laura Chapot And Sprite Win $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge, Section A

Jeffery Welles And Octavius Win $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge, Section B

WELLINGTON, FL – February 27, 2004 – With 148 horses entered in the $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge today at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, Stadium Jumping, Inc. management split the class into two sections. Laura Chapot aboard her own Sprite topped 70 horses in Section A. Jeffery Welles bested a field of 78 in Section B. Leopoldo Palacious Jugo designed the courses.

This is the second win in the meter-40 for Chapot and Sprite. They also claimed victory in the class on February 6 during WEF Week 2. “I was thrilled that she went so well again,” said Chapot. “She’s one of my favorite horses. She had about a week off and actually with the class being canceled the other day, I think that she was just in great form and so excited to be out there and going again. She was phenomenal.”

Of the 70 horses in Section A, 26 of them went clear over the 11-Fence Time First Round with a time allowed of 81 seconds. Chapot, 30, of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, had two entries. Going 17th in the order, she rode Three Coins for owner Windsome Farm Ltd to a clear trip in 62.046, which was eventually good enough for seventh place. Chapot aboard her second mount, Sprite, went 60th in the order and tripped the timers in the unbeatable time of 59.244. Michael Morrissey, 18, of Palmetto, Florida, riding Dame for owner Simonetta Meisels rode 38th in the order and was the class leader with his time of 59.815 until Chapot edged him into second place by just splits. Fabio Da Costa riding Tijuana Domar for Domar Team had gone 33rd in the order and briefly held the lead with his time of 60.291 before Morrissey took him down a peg and he ended up third.

Chapot said that she did not plot a faster route after testing the course with her first ride. “The second horse is just a naturally faster horse,” said Chapot. “Her natural pace is a lot faster than the first horse. The first horse was great. The second horse, even taking the exact same route, would be faster.”

Chapot noted that she watched Da Costa and talked to Morrissey, but did not change her game plan. “I didn’t get a chance to see Michael’s ride. I saw him after and I asked him if he had left out any strides. I had seen the person who was leading before him go and I knew that he was very fast, so I knew Michael must have been incredibly fast as well. He said he did the normal number of strides between the jumps.” Chapot said she actually wasn’t sure how she beat Morrissey’s time. “My mare was just jumping phenomenally. I tried to do the best route for her. I’m not sure what Michael’s path was, but I usually go in and ride my own course, my own game plan and hope that that’s going to be good enough. You really don’t have to press her to go much faster. It’s not like I’m kicking and driving every stride. She’s really careful, so it’s mostly just finding the smoothest, most direct route between the jumps.”

Chapot explained why today’s class drew so many entries. “First of all, everyone likes to go out on the grand prix field. And it’s a nice height – some people like to jump a course at that height with a grand prix horse just to get them familiar with the ring. It’s also a good height that you can start to move a younger horse up and give them an opportunity to go in that ring,” she said. The meter-40 class has jumps with heights up to 4’9” and spreads up to 5’3”. “So you see older horses, younger horses, and horses that are just Open Speed horses and are comfortable at that level.”

Chapot’s mare Sprite falls into the category of a young horse moving up. “She started the Open Speed last year and after this season in Florida will move up and start to do some of the larger classes, and maybe smaller grand prix over the summer,” said Chapot. Sprite is an eight-year-old Holsteiner mare by Quidam de Revelle that Chapot has owned for two years.

Wrapping up the action in the International Arena as dusk fell, Jeffery Welles of Pound Ridge, New York, riding Octavius for International Jumpers LLC topped a roster of 78 horses in the $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge, Section B. Cara Raether aboard So What owned by Trelawny Farm Inc. placed second. Laura Kraut riding Joyous for Summit Partners was third.

The $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge is part of the North American League Open Speed Series. The North American League (NAL) runs season-long series in six hunter and jumper divisions – Children’s Hunter, Children’s Jumper, Adult Hunter, Adult Jumper, Pony Jumper, and Open Jumper Speed. Each series culminates with a championship final at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, in October. Riders need not be members of the NAL to compete in any qualifying classes, but only current members earn points toward year-end finals. For more information and a list of qualifying competitions for 2004, please visit the Ryegate Show Services website at

First Year Green Hunter Champion Winner: Indian Summer, ridden by Sandy Ferrell, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo

Photo Credit: Randi Muster

In earlier competition today in the Grand Hunter Field, Havens Schatt riding Charming for owner Caroline Moran won the First Year Green Working Hunter Championship, Section A. Rob Bielefeld aboard C.C. Bloom for owner Samantha Hallman earned the Reserve.

Sandy Ferrell rode Indian Summer owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Caristo to the win the First Year Green Working Hunter Championship, Section B. Emily Williams aboard Protégé for All Seasons Farm earned the Reserve.

Regular Working Hunter Champion Winner: Storyline, ridden by Ken Smith, owned by Henrietta Armstrong
Photo Credit: Randi Muster



Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.


February 25 - 29 PDP Capital Wellington Masters CSI***

March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W

March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***

March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y

(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)

March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)


February 29 $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***

March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W

March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****

March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****

March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W

April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational,

Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune


Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

April 9 -11 Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****

April 11 $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcat Cup


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