Laura Chapot Nabs Top Two Spots in $100,000 Voltaire Grand Prix at HITS-on-the-Hudson III
Saugerties, N.Y. – June 11, 2023 – Laura Chapot was back on top to close out the final week of the HITS Saugerties Spring Series on Sunday afternoon, earning a one-two finish in the $100,000 Voltaire Grand Prix. Chapot and Diadora’s Flying Dutchman were the pathfinders of the day and produced the lone double clear on their way to victory, and she turned in the fastest 4-fault jump-off aboard Chandon Blue for second place. Peter Lutz was just fractions behind them for the third-place prize with Hollerno.
“Diadora’s Flying Dutchman is such a unique horse because you can always have a plan going in the ring, but sometimes that plan just is not always followed,” laughed Chapot after her win. “You have to feel what's under you and one minute he might be leaving out a stride, the next minute he might be adding, but he tries very hard over every jump. He has a lot of energy and he has a lot of ability, but he just needs to stay focused on his job, and then he's great!”
Laura Chapot and Diadora’s Flying Dutchman. Photo by: ESI Photography
Oscar Soberon set an exacting first-round course that tested riders with careful turns to delicate fences and included an oxer vertical-double combination in the middle of the course and a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination as the penultimate test with a bending line to the final wide oxer. Only five qualified for the jump-off, where Soberon used the expansive Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Stadium to challenge riders with long gallops to the first three fences making an ‘S’ through the ring, and concluded with the first part of the triple combination to the same final oxer away from the gate.
Peter Lutz and Hollerno. Photo by: ESI Photography
Chapot and Diadora’s Flying Dutchman were the first to return for the tiebreaker, and as the pathfinders, they quickly closed the door on the remaining riders as they left each of the rails in its cups and blazed across the finish line in 41.952 seconds. Lutz was the first to come close to catching her, but a rail down in the middle of the track would incur 4 faults and their time of 45.875 seconds would hold up for second place. Chapot was the last to return with Chandon Blue, her winning mount from Friday’s $25,000 HITS Grand Prix. Although she already had the win in hand, Chapot still gave it her all, but a rail coming out of the combination added 4 faults to their score. Their time of 45.004 would finish just ahead of Lutz for second place, and it would be Diadora’s Flying Dutchman who led the lap of honor.
Laura Chapot and Chandon Blue. Photo by: ESI Photography
“Having to go first with [Diadora’s Flying Dutchman] in the jump-off, I knew I had to follow my plan, lay down a fairly fast round to give everyone a little bit of something to aim for,” said Chapot. “I tried to stick with him and he's just good to keep on the same rhythm all the way around. The more forward you go, the more focused he stays, so my plan was not necessarily to follow any specific numbers, but just keep him going and keep him as smooth and even as possible. He ended up leaving out a stride to the last fence, which is not always my plan with him, but he was so focused and so on it that his stride really opened up and he gave it a good effort.”
Chapot was thrilled with her time at HITS Saugerties, concluding, "We are so happy to come here and know that we can show no matter what. Whether it's going to rain, snow, whatever, it's going to be fine. The horses are jumping really well off this footing, so I think that you're going to see a lot more people making this their plan for the summer.”
This marks the final week of the HITS-on-the-Hudson Spring Series, but jumper action will continue throughout the Summer as part of the eight-week HITS Saugerties Series, which runs through September at the world-class facility. HITS-on-the-Hudson will feature a $100,000 Grand Prix each week, in addition to the $25,000 HITS Grand Prix each Friday. Classics in the Junior/Amateur Jumpers close out each week, in addition to the High, Low and Modified Children’s and Adult Jumper Classics, which are qualifiers for the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League Finals.