Articles: Press Release
Laura Chapot and Sprite Do It Again in Acorn Hill Farm Speed Challenge
at 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival
PHOTO CREDIT: Laura Chapot and Sprite win Acorn Hill Speed Challenge.
Photo by Randi Muster.
Diana De Rosa for Phelps Media Group, Inc.
Mason Phelps, Jr. of Phelps Media Group, Inc. at (561)
753-3389 or at email@example.com
Wellington, FL - February 25, 2005 - It was no surprise when Sprite,
ridden by Laura Chapot, crossed the finish line with a clean round and
the fastest time of 57.780 seconds at the Winter Equestrian Festival in
Wellington, FL. Not only had they won the Acorn Hill Farm Speed
Challenge during the same week last year, but they were the winner of
the series as well and received the 2004 Acorn Hill Farm 1.40m Speed
Series Award. The format for the 1.40m Speed Challenge was Table II
Section 1, Faults and Time in the First Round.
This year, things are looking pretty good for the pair. They have
already claimed second and third place ribbons in two of the three
previous Acorn Hill classes. The class is usually held in the
Internationale arena on the grass, but today the conditions were a bit
The rain came down in buckets very early Friday morning and the decision
was made to move the $5,000 Acorn Hill Speed Challenge out of the grassy
Internationale Arena and into the sandy DeNemethy Arena in order to
ensure good footing for the horses.
While Chapot would have loved to compete on the grass, she was glad for
the change, noting, "It's nice that we have the option of going on the
sand rings where the footing is good even in the rain."
Sprite seemed to jump on the sand just as well as she had jumped on the
grass. "She is very fast naturally. I don't have to do much more.
She's incredibly careful, which makes it nice. I don't have to worry so
much about keeping the jumps up; just getting to the fences."
While she felt confident about her mare, the rain caused for many of the
114 original competitors listed in the order to scratch, opting to save
their mounts for another day. Ultimately, a field of 35 competed over
Venezuelan designer Leopoldo Palacios-Jugo's course. Olympic course
designer Palacios kept the rainy conditions in mind, but still tested
both horses and riders, offering them lots of options throughout the
course. Canadian course designer Peter Holmes worked with Palacios in
setting up the course.
"We need to take care of the horses," commented Palacios. "But they can
Added Holmes, "The footing is not slippery, just deep and heavy; that
was the issue. But we gave them huge options. So it was their choice
and that's the goal. You need options so the riders can choose what is
best for their horse."
Palacios agreed, noting that every horse reacts differently. This
course took into consideration the weather and the footing while still
offering a lot of options, allowing the riders to make tight turns and
bold moves. The course consisted of 11 jumps, including one triple and
one double combination. Riders had choices right from the start, but it
was the end of course where most of the rails fell. The most difficult
part of the course proved to be fences #9 and #10. Fence #8 was a
square oxer and from there the riders needed to make almost a complete
turn in order to get to #9, an orange and white square oxer. Fence #10
was a yellow and white vertical.
Chapot explained that rollback fences always tend to be a problem
because "it depends on the number of strides you get and the angle you
take the fence at." For Sprite, it wasn't a problem. "She's pretty
experienced and this is easy for her," she said.
Chapot added that Sprite was off the previous week and definitely
feeling her oats. "When she has time off, she jumps extra high and so I
have to make sure she is not too strong."
Chapot continued on about #10 explaining, "It is at the end of the
course coming towards home and after #9 it's a long run and a gallop.
It's a vertical and their momentum is going, so they tend to flatten
over the jump," catching a rail in the process.
In fact, Chapot's other mount was one of the horses who was snagged by
#9. She and Three Coins were last to go and although their time of
58.073 seconds would have put them second, that rail down for four
faults placed them 14th.
It was Margie Engle on Canaille who took the early lead in this class
with their clear round in a time to beat of 64.064 seconds. They were
the sixth pair to compete.
It took another 16 riders to go before Chapot took over the lead with
Sprite. Three riders later, Neo, ridden by Kent Farrington, stopped the
clocks with a clear round in 59.207 seconds to place second. Farrington
helped Neo to that victory by guiding him into very tight, smooth turns
to the jumps.
Now the riders were on a roll, as the next to enter was Chappie, ridden
by Debbie Stephens. Their bold, forward moving round was just what was
needed to move them into third place with a clear go in 63.526 seconds,
just ahead of Canaille and Engle.
No one else was able to meet the challenge that Sprite presented and a
very happy Chapot claimed the first place ribbon. It was obvious the
love she has for her mount. "I really love it when that horse wins.
She's very special to me. I've had her since she was six years old.
She is a show jumper and she knows how to play the game!"
Week five is Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters CSI 3* and runs
February 23-27 as part of the nine week long Winter Equestrian Festival
taking place in Wellington, FL.
Today's Acorn Hill Speed Challenge was the fifth of eight classes
offered during the Winter Equestrian Festival and are a part of the
North American League Open Speed Challenge Series. Concluding the
series, the winning horse who has earned the most prize money during WEF
will receive the Acorn Hill Farm 1.40m Speed Series Award. The award
will be presented during the Budweiser American Invitational on April
2nd. Who knows, maybe Chapot and Sprite will again claim that award, as
they have been consistently in the ribbons.
So far, no rider has won twice this year in the Acorn Hill Challenge.
In week 1 (January 26-30), the winner was Antigua RG, ridden by Laura
Kraut to a clean round in 55.517 seconds. Second place finisher was
Sprite (0/56.569). Week 2 (February 2-6) winner was Pia, ridden by
Olympic veteran Beezie Madden to a clear round in 70.111 seconds. This
time, Chapot and Sprite were third (0/72.610). Week 3 (February 9-13)
winner was Far West, ridden by Darragh Kerins (0/60.073). Week 4 was
Hunter week at WEF and no Speed Challenge class was held.
The $20,000 1.50m Classic is the Saturday feature at 1:00 p.m. during
the 2005 Winter Equestrian Festival. The main event is Sunday's $75,000
Zada Enterprises, LLC Masters Cup - CSI 3*, a member event of the AGA
Series of Show Jumping, kicking off at 2pm.
Official Results-#1005-$5000 Acorn Hill Speed Challenge-Table II, Sec 1.
- 02-25-05-Internationale Arena-NAL
1 - Sprite, Laura Chapot - 0/57.780
2 - Neo, Kent Farrington - 0/59.207
3 - Chappie, Debbie Stephens - 0/63.526
4 - Canaille, Margie Engle - 0/64.064
5 - Popeye, Norman Dello Joio - 0/64.899
6 - Perfekt, Candice King - 0/65.115
7 - Crabamboli, Michael Morrissey - 0/65.316
8 - Quincy B, Jaime Guerra - 0/66.098
9 - Ratina Z, Carolyn Kelly - 0/67.709
10 - Shinto, Leslie Ward - 0/69.427
11 - Hot Wheels, Darragh Kerins - 0/71.202
12 - Superior, Ramiro Quintana - 0/79.581
The North American League (NAL) runs a 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 2005, please visit the Ryegate Show Services
website at www.Ryegate.com .
Saly Glassman and Ginger Watt Take $1500 Adequan Amateur- Owner Jumper
Saly Glassman and Ginger Watt produced the winning round in a field of
27 starters in the Adequan Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Table II, sec 1, on
Friday morning, February 25, in the rain at the Winter Equestrian
Festival in Wellington, FL.
Fourteen competitors negotiated clear rounds and advanced to the
jump-off, where seven of the 14 riders produced double clear rounds.
Ginger Watt crossed the finish line in 36.070 seconds ahead of second
place finisher Kelly Soleau riding Carrera to a clear go in 38.636
seconds. Max Utopia and Louise Otten finished in third place in 40.005
Official Results - #1032M $1500 Adequan Amateur-Owner Jumpers, Table II
Sec 1- 2-25-05-Internationale Arena
1 - Ginger Watt, Saly Glassman -0-0/36.070
2 - Carrera, Kelly Soleau -0-0/38.636
3 - Max Utopia, Louise Otten -0-0/40.005
4 - Rowan, Alexa Weeks -0-0/41.178
5 - Larone, Tracey Weinberg -0-0/41.366
6 - Cash Flow, Katrina Woods -0-0/41.681
7 - El Caro, Julia Levine -0-0/42.711
8 - Catia Z, Gabby Slome -0-4/38.907
9 - Campezino, Lara Gay -0-4/39.659
10 - Anvia, Sophie Coppedge -0-4/42.670
11 - Taboo's Iverna S, Ellessa Reisman -0-4/46.293
12 - Crack Z, Kristina Lyons - 0-8/45.089
2005 Winter Equestrian Festival Fast Facts
EVENT: Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida
WHAT: Seven-week hunter/jumper and 3-week dressage horse show circuit
Stadium Jumping, Inc.
WHERE: Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club,
14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, Florida 33414
WHEN: Wednesday through Sunday 2005 Show Dates:
Feb 9-13: Kilkenny/ICH Internationale, CSI 3*, 'AA'
Feb 16-20: Lincoln Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular, CSI-W/Y/Ch,
Feb 17-20: Zada Enterprises, LLC Florida Dressage Classic
Feb 23-27: Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters, CSI 3*,
March 2-6: Cosequin Wellington Open, CSI-W, 'AA'
March 9-13: CN Finale, CSIO-US 4*, 'AA'
March 17-20: Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic, CDI
HOURS: Wednesday through Sunday, 8:00 a.m. to approximately 4:00 p.m.
ADMISSION: General Admission Tickets are available at the gate.
Wednesday: Admission is free. *Children 12 &Under Free
Thursday and Friday: Adults- $5.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13
& Over- $5.00
Saturday: Adults- $10.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over-
Sunday: Adults- $15.00, Seniors (65)/Children 13 & Over-
Weekly General Admission Pass- $30.00
Seasonal General Admission Pass- $125.00
VIP SEATING: Box Seats Tickets may be purchased at the gate. (Limited
Location: Internationale Arena
Thursday and Friday: $15.00
Seasonal Reserved Box Seats- $250.00 per seat
VIP Tables in The Jockey Club (located at the International Arena) are
available for purchase through Phelps Media Group, Inc. Please call
PARKING: Parking is free Wednesday through Sunday
DIRECTIONS: Approaching the show grounds from the Florida Turnpike, take
Exit #93, Lake Worth Blvd., and travel west, crossing over 441. Travel
five miles to South Shore Blvd., turn right on South Shore and proceed
one mile to Pierson Road, then turn left at the light. Spectator
Entrance is first left, on Equestrian Road. Approaching the show grounds
from Interstate I-95, take Exit 49. Travel west on Forest Hill Blvd. 11
miles to South Shore Blvd. Turn left on South Shore and follow to
Pierson Road. Turn right at the light on Pierson. Spectator Entrance is
first left - Equestrian Road.
THE FACILITY: The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is the home of the
Winter Equestrian Festival and the site of the first outdoor Nations Cup
held in the United States. The competition areas include the 400' x 400'
grass Internationale Arena, which is surrounded by bermed seating,
chalets, and VIP areas; plus the Bertalan DeNemethy Arena and Grand
Hunter Field, both with all weather footing. Amenities include The
Jockey Club VIP area.
PRIZE MONEY: Over $3 Million in total prize money, including:
* $1 Million Grand Prix Series
* $450,000 1.50 M-1.30M Jumper Series
* $300,000 Amateur-Owner Jumper Series
* $100,000 Senior Jumper Series
* $395,000 USEF 'AA' Hunter Section Series
* $200,000 Junior Jumper Series
* $168,000 Adult Amateur Jumper Series
* $32,000 Children's Jumper Series
* $9,500 Pony Jumper Series
* Sunday, Feb 13, 2:00 p.m.: $50,000 Kilkenny/ICH Internationale
Cup, CSI 3*
* Saturday, Feb 19, 7:00 p.m.: AHJF Hunter Spectacular of Palm
* Sunday, Feb 20, 9:00 a.m.: $10,000 WEF Individual Young Rider
Team and Individual Competition, CSI/Y Final
* Sunday, Feb 20, 2:00 p.m.: $60,000 Lincoln Idle Dice Classic
presented by Palm Beach Post, CSI-W
* Friday, Feb 25, 7:00 p.m.: $15,000 Solaray Junior Jumper
* Sunday, Feb 27, 2:00 p.m.: $75,000 Zada Enterprises, LLC
Masters Cup, CSI 3*
* Friday, March 4, 7:00 p.m.: $15,000 Solaray Amateur-Owner
Jumper Gambler's Choice
* Sunday, March 6, 2:00 p.m.: $75,000 Cosequin Florida Open
Grand Prix, CSI-W
* Friday, March 11, 7:00 p.m.: $50,000 Samsung Nations Cup CSIO
4* presented by CN
* Sunday, March 13, 2:00 p.m.: $100,000 US Open Jumper
Championship CSIO 4* presented by CN
FOOD: A diverse menu of food and beverages is available at the vendor
courtyard and at vendors around the Internationale Arena, and are open
during show hours.
SHOPPING: The vendor courtyard and individual booths around the
Internationale Arena both offer equestrian equipment, apparel, jewelry,
and home furnishings.
ECONOMIC IMPACT: The Winter Equestrian Festival, produced by Eugene R.
Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc., is the largest and longest
consecutively running sporting event in the world. It is also the
largest equestrian event and major contributor to Palm Beach County's
$553+ million equestrian industry. (Courtesy of Palm Beach County
Equestrian Commission, Inc.)
PALM BEACH POLO EQUESTRIAN CLUB: 14440 Pierson Rd., Wellington, FL,
33414; Tel: 561-793-JUMP; Fax: 561-753-7727; Website:
STADIUM JUMPING, INC.: Corporate Office- 1301 Sixth Ave West, Suite 406,
Bradenton, FL, 34205; Tel: 941-744-5465; Fax: 941-744-0874; Website: