Laura Chapot & Out of Ireland. ph: Sportfot.
Laura Chapot (USA) and Out of Ireland out-paced a field of 91 entries to win the $6,000 Bainbridge 1.40m Speed Challenge on Friday, January 12, concluding the third day of competition at the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
Of the 91 entries in Friday’s speed challenge, 16 jumped the Eric Hasbrouck-designed course without fault, but speed was the name of the game, and none proved able to catch Chapot and Out of Ireland, owned by The Edge and Laura Chapot. Chapot and the 11-year-old Anglo European mare went 19th in the order, tripping the timers in 64.681s and setting a time to beat that would go untouched for the remainder of the class.
Finishing in 2nd were Lacey Gilbertson (USA) and Echo D, owned by Seabrook LLC, on a time of 65.252s, while Hunter Holloway (USA) and Eastern Jam, owned by Hays Investment Corp., rounded out the top three on a time of 66.001s. Chapot also finished in 4th with a time of 67.114s aboard Zealous, owned by Mary Chapot.
“[Eric Hasbrouck] set a great track today,” said Chapot. “You can’t just go for broke. You have to find your rhythm and be smooth and tight. My horse has a huge stride, so you never feel like you’re really going super-fast with her; she’s just naturally a quick horse. So for her, my plan was just to keep a nice rhythm and keep going from jump to jump, not wasting too much time that way.”
That plan proved to be a good one for Out of Ireland, giving the mare the start to the winter season that Chapot was hoping for.
“She’s been gradually moving up the ranks. She won a few smaller grand prix last fall, and she’s just gotten really, really consistent in the last year,” said Chapot, who has had Out of Ireland since 2013 when she acquired the horse from Cian O’Connor. “We decided to start her out here in the 1.40m because she’s usually very excited to start after a break. She can be a little bit fresh and ready to go, so I was very pleased with her today. She was confident and smooth in the ring and really on her game. She put her mind to business and did her job.”
For the full results, click here.