Laura Chapot and Quointreau un Prince Top win Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4
Laura Chapot (USA) and Quointreau un Prince were victorious in the $35,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 4 on Thursday at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, Florida.
Steve Stephens (USA) set the course for 47 competitors in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), with four horse and rider combinations qualifying for the jump-off. Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Robert Castro’s Caliber 9 placed fourth after withdrawing from the second round.
Chapot and Quointreau un Prince were first to go in the tiebreaker and jumped the only double clear round in a time of 38.67 seconds to take the win. Kent Farrington (USA) and his own and Robin Parsky’s Gazelle were faster, but knocked one rail along the way to place second in 38.49 seconds. Hardin Towell (USA) and Evergate Stable’s Emilie de Diamant AS dropped one rail as well, finishing third with their time of 39.07.
“I am just thrilled with him,” Chapot said of the 13-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Diamant de Semilly x Rosire) that she owns in partnership with McLain Ward. “Going first is always a little difficult, but I felt like I had a good plan with him. He just really rose to the occasion and jumped super today.”
First to go in the jump-off with two very fast riders to follow, Chapot knew that she needed to set a big challenge. She used her experience from last week’s grand prix, in which she finished fourth riding ISHD Dual Star, as motivation.
“I felt like Saturday night my horse was jumping great, and maybe I just did not do the best round I could,” Chapot stated. “I played it a bit too safe, so today I was really ready to go in there and try to win the class. I did not want to leave the door open again.”
Chapot has ridden Quointreau un Prince since the gelding was five years old and spoke further of the horse that she now knows so well.
“He has been a super horse for me his whole life,” she described. “He has won a ton of grand prixs. He won the first grand prix of the circuit down here last winter. He is just a horse that really enjoys his job. He is funny because he is really just a show horse. He does not care too much to go out and exercise or do flat work. He is very quiet at home, but when he enters the show ring, he is a totally different horse.”