December 3, 2022

Laura Chapot and Diarado’s Flying Dutchman Soar to $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix Victory

Laura Chapot and Diarado’s Flying Dutchman Soar to $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix Victory 

The 2022 HITS Championship is quickly approaching, and riders are gearing up during HITS-on-the-Hudson VII as they prepare for the final week of competition. Top riders gathered at the Grand Prix Stadium to compete in Friday’s $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix, where Laura Chapot captured her second major win of the week after topping Thursday’s $10,000 HITS 1.40m Jumper Classic. This time she was aboard Diarado’s Flying Dutchman, who won the same event during HITS-on-the-Hudson III, and the duo has continued to improve their partnership throughout the summer at HITS Saugerties.

“He won one of the SmartPak events in the spring, but it’s taken a while for us to get to know each other,” explained Chapot, who began riding the 12-year-old Oldenburg gelding two years ago. “Now, I have a better feeling as to how he likes to be ridden. He also has a little better feeling, just through time and experience, as to how I like to ride. We’ve really started to come together, and he’s done really well this year!”

Catsy Cruz laid an exacting 13-obstacle track for the day’s highlight event, which included a vertical-oxer-vertical triple combination as the fifth test, and eventually continued with an oxer-vertical double combination, finishing with a bending line to the last large oxer. Only three pairs were able to clear the course and advance to jump-off, which introduced three new fences before they galloped home over the last oxer towards the gate.

Chapot was the first to return and knew she would need to be quick and clear to leave the remaining riders chasing her. Diarado’s Flying Dutchman’s naturally fast pace helped them dash across the finish line in a faultless 39.901 seconds. Maria Brugal was next with J’Adore Flamenco, and while they were able to leave all the fences intact, their conservative time of 44.698 seconds would rank them behind Chapot on the leaderboard. Mattias Tromp was the last to contest the track aboard Infuria P&P. They had a quick pace, but it came at the expense of a single rail heading home, ranking them third with 4 faults in 41.898 seconds.

Chapot returned to the winner’s circle for the second time this week after earning the victory in Thursday’s $10,000 HITS 1.40m Jumper Classic with Calafornia, where she led a very quick nine-horse jump-off. Despite being the first to compete in Friday’s jump-off, Chapot stuck to her plan with Diarado’s Flying Dutchman and relied on his natural speed to take home the winning title.

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Laura Chapot and Diarado’s Flying Dutchman Soar to $25,000 SmartPak Grand Prix Victory :: HITS (