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Laura Chapot And Sprite Win $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge At WEF

Horse Show Press Release

TAMPA, FL April 1, 2004 Laura Chapot, 30, of Neshanic Station, NJ, riding her own Sprite won the $5,000 Acorn Hill Farm Challenge today at the Tournament of Champions in Tampa, Florida. The win marked the third time Chapot and Sprite claimed victory in this class at the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival. The $5,000 1.40m Acorn Hill Farm Challenge is a member event of the North American League (NAL) Open Speed Series.

Topping a class of 24 horses, Chapot aboard her eight-year-old gray Holsteiner mare by Quidam de Revelle, was the fastest of five clear rounds over the speed course designed by Luc Musette of Belgium. The 14-effort course included a triple at No. 6 and ended with a double at No. 11 with time allowed set at 75 seconds.

Going 8th in the order, Paige Johnson of The Plains, VA, riding Crabamboli for Salamander Farm set the pace with a clear round in 72.031, but ended up 5th. Anne Kursinski of Frenchtown, NJ, riding Sincere for Meralex Farm took over the lead two trips later, clocking in clean at 65.844 but her time proved only good enough for 4th. Chapot and Sprite went 12th in the order and raced over the jumps in the unbeatable time of 59.697, which held up for the win.

Finishing up the roster, Kursinski took another shot at the lead with Faldo for Robin Hill Farm, and broke the beam clean in 60.373, but had to settle for second place. Going 23rd in the order, Niall Grimes of Ireland aboard Mazepa for owner Melissa Decastor put in one last effort to catch Chapot and cleared the course in 64.220, but finished in third place.

The North American League (NAL) runs 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 2004, visit the Ryegate Show Services website at


Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival in Tampa, FL, are Tuesday through Saturday, March 30-April 3. Gates open at 8:00am and action continues through late afternoon. The Bob Thomas Equestrian Center is located off Orient Road at the Tampa Fairgrounds. Admission and parking are free.