“This class was dedicated to my dad last year, so it’s really pleasing to have won it after trying for awhile. I’ve won it before, but the first time since it was dedicated to my dad, so that means a lot to me. I feel like he’s probably looking down and smiling.”
Laura won the class aboard her longtime partner, Thornhill Kate with an unbeatable jump-off time that riders would try and fail to match throughout the finale. Willie Tynan and Red Barn Farm, LLC’s KEC City Limits nearly stole the victory away with a lightning fast time, but the speed would cost them at the end as they brought down the final rail.
Laura’s second and newer mount, Calafornia, put in a beautiful round as well but couldn’t beat the time set by his veteran barnmate, to give Laura the top two slots of the day.
“Calafornia is a new horse for me that I just got this winter,” said Laura after the class. “Thornhill Kate is my more experienced mount. She’s very quick, not as big strided, but always game and tries her heart out every time. Calafornia, this is his first time here at Devon, so I am excited that he was so good under the lights and very comfortable in the ring. He has a mammoth stride and he left out a few strides here and there. I was just very pleased with his performance. He was very smooth and super tonight.”
Laura really came alive Saturday night, knowing the crowd was invested, the conditions were perfect, and with the heartfelt desire to win in her dad’s name.
“For sure [the atmosphere adds to the pressure], but it’s super exciting. I think I was more nervous tonight for this class than I was for jumping the [HITS] Million — The crowd is so enthusiastic. They get behind you and you really want to please them and do well. It really helps the horses and pumps you up and makes you want to focus and make sure you do a good job.”
$25,000 Devon Fall Classic Grand Prix 1.45m
1. Laura Chapot / Thornhill Kate / Mary & Laura Chapot / 0 / 0 / 35.402
2. Laura Chapot / Calafornia / Mary & Laura Chapot / 0 / 0 / 36.447
3. Tracy Magness / Intenz Van HD / Mr. & Mrs. John Bartko / 0 / 0 / 37.890
4. Matthias Hollberg / Mr. Sydney Rocks / Team Springer Syndicate, LLC / 0 / 0 / 38.770
5. Willie Tynan / KEC City Limits / Red Barn Farm, LLC / 0 / 4 / 35.398
6. Kama Godek / De Grande / Kama Godek / 0 / 8 / 37.848
7. Cian McDermott / Newcastle / Therese Bentley / 0 / 16 / 43.697
8. Oliver McCarthy / MHS Automatic / Cerulean Stables, LLC / 0 / EL
9. Ibrahim Barazi / Softbeat / IB Stable / 2
10. Laura Chapot / Out Of Ireland / The Edge / 4