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Laura Chapot And Little Big Man Win $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix

Ellenville, NY (July 21, 2003)—Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, New Jersey, rode her own Little Big Man to victory in Sunday's $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix at HITS Catskills III. Chapot rode three mounts in the competition, also placing sixth on Copper Twist and twelfth on Green Card. All three of her mounts were trained by her parents, Olympic veterans Frank & Mary Chapot of Chado Farms. Mark Jungherr of Amesbury, Massachusetts, rode Enterprise, owned by R A Francoeur to second place. Third place went to Christine Tribble of Suffield, Connecticut, aboard Vegas, owned by her family's Windsor Show Stable.

Eighteen horse and rider combinations competed over the first round course. Course designer, Kenny Krome, set a challenging 13-obstacle course that included a triple bar oxer at fence No. 7, a Liverpool at fence No. 10, and a triple combination at fence No. 12. The time allowed was set at 98 seconds. Todd Minikus of Loxahatchee, Florida, was the first to deliver a clear round. Minikus and Gardenio, a black Hanoverian gelding owned by YZ Partners, cruised the course giving a faultless performance well within the time allowed. The next six horses failed to go clear, and it was the eleventh in the order, Mark Jungherr aboard Enterprise, that gave the crowd the assurance of a jump-off. The fifteenth and sixteenth horses in the order also went clear—Christine Tribble aboard After Eight and Laura Chapot aboard Little Big Man.

These four horses advanced to the shortened seven-fence jump-off course. Todd Minikus and Gardenio were the first to attempt the course. Gardenio, who displayed fine form earlier, gave a surprise refusal at the first fence, unseating his rider and subsequently being eliminated from the jump-off. Mark Jungherr and Enterprise followed up with a clear round, setting the Great American Time to Beat of 43.59 seconds. Christine Tribble and Vegas also left all the rails up but incurred one time fault for going fractions over the time allowed of 48 seconds. Laura Chapot and Little Big Man were last to enter the ring. Chapot guided Little Big Man clear and emerged the victor by shaving almost two seconds off Jungherr's time. Her final time was 41.90 seconds.

Other major award winners at HITS Catskills III included:
Bayer Legend Leading Hunter Rider - Becky Adler, Holmes, NY
Bayer Legend Leading Jumper Rider - Todd Minikus, Loxahatchee, FL
HBO Junior Medal Winner - Brianne Goutal, NY, NY
Charles Owen Children's Medal Winner - Catherine Pugliese, Darien, CT
Charles Owen Adult Medal Winner - Dyanna Rucco, Rehoboth, MA

The $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix was the grande finale to a week of top-class show jumping competition held under beautiful sunny skies. During the Grand Prix, the Kingston Hospital hosted a reception in the VIP tent at ringside for its dedicated group of donors. On Saturday, exhibitors and spectators enjoyed "A Taste of the Hudson Valley"—a sampling of delicious local foods from the many fine restaurants in the region. Rio Vista kindly sponsored the Hudson Valley's White Cliff Vineyards wine tasting which was a wonderful complement to the food provided by such restaurants as, The Dutch Tavern, Saugerties, The Blue Stone Country Inn, Saugerties, Shanghai Red, Ellenville and Ricke Len's Country Restaurant, Ellenville.

The horse show resumes on Wednesday, July 23rd, with a regular schedule of hunter and jumper classes. This year marks the last year that the circuit will take place at the Kelly Farm property. In 2004, the HITS Catskills circuit will move to its new home in Saugerties, New York. HITS is investing in a beautiful new site to include an amphitheatre containing a Grand Prix Ring and a feature Hunter Ring encompassed by a 10-foot earthen berm, plus 8 additional competition rings. Initially the site will have six permanent barn facilities with 500 stalls. A natural three-board fence will encircle the site, finishing at each entrance with a wrought-iron gate flanked by native stone pillars. The site will be further enhanced by a beautiful riding/walking trail that will meander around the circumference. Other features include permanent offices, permanent restrooms, and a food court positioned around a landscaped courtyard. The new facility will be designed to meet the highest standards of equestrian competition and it is expected that it will attract equestrians of all levels and abilities, from the grass roots to the sport's Olympic caliber riders.

HITS CATSKILLS: Kelly Farm, 8543 Rt. 209, Ellenville, NY 12428. Telephone during horse shows: (845) 647-1763.

HITS Catskills IV - July 23-27 NY
Horse & Pony Show - July 30-August 3
HITS Catskills VI - August 27-31

July 24, $25 HITS Grand Prix
July 27, $50,000 Avis Grand Prix
July 31, $25,000 HITS Grand Prix
August 3, $50,000 HITS Catskills Grand Prix
August 31, $50,000 HITS Catskills Grand Prix

Kid's Day, Sunday, August 3

$50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix - Sunday, July 20, 2003
HITS Catskills III - Ellenville, NY
Kenny Krome, Westminster, MD: Course Designer
Place Horse Rider Owner Prize Money Rd 1 Faults Rd 2 Faults JO Time
1st Little Big Man Laura Chapot Laura Chapot $15,000 0 0 41.90
2nd Enterprise Mark Jungherr R A Francoeur $11,000 0 0 43.59
3rd Vegas Christine Tribble Candy Tribble/Windsor Show Stable $6,500 0 0 48.19
4th Gardenio Todd Minikus Y Z Partners LLC $4,000 0 Elim
5th Crazy You Kent Farrington Lynda Farrington $3,000 2
6th Copper Twist Laura Chapot Frank/Mary Chapot $2,500 4
7th Who's That Girl Michael Kirby Michele Hunt / Redfield Farm $2,000 4
8th River Kimberly Frey Overlook Farm $1,500 4
9th Costello Katie Sykes Annie Hazelhurst $1,500 4
10th Luciano Michael Kirby Michael Kirby $1,000 4
11th Big Sir Mario Deslauriers Mario Deslauriers Inc. $1,000 4
12th Green Card Laura Chapot Dellwood $1,000 8


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