Harrisburg, PA – Laura Chapot and Christian Coyle are used to frequent trips to the winner’s circle at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, and they both returned there on Thursday evening, October 19, as they topped the $30,000 1.45m Welcome and the $15,000 1.30m Welcome, respectively.
Chapot’s victory came aboard Chandon Blue, an 18-year-old Oldenburg gelding that she has been partnered with for the past six years. The accomplished partnership was the very first entry in the class at the PA Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, PA, and they easily navigated the track designed by Nicholas Granat.
Ultimately six additional entries joined Chapot in qualifying for the jump-off, but none would catch her and Chandon Blue’s time of 32.967 seconds. Second place with a time of 33.442 seconds went to Ashley March and Magic Hoop, and Thaisa Erwin and Hialita B finished in third with a time of 37.227 seconds.
“’Charlie’ is a naturally fast horse, so I can really just rely on my plan and not worry too much about the rest of the players,” said Chapot of Chandon Blue. “I know that there were a lot of good horses coming behind me, so the idea was to just be quick and prompt at the jumps.”
Chapot concluded, “Any win at Harrisburg is always great – especially to win the Welcome Stake with that horse. He deserves it; he loves to try hard. He gives all his heart every time, so to win that class with him means a whole lot. He’s a special horse, and he’s getting older, so we savor every good round.”
In the $15,000 1.30m Welcome, Coyle’s win came aboard Gydine, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare acquired by Christian Coyle Show Stables at the end of the 2023 winter season.
“She’s been really successful all summer,” said Coyle of the mare previously ridden by Nicola Philippaerts. “She’s naturally quick and naturally careful. I can trust her to do the leave-out down to the last jump. I actually got there a little bit early, and she jumped it brilliantly so I’m happy with that.”
The pair was one of nine entries from the 28-horse starting field to navigate the first round without fault to advance to the jump-off where they stopped the clock in a winning 30.614 seconds. Second place with a time of 31.493 seconds went to U.S. Olympian McLain Ward aboard his own Kyrlanthe.
“I love it here!” said Coyle, who first came to the PNHS in 2021. “It’s fantastic; it’s a brilliant ring, and I just love coming here.”
Coyle has good reason to love it in Harrisburg; he has won the $30,000 1.30m Grand Prix each of his first two years here. Now, he will again set his sights on Friday night’s $30,000 Commonwealth Classic to try to pull off the three-peat.
“Hopefully I didn’t overdo it and have nothing for [Friday night], but my plan is to do those two horses again [Gydine and Dekato, who finished third], then I have another one for Saturday night [in the $100,000 Grand Prix de Penn National],” concluded Coyle.
Jumper competition at the PNHS continues on Friday evening with the $30,000 Commonwealth Classic beginning at 6 p.m. For full results of all jumper classes, visit pnhs.showmanagementsystem.com.