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Pennsylvania National Horse Show's Gambler's Choice

Laura Chapot and Bradberry literally ran circles around the competition to win the $10,000 Gambler’s Choice at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show.

Dealt the number one spot, she galloped into the ring, jumped 14 fences, garnered 1120 points in 58 seconds. She asked the chestnut gelding to jump the 5’3” Joker on the way out of the ring. Their round earned 1320 points.

“He is fast…very fast,” said Chapot. She figured on 10 fences in the 50 seconds, but “we ran out of fences at the end. I had to improvise. Bradberry has his own way of going and it suits my style.” Apparently—their three extra fences earned 70 points. Chapot rides Bradberry for owner Harold Vogel of Basking Ridge, NJ.

Hip Hop with Leslie Howard up was second, 110 points behind. Beezie Madden and Danny Boy were third with an 1190.

Gambler’s Choice is unique because there isn’t a specific course. All fences can be jumped in either direction. Fences are valued by their difficulty.

Riders try to maximize points in minimum time. When time is up, the rider can opt to jump ‘The Joker’ for a 200 point bonus. If the fence falls, the pair relinquishes 200 points.

Michel Vaillancourt’s course suggested card tables---four fences in a rough circle at either end of the ring. Riders may jump any fence twice for credit, however, if they knock down any, they not only lose the value of that fence, but they can not return to it.

Chapot completed two clean turns around the far “table,” jumped a transition fence midway down the ring for 50, crossed the center twice for 320 and that was her plan. Time to spare and not particular plan she jumped the closest fence, turned back and headed for the next highest valued fence with an intermediate jump worth 20 on the way.

“It was a good course. It had a lot more options than most Gambler’s Choices,” Chapot said. “This is Bradberry8 0s first indoor show. Yesterday, his first time in the ring, he jumped so high, I was concerned, but he really settled down.”

This win along with his maiden efforts on Wednesday earned Bradberry and Chapot the Open Jumper Speed High Score Award, edging Olympian Beezie Madden and Play On, who had won Wednesday’s contests.

This class has special significance for Chapot as it was named for one of her famous former mounts, three time American Grand Prix Horse of the Year, Gem Twist. Gem Twist enjoyed a nine year career including the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Open Jumper action continues at the Farm Show arena with the $25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Musical Ride beginning at 7p.m.


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