From late June to mid-July, Lake Placid is home to two of the nation’s most prestigious equine masterpieces – the Lake Placid and I Love New York Horse Shows, followed by, starting this year, the Adirondack Horse Show. You can watch world class riders and horses vie for over $750,000 in prize money and awards in championship Hunter and Jumper competitions.
These shows bring more than 1,000 horses to Lake Placid for three weeks. A veritable city of tents is erected early in June in anticipation of the events. The brightly striped tents house the millions of dollars worth of horses their owners bring to these shows annually. A behind the scenes tour of the show grounds allow an insider look at the stalls and tack rooms each farm maintains as ‘home’ for the duration.
We attended the finals on Week 2, when Laura Chapot won the $75,000 Great American Grand Prix on July 5th. Her victory capped a phenomenal week which saw her win several classes and came 50 years to the week after her mother Mary, a two-time Olympian, won the first show jumping Grand Prix ever held in the US.
Laura was one of four starters to reach the jump-off by riding without penalty over the 16-jump first round course. She was the last to try the eight-jump tiebreaker. When she started, the lead was held by Devin Ryan who had completed the jump-off clean in 42.661 seconds. But Chapot blazed over the course and took the win by finishing clean in 42.214 seconds.