At last week’s Pennsylvania National Horse Show, former U.S. Equestrian Team member Mary Chapot of Neshanic Station was inducted into its hall of fame. Her late husband, U.S. team captain Frank Chapot, was inducted in 2013.
A double gold medalist at the 1963 Pan American Games, she also won both the AHSA Medal and the ASPCA Maclay in her equitation days. Mary and Kathy Kusner were the first women to ride on a U.S. Olympic show jumping team when they competed in the 1964 Olympics.
A year later, Mary won the first grand prix held in the U.S. when she took first place in the Cleveland Grand Prix. In 1967, she won the Grand Prix de Penn National on Anakonda and later would go on to judge the Medal at the show, completing a rare double.
Her daughter Laura is a top grand prix rider, while her other daughter, Wendy Nunn, is an accomplished amateur-owner jumper rider, both young women having benefited from coaching by Mary and Frank.
Also inducted with Mary was the late Harry Gill, best known as the owner of the great jumper Idle Dice. Those who rode for him included Rodney Jenkins, Michael Matz, McLain Ward and Todd Minikus.
Harry was a sponsor of many shows and also an active board member of some of the country’s most prestigious competitions.