Show Jumping Great
The United States has lost show jumping legend Frank Chapot.
The six-time Olympian died Monday, June 20 in New Jersey at the age of 84. Chapot was being treated for Alzheimer’s.
Francis Davis “Frank” was born in Camden on February 24, 1932. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and was the youngest member to join the United States Equestrian Team (USET) in 1956. During that time he was still serving on active duty as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.
Chapot showed his brilliance in the saddle over the next two decades with two Silver Olympic Medals, an individual Bronze Medal in the 1974 World Championships and various other prestigious awards.
Chapot married his two-time Olympic teammate Mary Chapot nee Mairs in 1965. They had two daughters, Wendy and Laura, who are both equestrians. Wendy is an amateur jumper rider. Laura is a grand prix jumper rider.
After he retired from riding, he became the U.S. chef d’ equipe until 2005. During that period, Chapot helped the U.S. bring home the first-ever team Gold Medals in the Olympics in 1984 and the World Championships two years later.
Greg Best won the individual Silver Medal on Gem Twist – a horse bred by Chapot. Later, Gem Twist, a fan favorite on home soil, was named “Best Horse” at the World Championships in Sweden.
Chapot was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1994.
“Frank loved his days as a rider and the success he achieved…” Mary Chapot said in a statement.
Chapot is survived by his wife, daughters, son-in-law, Edward Nunn, and three grandchildren, Frank, Mary, and Cathleen Nunn.
There will be no visitation or funeral. A celebration of Chapot’s life will be held this fall.