Frank Chapot

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Frank Chapot
Personal information
Full nameFrancis Davis Chapot
Born(1932-02-24)February 24, 1932
Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
DiedJune 20, 2016(2016-06-20) (aged 84)
Neshanic Station, New Jersey, U.S.

Francis Davis "Frank" Chapot (February 24, 1932 – June 20, 2016) was an American equestrian who competed at six consecutive Olympic Games - from 1956 to 1976 - and won two silver medals in team show jumping, at Rome 1960 and Munich 1972.[1][2][3] Chapot was chef d'equipe of the American equestrian team from 1980 to 2004, leading them to their first Olympic team gold at Los Angeles 1984.[2][3] Additionally, he coached the American show jumping team from 1968 until his retirement in 2005.[3] Chapot is also known for breeding and training Gem Twist, a champion showjumper named World's Best Horse in 1990.[2][3] In later life, Chapot became a jump course designer and judge.[2] In 2001, he was awarded the United States Equestrian Federation's Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to horse sport.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Chapot was born in Camden, New Jersey to Frank Joseph Chapot, a salesman, and his wife Dorothy Davis Chapot. Chapot was raised in Walpack Township, New Jersey, on his family's farm. He graduated from nearby Pingry School in 1950.[4] He earned a bachelor's degree at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1955.[5]


Chapot spent two years serving in the United States air force.[6] In 1956, while still on active duty in the air force, Chapot joined the American equestrian team.[3]

He often attributed his success to being chosen as a member of the Olympic team and having a good relationship with Bertalan de Némethy, the aristocratic Hungarian who coached the U.S. show jumpers more than two decades and whose role Chapot assumed during the early 1980s. He also was invited to judge at many shows in the circuit.

He married fellow Olympic equestrian Mary Mairs in 1965. They were on the same Olympic show jumping team in 1964 and 1968, narrowly missing out on bronze in 1968 by 0.25 points.[7] They retired to raise horses at Chado Farm,[8] including the champion show jumper, Gem Twist, who won two Olympic silver medals and was named World’s Best Horse at the 1990 World Equestrian Games in Stockholm.[9] Gem Twist had an incredible career at the Grand Prix level. The gelding is the only horse to have won the "American Grand Prix Association Horse of the Year" title three times,[10] and is regarded as having been one of the best show-jumpers in the history of the discipline.[11] The Chapots had the horse cloned and began a breeding line from the clone.[12]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Chapot was inducted into the United States Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1994,[13] two years after his wife Mary.

Personal life[edit]

Chapot married Mary Mairs in 1965, and they had two daughters, Laura and Wendy. Laura Chapot became a grand prix rider, while Wendy rides as an amateur jumper.[3] A resident of the Neshanic Station section of Branchburg, New Jersey, Chapot died in Bound Brook, New Jersey, on June 20, 2016, at the age of 84 after declining health. He was survived by his wife Mary and their two daughters.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Frank Chapot". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on August 28, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e "In Memoriam: Six-time Olympian and U.S. Team Jumping coach, Frank Chapot". USET Foundation. June 22, 2016. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Print. "Legendary Horseman Frank Chapot Dies". Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  4. ^ Longland, Julia. Clear round!: Interviews, p. 162. Mayflower Books, 1978. ISBN 9780831700126. Accessed December 24, 2019. "Frank Chapot was born on 24th February 1932 at Camden, New Jersey. The son of a salesman who rode for pleasure in his spare time and competed occasionally, Frank attended nearby Pingry School and graduated from Pennsylvania State University before military service in the USAF."
  5. ^ Fox, Margalit. "Frank Chapot, Olympic Show Jumper and Mainstay of the Sport, Dies at 84", The New York Times, June 25, 2016. Accessed June 26, 2016. "The son of Frank Joseph Chapot and the former Dorothy Davis, Frank Davis Chapot was born on Feb. 24, 1932, in Camden, N.J. He was reared on his parents’ horse farm in Walpack, N.J."
  6. ^ a b Jaffer, Nancy (June 20, 2016). "6-time Olympic rider Frank Chapot of N.J. dead at 84". Hunterdon County Publisher. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  7. ^ "Equestrianism at the 1968 Ciudad de México Summer Games: Mixed Jumping, Team | Olympics at". October 27, 1968. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 17, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "The Legend of Gem Twist" Archived January 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Chado Farms. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  11. ^ "Glorious Gem Twist Euthanized". Hale, Cindy. Horse Channel. 12/4/06. Referenced January 2, 2008.
  12. ^ Clone of top jumper Gem Twist born,, September 17, 2008
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 8, 2010. Retrieved February 26, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]