Frank Chapot (1932 - 2016)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
Frank Chapot, an equestrian who won two silver medals in six Olympics, died June 20, 2016, at an assisted living center in New Jersey. He was 84.
The Show Jumping Hall of Fame announced the death, noting that he was under care for Alzheimer's disease.
Chapot was born Feb. 24, 1932, in Camden, New Jersey. He married the former Mary Mairs, a fellow equestrian, in 1965. They performed together at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics as a mixed jumping team, though never winning a medal.
Chapot, who competed in the Olympics from 1956 to 1976, won two Olympic silver medals riding Gem Twist. In 1990, the horse was named world’s best horse at the World Equestrian Games in Stockholm, Sweden.
He also coached the U.S. equestrian team when it won its first gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. Chapot’s team won a silver medal four years later.
In this Aug. 7, 1984, file photo, Frank Chapot, coach of the U.S. equestrian jumping team, celebrates his team's gold medal win during the Summer Olympics at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California.
Tributes to Chapot flooded social media after word of his death spread.
“Sad news to report as the United States has lost one of our show jumping legends,” wrote Chronicle of the Horse in a Facebook Post. Chronicle of the Horse is a weekly publication dedicated to equestrian sports. “Godspeed to Frank Chapot and condolences to his family and all who loved him.”
Nancy Jaffer, an equestrian writer, praised Chapot in a tribute that was shared on Facebook by the Washington International Horse Show.
"Through six Olympic Games, scores of Nations' Cups and dozens of victories at the world's most important equestrian venues, Frank Chapot always rode to win when the nation's flag was on his saddlepad,” Jaffer wrote. "His life, which ended on Monday, June 20, at the age of 84, was about dedication to horses, the sport and his country's team."
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