Frank Chapot has completed five decades as a key figure with the United States Equestrian Team. He first joined it as the youngest member of the 1956 Olympic Show Jumping team while still on active duty with the U.S. Air Force.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania?s Wharton School, he had already made his mark as a junior-he won the coveted Maclay Championship in 1947-and then as a hunter/jumper exhibitor.
During the next twenty years, Chapot compiled an enviable record with the USET, including five more Olympic appearances, participation on a record 46 winning Nations’ Cup teams, two Olympic Silver Medals, an individual Bronze in the 1974 World Championships, and victories in such prestigious events as the President’s Cup, the Grand Prix of New York and London?s King George V Gold Cup, among innumerable other wins.
After his career as a USET rider, Chapot became its Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe, in which role he helped the Team attain two highly elusive goals: its first-ever team Gold medals in the Olympic Games (1984) and the World Championships (1986). In the 1988 Olympic Games, his Silver Medal team was anchored by Greg Best, who was also a pupil and the individual Silver medalist, riding Gem Twist, a horse Chapot bred. Chapot added another Olympic medal in 1996 when as chef d’equipe he guided the USET to the team Silver at the Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Following his 1996 Olympic success, Chapot guided the USET to another milestone in 1997 as the U.S. won the FEI Nations? Cup World Series Championship. It marked the first time the U.S. had won the title since 1968, when Chapot was a key contributor as a rider.
Early in 2002, Chapot was appointed the 2002 Show Jumping Coach/Chef d’Equipe. He will serve as Chef d?Equipe for the 2002 World Equestrian Games, CSIO Spruce Meadows, and any other CSI/CSIO competitions deemed important for his participation. This is the first time since 1980, when Bert deNemethy filled this position, that the USET has appointed a Coach/Chef d’Equipe for Show Jumping. In his role as coach, Chapot will have the responsibility for all competition, and also for preparation of US riders and horses for international competition.
Chapot is married to the former Mary Mairs who was his Olympic teammate in 1964 and 1968. They have two daughters, Wendy and Laura, both of whom have achieved success in the horse show ring.