"Grandma, you're too old to keep winning these things!" Carolyn Chapman certainly proved her thirteen-year-old grandson wrong this fall, winning the Virginia Field Hunter Championships October 25, following a third-place finish (and Most Suitable award) at the Theodora A. Randolph North American Field Hunter Championships the weekend before. Carolyn, a longtime member and whipper-in at Farmington Hunt (VA), earned the North American accolades on a homebred horse whose dam carried her to victory years earlier.
In 1997, Carolyn first learned about the competition, and eager to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the qualifying hunt meets, entered with her preliminary eventer, Chelsea. The pair wound up reserve champion at the finals, won the following year, and in 1999, were named champion of champions over other returning victors. In 2000, Chelsea foaled a son, Burghley, whom Carolyn raised and also competed up through preliminary level before taking him hunting. In 2014, Burghley was 9th out of 65 competitors in the North American Championships. This year, he and Carolyn finished 3rd and were voted Most Suitable -- a second generation homebred success story.