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"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. 

carolyn headshotIn 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.

Carolyn's flashy Virginia Field Hunter champion, Mariah, was sent to her for training at age 2; by age 4, Carolyn's young grandchildren were riding her and she became a permanent part of the family. Three years ago, the pinto mare carried Farmington Hunt junior, Emily Digney, to second place at the Junior North American Field Hunter Championships.  In addition to winning the Virginia Field Hunter Championships this fall, Carolyn and Mariah regularly whip in to Farmington huntsman, Matthew Cook. Carolyn and her husband, Ken, are active and enthusiastic club members, between them leading the field, serving on the Board of Governors, showing hounds at the Virginia Foxhound Show, organizing the hunt ball, walking puppies, and always welcoming newcomers and guests in the field.

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