BOUND BROOK, N.J. (AP) — Frank Chapot, a champion show jumper who competed in six Olympics before coaching the United States equestrian team to gold, has died. He was 84.
Chapot died Monday morning at a nursing home in Bound Brook, his daughter Wendy Chapot Nunn told The Associated Press.
Chapot was the youngest rider in the 1956 Olympic Games, his first, and would be a fixture on the equestrian team for the next 20 years, winning silver medals in 1960 and 1972. In the 1964 Games, he and Mary Mairs Chapot became the first husband-wife combination to ride for the U.S. equestrian team.
He took over as coach of the U.S. squad in 1980. The Americans boycotted that year's games, but returned to competition in Los Angeles in 1984, where Chapot led the equestrian team to its first Olympic gold. His team won silver in 1988, and he continued to serve as coach until retiring after the 2004 Games in Athens.
"He loved competing for the United States of America," Nunn said. "Everything he had was red, white and blue."
The U.S. Olympic Committee said Tuesday that Chapot's influence "reached every aspect of show jumping.
"As a six-time Olympian, he was a truly accomplished rider, but even more importantly, he used his talent to take the next generation of the U.S. team to the highest levels of the sport," said CEO Scott Blackmun.
Chapot also served as a show jumping course designer and judge. He was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1994.
In a statement on its website, the United States Equestrian Team Foundation said Chapot "inspired multitudes of riders and coached so many winning teams."
Nunn says her father asked that there be no funeral. She says the family plans to hold a memorial service in September.