Whether he was riding in championship show jumping competitions or coaching riders to compete internationally, Frank Chapot had only one goal: Winning for the USA.

The six-time Olympian from Neshanic Station, who died Monday at age 84 after being in declining health, was a fierce patriot and competitor for national pride on behalf of the U.S. Equestrian Team.

Chapot, who was part of two Olympic silver medal teams, could do something with a mediocre horse, and make the most of a nice one. One of the latter from his riding days was Good Twist, a fiery gray stallion who went like lightning over the jumps, with a determination that matched that of his rider.

He was part of the legendary team that won Team Silver at the 1960 Olympics in Rome alongside George Morris and Billy Steinkraus. Even more impressively, Frank won this medal aboard a 21-year-old cavalry horse named Trail Guide.

When his horse of a lifetime finally showed up, Chapot was no longer competing. But he bred and trained Gem Twist, a son of Good Twist, as well as coaching the thoroughbred's first rider, Greg Best. That combination won two silver medals at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Two years later, at the world championships in Stockholm, Gem earned the title of Best Horse.

After Best broke his shoulder in a fall from the horse, Gem went on to be ridden by 1984 Olympic team gold medalist Leslie Burr Howard and then Chapot's daughter, Laura. Both had success with the gray gelding, who retired in 1997 at the National Horse Show in Madison Square Garden, where he received a standing ovation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Chapot's family and friends.