2016 Wellington Masters World Cup
Farrington and Uceko Speed to Victory in the $200,000 FEI World Cup Jumping at the Inaugural CP Wellington Masters
What started as a dreary and cold morning in Wellington turned into a sunny afternoon—perfect conditions for the final day of the inaugural CP Wellington Masters. Kent Farrington and RCG Farm's Uceko topped a 14-horse jump-off to take the $200,000 FEI World Cup Jumping at Deeridge Farms, owned by the Jacobs family. This win solidified Farrington’s lead in the FEI World Cup Jumping East Coast League.
“I thought it was a beautiful, beautiful event here at Deeridge Farms,” said Farrignton after his win. “I think this facility is amazing and really exciting for our sport and for show jumping here in Florida. For us to have this kind of competition and this caliber of competition is really exciting for all of us as riders.”
Forty horse and rider combinations tackled the first round’s course designed by Alan Wade with only 14 returning for the jump-off. Farrington had Uceko flying around the short course to post a time that was more than two and a half seconds faster than anyone else’s—Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum came closest with Fibonacci, finishing second.
“[Uceko’s] learned to be a fast horse, he actually was not a fast horse when I started,” Farrington said of his mount. “He has a long stride and sort of a slow canter. As I’ve gotten to know him really well, he’s learned to turn very short to the fences, and leave out strides where other horses can’t. Now for a jump-off I really have his plan, and I’m very confident of what he can do. I try to execute it to the best of my abilities, and usually if I don’t make a big error he pulls it off.”
As much as Farrington could use his jump-off strategy for his horse, the overall plan to use Uceko for the FEI World Cup™ qualifier stemmed from the show’s early proposal to hold the class on the turf field. But inclement weather interfered and forced organizers to move the penultimate East Coast event to the sand arena.
“Originally, it was going to go on the grass, and he’s really well suited to grass arenas, so that was my plan,” Farrington said. “Obviously that changed. I was a little concerned that that wouldn’t play to his strengths, but he proved me wrong.
“He usually goes best with a really impressive ring, or in an intimidating setting for most horses, and this is usually where he shines so that’s why I try to pick spookier venues or grass arenas that have bigger, impressive jumps. It wasn’t really playing to his strengths today, but he pulled it off anyway, so I’m really happy with him.”
Sources: Chronicle of the Horse, NoelleFloyd.com, and Phelps Sports