Brilliant Victory for Kent Farrington in Rolex Grand Prix Aachen
Brilliant Victory for Kent Farrington AND GAZELLE in Rolex Grand Prix Aachen
The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen is a class every international show jumper wants to win, and some of the best riders in the world have yet to accomplish that. After looking at the wall with previous winners’ names printed on it all week, Kent Farrington was determined to add his name to that wall, and with the speedy Gazelle he finally accomplished that goal on July 21, 2019 in Aachen, Germany.
The course designer, Frank Rothenberger, said it before the jump-off of the Rolex Grand Prix at the CHIO Aachen: Kent Farrington is one of the fastest riders in the world. The words of the master of the obstacles proved to be prophetic.
The winner of the €1,000,000 Rolex Grand Prix 2019 comes from the USA for the first time since 2007. Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington claimed the top prize with Gazelle, the Belgian-bred Kashmir van Schuttershof daughter. A very special victory for Farrington at one of the most prestigious events in the sport, many view the win as iconic as an Olympic Gold. Second place went to Germany’s Daniel Deusser riding Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z and third place to Great Britain’s Ben Maher riding Explosion W.
CHIO Aachen played host to over 40,000 equestrian spectators, as they gathered in the main show jumping arena to witness the second Major of 2019 in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping. Inaugurated in 1898, the show is steeped in equestrian history and has partnered with Rolex since 1999, a relationship that demonstrates Rolex’s enduring long-term commitment to equestrianism, supporting the most revered and highly anticipated shows hosted around the world.
Seven horse and rider combinations made it to the jump-off after two full rounds of 14 fences (round one) and 12 fences (round two), most set at 1.70m. A field of 40 starters had previously qualified for Sunday’s Grand Prix.
“Every rider wants to win here,” said Farrington. “I have been riding out of that ring all week, looking at that winner’s wall and imagining my name on there, so I am so happy to come out with a win finally. I still can’t believe it’s real! CHIO Aachen is one of the most prestigious events in the world, I just feel so proud to win here.”
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
On the course: “I think it is typical of an Aachen course. You have best of the best here, so every test you have out there on the course is difficult. Gazelle has the ability, scope and carefulness, and that was tested over the two rounds. I think that’s why you see so many faults throughout the class as every part of it is a test and so there is no easy part.”
On the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping: “Absolutely, I will be [at the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ Tournament]! The Rolex Grand Slam is great for the sport and I am excited to be a part of it again.”
On the jump-off: “I have been so close in this class before. The last time I was in the jump-off I was the fastest but I had one pole down, so today I really wanted to go one better! I thought if I go clear it will put enough pressure on, so I had a different strategy and it paid off today.”
On Gazelle: “She has become a real professional in this sport. She knows the prize giving, she knows when she’s performing, she knows everything! She hasn’t always been that way, but now she is a real pro.”
The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Canada in September is the next Major in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, and the attention of the equestrian world will now turn to this show, in the hope that Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington will continue his Rolex Grand Slam journey.
Source: Chronicle of the Horse, CHIO Aachen Press Release and Rolex Equestrian