CP Grand Prix 2015
Kent Farrington and Amalaya Investments’ Willow Prove Victorious in $130,000 CP Grand Prix at CP National Horse Show
When 15 horses qualified for the jump-off during the $130,000 CP Grand Prix, presented by Copernicus Stables, at the CP National Horse Show, it was clear that it would require more than just scope to win the day. For Kent Farrington, the need for speed paid off because his mount Willow is always ready to race. The duo’s faultless and fast jump-off round topped the leaderboard, Japan’s Karen Polle took home second on With Wings, and Laura Kraut and Deauville S rounded out the top three.
“The National Horse Show has always been a big deal in the U.S.,” smiled Farrington. “It’s always great to win here. It was a fast jump-off tonight. Laura Kraut put down an early winning time that I thought was going to be difficult to beat. Karen and her horse have really been on form lately. It’s a fast horse; I thought she put in a great round. I had to work today to win some money. Willow was fantastic in the ring and I couldn’t have asked him to go better.”
Although the first round course for Thursday night’s event featured a few technical aspects with an oxer-vertical double combination and a vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination, the star-studded field made light work of it, with 15 entries clearing Guilherme Jorge’s track. Two riders opted not to return for the final tiebreaker, but speed was not in short supply for the 13 remaining athletes.
“I have to say, when I looked at the course list there were really, really good horses jumping tonight, and I did think that it looked soft when I walked it,” commented Kraut. “There wasn’t anything that was terribly scopey. The verticals weren’t so big. I was a little bit surprised actually because it was a lot of money tonight. With the great group of horses and riders that are here, I thought [Jorge] could have been a little bit harder, but I’m certain Sunday will be difficult.”
Farrington added, “I thought the time allowed was a bit generous. That was also something that could have been adjusted. You end up with 15 clear in a class like that—that’s a big jump-off for a class of that money. I don’t think that was probably [Jorge’s] ideal plan in mind when he built it.”
As the second rider to return, Kraut set the pace to beat at 41.22 seconds on Deauville S. Karen Polle and With Wings managed to best Kraut’s time by just 1/10th of second, breaking the beam at 41.12 seconds to take over the lead. “Kent is so fast,” admitted Polle. “To be second to him is almost like winning."
The best was yet to come though, and Farrington proved why Willow consistently tops speed and grand prix events alike. The duo’s quick gallop across the course never let up, turning back easily over each obstacle and dashing across the finish line in 40.24 seconds to lead the victory gallop at the end of the night.
“Willow’s got a great gallop and he has a massive stride,” noted Farrington. “You can kind of see once he gets going, he really opens up. He’s attacking the ground all the way around the course. He can turn very short back on fences.”
Source: Phelps Media