Kent Farrington & Gazelle Win €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid CSI5*
Kent Farrington AND Gazelle Win €300,000 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid CSI5*
Longines FEI World No. 1 Kent Farrington thrilled thousands of spectators in Madrid, Spain when he won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid CSI5* aboard his own and Robin’s Parsky’s Gazelle.
Farrington admitted that he “won by a whisker” ahead of Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Pret a Tout, who just missed out on taking this grand prix title for the second year in a row. Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten came 3rd with VDL Groep Verdi TN NOP, with all three of the top riders finishing clear and under 45 seconds in the jump-off.
“It was a coin toss who won. Both of these guys have won this grand prix before so I am glad they let me in the club!” Farrington joked. “I’m thrilled. I think what I have today is years of work, great support and all my owners and really strong team of multiple horses. At the highest level it takes a big team of horses and I feel very fortunate.”
Course designer Santiago Varela Ullastres made full use of the galloping grass arena in his LGCT Grand Prix course. Following the first couple of riders, the time allowed was altered from 80 seconds to 78, as 25 pairs took to the track with high hopes of the win. But just Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca and Bassem Hasan Mohammed of Qatar went clean to join the jump-off, making it an order of five over the shortened course.
The show ground went silent as Farrington and Gazelle entered the ring. The 11-year-old Belgian bred mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro) jumped her heart out for the American rider, turning swiftly and leaping at the fences with a flat out gallop to the last. Shaving off fractions of a second, Farrington guided her to the final fence, and the crowd erupted in cheers as they pipped Marcus Ehning’s time by five tenths of a second in 45.18 seconds.
“Last year I won here and this year I am 2nd, so I can’t be more pleased,” Ehning said. “If you have these guys behind you it can never be enough. I lost it a bit in front before the double but that happens in the jump off. Kent was a bit more aggressive in everything and he deserved to win here.”
Source: Noelle Floyd