Kent Farrington and Madison win the KL Grand Prix at the 2006 World Cup Finals in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
It was a vindicating story on April 29, 2006 for the USA team’s youngest representative at the 2006 FEI World Cup Jumping Final. Kent Farrington and the incredible mare Madison set an unbeatable pace and captured the win in the KL Grand Prix over five other combinations in the jump-off.
The Saturday night feature at the World Cup Jumping Final featured many of the top riders in the world and had 22 entries. The course set by Frank Rothenberger of Germany was a Table A, FEI Art. 238.2.2 competition with one jump-off and a maximum height of 1.60m.
The trailblazers in the first round and the jump-off were Kent Farrington and Madison, a 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare owned by Bill Weeks. As the eighth horse in the ring, they set off a loud roar from the crowd when they cleared the first round without fault.
When they returned for the jump-off, Farrington urged Madison into a steady gallop from the start. She kept her prim form over the jumps and made two hairpin turns in the long jump-off course that included nine obstacles. The last two were in a bending line with eight strides between them and Farrington kept Madison slightly in check in order to keep all of the jumps up. The crowd reacted superbly once again, cheering for the young pair as they crossed the timers in 39.51 seconds.
“I had seen some of these horses go earlier in the week in the speed class, so I knew they were fast. My plan was just to do my normal speed and lay down a fast trip,” Farrington revealed. “I would risk maybe having a rail, but I wanted to try and set down a quick time.”
Farrington could not rest easy, however, with five following him in the jump-off. Only one rider remained between Farrington and his first overseas victory, and it was show jumping veteran Juan Carlos Garcia of Italy and Markgraaf. The large chestnut gelding’s twisting style helped him go clear in the first round, but it did not last for a second trip. The pair had the third fence down and finished with four faults and a time of 42.11 seconds.
After a disappointing start to the week, Farrington was very happy to have his usual reliable mount again. After the extremely long trip to the other side of the world, Madison “wasn’t feeling right and wasn’t herself,” Farrington said. Because of that, Farrington withdrew from the World Cup competition on Friday and decided to see if Madison would fare well in Saturday’s Grand Prix. “I gave her an easy flat and let her tell us when she was ready,” he commented. “She felt better today; a lot closer to her normal self. She’s not maybe 100 percent, but a lot better.”
Farrington had praise for the first World Cup Jumping Final held in Asia and for Saturday’s class. “I thought it worked out just perfect for the class,” he said. “It was a fast jump-off. She’s naturally really fast by herself. I took a couple shots early on, and then towards the end there were pretty much set numbers. I did eight strides at the end, but I think you either won or lost by the time you got there.”
“It’s nice to leave on a high note. Obviously, I much rather would have been in the hunt, but that wasn’t in the cards. It was great to win before we left. I wanted to make sure my horse felt good, to be honest. I wasn’t thinking too much about the competition, but wanted to make sure she felt right,” he added.
This week marked Farrington’s first international event as a representative for the United States and stated that he had “a lot of fun.” He went on to say, “It was a nice size ring and great footing, an excellent course designer and fantastic riders. It was a great event. I’d come to watch the World Cup event a few times, with the Maxine Beard Award from the USEF and a couple times on my own, so I knew the format really well. I was anxious and excited to compete.” With this decisive win abroad, Farrington has shown that he is one of the America’s up and coming Grand Prix riders and can compete with the best in the world.
Source: Phelps Sports