Pan Am Team Bronze 2015
July 23, 2015
Kent Farrington and Gazelle Earn Team Bronze at 2015 Pan American Games
Over two days of international competition in Toronto, Canada, Kent Farrington’s and Robin Parksy’s Gazelle helped the United States secure Team Bronze during the 2015 Pan American Games.
Farrington piloted the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kasmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro) in what was her first international team appearance, and was pleased with Gazelle’s performance over the two days of competition on July 22nd and 24th. Team USA included Farrington; McLain Ward and Rothchild; Lauren Hough and Ohlala, and Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli.
After a single-round format in the First Qualifier on Tuesday, July 21st produced a high number of clear rounds, including clears from all members of Team USA, Farrington and his teammates entered the Team Final in equal first place with five other nations.
The Team Final was held in a two-round Nations Cup format, and it proved extremely competitive over both rounds of competition, with clear rounds coming at a premium. The US Team got off to an unlucky start in round one, with each combination having one rail down on-course to go into round two sitting in sixth on 12 faults. The team entered the arena for round two determined and performed an impressive four clears, a feat not matched by any other nation in either round.
Team Canada ended the day at the top of the podium, securing Team Gold and an all-important 2016 Olympic show jumping qualification for their nation. Argentina earned Team silver on the strength of impressive performances from their riders.
Team USA Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland was pleased with the final result: “coming back and having four clears in the second round was a great testament to all four of them, we are all proud of the effort, and it has been a great event,” he commented. “Each [US rider in] round one had one extremely minor error, not one single major error. It was pretty simple what the team needed to do [in round two]: duplicate everything from the first round and fix that one problem, and that’s exactly what happened. They were brilliant in the second round.”
Farrington and Gazelle had the same rail down as Hough at 9A and also added one time penalty to their total in round one. But the mare built on her experience and produced a confident, faultless effort in round two, and Farrington was happy with the experience his mare gained in the atmosphere of such a championship.
“How could you not be [happy]?” he said. “She’s a young horse that jumped two out of three rounds clear, and her last round was her best round.”
Farrington and Gazelle spent much of the spring season preparing for these Games by jumping on the Global Champions Tour in Europe, and he pointed out that bringing her to the Pan Ams at Caledon Park was an ideal chance for her to be presented with unique, championship-format fences and unique jumps that she’d never seen before.
Speaking to the success for the US Team at the Games, Farrington noted, “[Gazelle] is nine-years-old and this is the biggest course she’s ever seen in this kind of setting. Additionally, Georgina is here doing her first championship, so I think it was great experience for an inexperienced horse and for a rider moving up to compete in her first championship. Obviously we came here to be competitive and have a very strong team. We all had an unlucky rail in the first round, but all came back and jumped clear in the second round. A little bit of bad luck today, but overall a good experience.”