Kent Farrington News - The most current news about show jumping athlete Kent Farrington
Opening Day Victory for Farrington and Uceko in the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament
On the opening day of the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ Tournament in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, World No. 1 Kent Farrington piloted the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Uceko (Celano x Koriander) owned by RCG Farm to a first place finish in the 1.50 Husky Energy Cup on Thursday.
The 11-obstacle-course was designed by Leopoldo Palacios Jugo of Venezuela, and the time allowed was set at a competitive 67 seconds. Of the 46 riders, only three went without fault to make it into the final round. In the jump off, Farrington was joined by Juan Manuel Luzardo of Uruguay and the Husky Energy Cup defending champion Eric Lamaze. The World No. One rider put up a speedy time of 35.57 to secure the first place position.
Earlier in the year, Farrington and Uceko won the $200,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping at Wellington Masters in Wellington, Florida. Their most recent win on the grass field isn’t surprising for the duo who racked up five whopping CSI5* wins during the 2015 Spruce Meadows Summer Series, a testament to their longtime partnership.
“I plan his year around Spruce Meadows, and then I pick and choose the other shows around that,” said Farrington. “I tend to show him very little and I like to go to the places he likes – he loves the grass, and he has always done well here. Leopoldo is known for his tight time allowed and I think that played a big factor today. [There were] a couple very delicate fences, and when you jump to try and make the time, you tend to run into mistakes.”
Source: Noelle Floyd
Farrington Flies to the Finish with Gazelle in the ATB Financial Cup
A storm delayed the final jump-off of Thursday’s ATB Financial Cup at Spruce Meadows as severe winds knocked over jumps and dark clouds encircled the South Calgary facility.
Kent Farrington, the No. 1 FEI ranked rider, eventually was dubbed the winner with his 38.40-second trip around the jump-off course with his horse Gazelle. The elements, of course, can throw a wrench in a show jumper’s competition but Farrington was able to battle through.
“These are sensitive animals, and that’s what part of what makes them so great at their job. They’re very alert and that’s what makes them careful,” Farrington said. “When you add wind and things moving that don’t normally move, it’s very different for the horse and that can be very upsetting or distracting to the horse. It makes it more difficult, for sure.”
Three riders of a seven-rider jump-off were able to complete their round successfully before the storm worsened and the winds picked up. Eric Lamaze, the third rider to attempt the course, battled gale-force winds and had a slow time of 46.15-seconds aboard Chacco Kid. Ashlee Bond had begun her round, but Spruce Meadows suspended the competition in the middle of her ride. She was given another chance after the brief delay and wound up finishing second aboard Chela LS with a time just behind Farrington’s.
Following a brief delay and rebuilding of the jump-off course, the remaining riders completed the jump-off before the lightning and rain began.
Source: Calgary Herald
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
Farrington Repeats Victory at Royal Windsor with £254,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* Win
The pinnacle of Royal Windsor Horse Show, the much-anticipated Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, did not fail to disappoint on Sunday, May 14, 2017 in the United Kingdom as American rider and World No. 1 Kent Farrington successfully defended his 2016 victory of this same grand prix by piloting a new mount to the win.
“I was really thrilled with my horse, he is just stepping up to this level and he was unbelievable, I couldn’t have asked for more,” Farrington said of Sherkan D’Amaury, an 11-year-old KWPN gelding (Kannan x Quick Star) who he shares ownership with Dan Crown and Haity McNerney. The win marked the gelding’s first CSI5* victory.
With 30 world-class riders lining up to win over £254,000, the competition was hot, and Bob Ellis’ 1.60m course reflected the high standard. Four-time European gold medalist, Michael Whitaker was the first to jump clear aboard JB’s Hot Stuff, with whom he won the Antwerp Grand Prix last month. He was in good company as the likes of World No. 1 Farrington, Saturday night’s winner Jessica Springsteen and Olympic gold medalists Scott Brash, Laura Kraut and Eric Lamaze followed suit.
The jump-off had the packed crowds on the edge of their seats as 12 riders came forward to compete for the £63,000 first prize. The defending champion made the tightest of turns to the tricky Tower Bridge water tray and pushed on throughout to knock over three seconds off the previous leader’s time, never to be caught.
“This is one of my favorite shows and I’m not just saying that because I won here today,” Farrington added. “There’s a combination of an amazing setting, an unbelievable crowd, top course designing and great footing. That is the best of the best, and now with Rolex stepping up and making this a 5* event, it’s on par with the best in the world.”
Source: Noelle Floyd
Farrington and Sherkan d’Amaury Fastest at Jumping Antwerp CSI5*
Kent Farrington made his first European show of the season well worth it when he picked up the feature class win on Day Two of Jumping Antwerp CSI5* in Antwerp, Belgium.
The American rider, who is fresh off winning the Global Champions League CSI5* Final in Miami Beach, met a separate team of horses in Belgium this week to begin his spring competition season.
He rode Sherkan d’Amaury, an 11-year-old Selle Francis gelding (Kannan x Quick Star) owned by Haity McNerney, Dan Crown, and Farrington, in the jumpoff competition. Farrington and Sherkan d’Amaury jumped a clear Round One along with 13 others of the 40-entry start list.
The day’s feature class was held under lights at Jumping Atwerpen, adding to the atmosphere of this spring show. While Farrington held a strong lead in 32.91 seconds, Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci was not far behind in 33.11 seconds for second place. Penelope Leprevost of France came third in 33.80 seconds aboard Vagabond La Pomme.
Source: Noelle Floyd
London Knights’ Kent Farrington and Ben Maher Victorious in GCL CSI5* Final of Miami Beach
In an incredible turn of events, London Knights' Kent Farrington and Ben Maher overtook leading team Valkenswaard United in a dramatic upset in the €270,000 Global Champions League CSI5* Final of Miami Beach. After only two events, the fight for the coveted title is already extremely competitive and tactical with team riders and trainers strategizing to get an early advantage in the championship.
“I think it's really exciting what Jan is doing for the sport; he started the Global Champions Tour 12 years ago, and it's been evolving ever since,” Farrington said, referring to GCL co-founder, Jan Tops. “I think the team competition is the latest evolution of his vision for big sport. We can already see big changes from last year. I'm really excited to be a part of it and it's a great way to showcase our sport here in Miami Beach,” Farrington said.
No longer a class that riders can qualify for throughout the weekend and no longer a full, two-round grand prix with a start list of 40, the new Global Champions Tour Grand Prix CSI5* competition allows just 25 riders to compete and they have to have qualified in the previous GCL class.
Team Valkenswaard United looked set to continue their championship reign as they headed to the final at Miami Beach in pole position following Thursday's Round One. Maintaining their flawless score of zero faults, teammate Alberto Zorzi put them in a strong position to take the gold as they did in Mexico City last week. However as the last rider to compete over a challenging course, Bertram Allen knocked down two fences along the track, scoring an unusual eight faults and dropping the team to a second place finish.
Ben Maher and Kent Farrington stood atop the podium, with Maher jumping a clear and four fault round over the two days of competition with Don Vito. Farrington did the same aboard two mounts; Dublin and Creedance, but it was his final round with Creedance that pushed the London Knights up to first place with the quickest time over the 1.55/1.60m speed course.
As the victorious teams took to the podium followed by their victory gallop, the crowds cheered and the champagne sprayed. Valkenswaard United enter the next leg in Shanghai, China, still holding on to the ranking lead with a total score of 55. The London Knights jump into second place with a total of 47 and the St. Tropez Pirates sit in a very close third with a total of 46.
Source: GCL Press Release
Kent Farrington and Dublin Win Suncast® Championship Jumper Classic FINAL CSI5*
2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and his mount Dublin were the winners of the $130,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic Final on Saturday night at the Winter Equestrian Festival.
The 1.50m final held its first round on Saturday afternoon, with 49 entries starting over Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) first-round course, and 13 advancing to the evening jump-off. Only four riders cleared both rounds without fault.
Portugal’s Luciana Diniz was first to clear the short course in 44.26 seconds aboard her own and Arnaldo Diniz’s Lennox to end in third place. Ali Wolff cleared the track next in 48.93 seconds riding Quirie 2 to a fourth place finish. Canada’s Tiffany Foster upped the pace in 43.05 seconds with Artisan Farms’ Brighton to place second. Last to go, Farrington took the win in 41.90 seconds with his own and Tanma Corp.’s Dublin.
“I am really excited. I thought the horse went great today; I thought both of my horses did,” Farrington stated following his win, as well as an eighth place finish aboard Sherkan d’Amaury. “I have been bringing them along this winter really slowly. I started them both in the 1.35m and built them up this whole winter. To finish off with them both going clear in the 1.50m final was a great accomplishment for them regardless of their results. The win was a bonus.”
Farrington purchased Dublin, a 10-year-old German Sport Horse (Cobra x Calido), at the start of the winter. The gelding previously showed with Carly Anthony (USA) under the ownership of Artisan Farms.
“He is extremely careful,” Farrington detailed. “He is actually quite difficult to ride. He is so careful that he borderlines on too careful almost, where he goes too high. I think this horse really needs to bond with a rider and have a lot of confidence. I actually carry a lot of speed with him, even in the first round, to give him confidence so that he does not go too high.
“Whether or not he will allow you to really have total control over him, I do not know,” Farrington continued, “but if we can find a good compromise in the middle like today, then I think he has a big future. Time still has to show us, but we are off to a great start, and we will see where it takes us from here.”
Remarking on his jump-off, Farrington added, “I trust that horse’s quality, so I know that I can really go at high speed to the jumps and trust that he is going to miss the rails. I thought he did an incredible roll back to the vertical by the in-gate. I do not think I even touched the reins there; he just flew back on that jump. That is probably where he won it.”
Source: Press Release and Noelle Floyd
KENT Farrington and Creedance Race to Victory in $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup
Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farm’s Creedance were victorious in the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round Seven during the second CSI5* rated week of the Winter Equestrian Festival.
Course designer Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) saw 56 starters on his first round course, with 14 advancing to the jump-off and six clear over the short track. Farrington and Creedance took the win with a time of 33.92 seconds.
For his win on Thursday, Farrington stuck to his own strategy with the speedy mount and made time with quick, tight turns.
“I watched a couple go early in the jump-off just to be sure about my plan, but he is very fast by himself, so I have to stick to his routine,” Farrington noted. “I can’t try to do stride numbers that other horses do. I have to win on short turns and using his foot speed.”
Farrington continued, “I think the horse is naturally quick, and I naturally ride pretty quick. I did one extra stride to the oxer before the rollback turn. That probably made it easier to rollback shorter, and he is fast enough to do that. A slower horse, if they add a stride there, they are going to be two seconds behind, so I think a smaller, quicker horse has the advantage on a rollback like that.”
“It is a big week here; a five-star week in Florida,” Farrington said after his win. “I have been bringing Creedance up slow, and this is his first five-star show here. We are off to a great start. He jumped last week under the lights in the small ring, and I thought he was a bit rusty. He came out in much better form today, so I am happy with his progress, if nothing else.”
The 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) won two five-star grand prixs in St. Moritz and Geneva, Switzerland, in 2016, among other top finishes at a young age.
Along with the winning prize, Creedance was presented the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week seven, presented by Laura Fetterman.
Source: Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
Farrington & Gazelle Top WEF $380,000 Grand Prix CSI5*
U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington jumped to victory riding Gazelle in Saturday night’s $380,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. In an 11-horse jump-off, Brazil’s Luiz Francisco de Azevedo finished second riding Comic, commenting, “I am very happy because for me, it is like a win to be second behind Kent Farrington.”
Course designer Robert Ellis (GBR) saw 40 competitors jump his first-round track for the five-star event under the lights. Eleven advanced to the jump-off, where three jumped double clear in the race against the clock. Farrington and Gazelle emerged victorious with a time of 44.48 seconds. De Azevedo finished second with Comic in 45.69 seconds, and Tyree guided Bokai through the timers in 48.29 seconds. Canada’s Eric Lamaze rode Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Fine Lady 5 to the fastest four-fault round in 45.65 seconds to place fourth.
Farrington, who is currently the number two-ranked rider in the world, put in a thrilling jump-off round with his own and Robin Parsky’s Gazelle to ensure victory. He jumped the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro) to a team bronze medal in the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, among other top international finishes.
Speaking of his winning round, Farrington stated, “My plan in a jump-off is usually to play to the horse’s strengths unless there are only three in it, then maybe you have a different strategy. Coming after me are Fine Lady and Eric Lamaze, and they are an incredibly competitive combination. They are super fast against the clock, so my plan was to do what I thought the limit was for my horse and put the pressure on him to have to really chase me to win. I knew if we were both running, his horse is probably faster in this type of arena, so I tried to put the pressure on him and hope he would have one down. Luckily for me it worked out tonight.”
Commenting on the first round course, Farrington added, “After walking, I thought a lot was going to depend on the time-allowed. I thought maybe he wanted the time-allowed a touch shorter in an ideal world so that there were not quite so many clear, but the jump-off was still difficult enough, so you probably ended up with the same spot anyway.”
Source: Phelps Media
Farrington And sherkan d'Amaury Finish First in Suncast® 1.50m at WEF 2017
2016 U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington was the winner of Week Four’s $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Saturday at the Winter Equestrian Festival riding Sherkan d’Amaury. Jumping a track set by course designer Steve Stephens (USA), Farrington topped a class of 29 entries and an eight-horse jump-off.
Sherkan d’Amaury, an 11-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Quick Star) owned by Farrington, Haity McNerney, and Daniel Crown, carried his rider to victory in a time of 39.54 seconds over the short course. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) took second and third place honors, riding the Blue Buckle Group’s Cobolt through the timers in 39.92 seconds, and stopping the clock in 40.56 seconds aboard Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC’s Main Road.
Remarking on his winning round with Sherkan d’Amaury, Farrington stated, “For him, I just did what I thought his strengths were. I think what won the class today was the leave-out to the last fence. He has a very big stride and big scope, and he is so careful that he is actually better if I am catching every jump accelerating, or out of rhythm. I think that is where we got it today.
“I think a lot of this horse,” Farrington continued. “I had him last year, and then he had a terrible colic surgery, and he just started showing this winter two weeks ago. The first class in the week he was third, and then yesterday he was second, and today he won, so he is really on the mend and I’m happy to have him back.”
Sherkan d’Amaury has a fast pace and a unique way of going that suits Farrington’s strengths as a rider.
“He is my style. He is super careful, which I try to find in all of the horses I buy,” Farrington stated. “I try to get extreme quality, and sometimes that works against me, but in the end I think that is the way you get the best horses. They tend to be a little bit the weirdos. They are spooky and not always the easiest to ride, but that often goes hand-in-hand with an extreme horse that has that kind of blood and that kind of carefulness. It is a double-edged sword, but that is what I like to ride.”
Sherkan d’Amaury is just getting back in top form and Farrington will continue developing him throughout the winter circuit.
“I think he can jump anything,” the rider noted. “It is just a matter of building him the right way, and seeing where his confidence is, and what his body is ready for. He came off of a long gap there not doing anything all last year, so we’ll see where he goes. It is a long winter and we have lots of time to build him up, so I am looking forward to it.”
Source: Jennifer Wood Media
KENT FARRINGTON AND CREEDANCE VICTORIOUS IN CREDIT SUISSE GRAND PRIX
On the eve of the Rolex Top Ten Final, the USA’s Kent Farrington kicked off his return to Switzerland with a vengeance, winning the Credit Suisse Grand Prix Qualifier aboard Creedance. As one of only two double clear rides on the first day of the CHI Geneva CSI5*, Farrington recorded a strong start to the event.
The grand prix qualifier for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix saw 50 international horse-and-rider combinations enter the Palexpo Areno to take on the 13-fence track. However, only nine pairs were able to claim clear score sheets in the first round.
Starting the class off in enthusiastic fashion was local rider, Christina Liebherr, and the 12-year-old BWP stallion L.B. Eagle Eye. They were the first pair in the ring and the first to ride clear.
Nearly 20 riders thereafter were unable to advance from either recording time faults for exceeding the 64 seconds allowed or from lowering poles on course. The list grew to include top names and contenders such as Harrie Smolders, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, Christian Ahlmann, Rolf Göran-Bengtsson, and Robert Whitaker.
At the conclusion of Round One, Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca, USA’s McLain Ward, Germany’s Daniel Deusser, Ireland’s Cian O’Connor, and Belgium’s Jérome Guery would jump clear, making Thursday’s class a nine-man jump off with seven different countries represented.
As Cian O’Connor elected to withdraw from jump off competition, the remaining eight took to the shortened course. Six knocked down a single pole, and in the end, it was Farrington who finished with all the poles in place and with a 5.07-second advantage to take the win.
Jérome Guery and the 10-year-old BWP chestnut gelding Grand Cru van de Rozenberg (Malito de Reve x Heartbreaker) produced the second double-clear performance of the evening, riding into second place with a time of 42.10 seconds
Third went to Grand Slam of Show Jumping contender Scott Brash with 4 faults and a time of 36.73 seconds, while 4th would go to Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Sweet de Beaufour (Diamant de Semilly x Kannan) also on 4 faults in 37.99 seconds.
In 2015 Farrington was the first American rider to win the Rolex Top Ten Final.
Source: Noelle Floyd
FARRINGTON AND CREEDANCE CONQUER ‘BIG BEN’ CHALLENGE AT 2016 ROYAL HORSE SHOW
U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington won the $75,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ Challenge on Friday, November 11, to close out the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.
In front of a sold-out crowd of more than 6,000 people, 21 riders challenged the final international show jumping event of the 2016 Royal Horse Show. A total of seven jumped clear over the huge track set by course designer Bernardo Cabral of Portugal, but none could match the daring performance of Farrington and Creedance, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) owned in partnership with RGC Farm.
“There were some really nice horses jumping here tonight,” said Farrington who was competing at the Royal Horse Show following a five-year absence. “More than anything, more than winning, I’m thrilled with the progress of the horse. I feel like he’s on track to become a very good grand prix horse.”
Farrington and Creedance posted a blistering jump-off time of 31.86 seconds that could not be matched. Reigning Olympic Champions Nick Skelton of Great Britain and Big Star, owned by Oliver Robertson and Gary and Beverley Widdowson, came the closest, stopping the clock in 33.55 seconds.
“There was no way I could beat Kent so I went for second,” said Skelton who has been attending The Royal since the late 1970s. “They have a great crowd here that really takes part in and enjoys the show. I like coming here; it’s one of my favorite indoor shows.”
Of the final test set by course designer Cabral, Farrington said, “I thought it was a creative course using three doubles instead of a triple, which we see all the time in indoor jumping.
“This is a really classy horse, and he’s learning at each show,” continued Farrington who is aiming Creedance at the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final to be held from March 29 to April 2 in Omaha, Nebraska. “He’s a little bit special and very, very sensitive, so loud noises and things like that really set him off. I thought maybe these indoor shows would be a little bit of an adventure, but he’s really settled down now and he’s handling it nicely.”
FARRINGTON AND VOYEUR WIN $250,000 LONGINES FEI WORLD CUP JUMPING LEXINGTON
Kent Farrington and his 2016 Rio Olympics mount Voyeur ran away with the victory in the fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2016/2017 North American League (Eastern Sub-League). The current World No. 4 rider—and recent Olympic team silver medalist—flawlessly executed a jump-off track with the 14-year-old, Dutch Warmblood gelding to defeat a jump-off field of 14, claiming the win in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Lexington.
Inside the Alltech Arena at the CP National Horse Show, a starting list of 40 horse-and-rider pairs competed over the course designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). A fair and flowing track—featuring a triple combination, a double combination, and two liverpools—set competitors up for success. Fourteen answered all the questions correctly to go clear; a majority of the class’s rounds recorded, at most, 4 faults.
Success came early in the evening, with the first to ride in the order, Danielle Torano (USA), completing a fault-free round to set the tone. And heading into the jump off, a talented pool of riders emerged as top contenders, including three Olympians: Farrington, McLain Ward (USA), and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA).
“I had my plan for that horse for what I think his weaknesses are and for where I needed to help him,” said Farrington about his approach to the course in the first round. “Voyeur’s very strong so I just have to watch that he isn’t too aggressive.”
The track in the final round enticed riders to take sharp turns, but as the rails began to drop, the risk of the sharp angles to the fences became clear with only three going clear. Callan Solem (USA) delivered the evening’s first double clear aboard VDL Wizard, recording an efficient time of 40.69 seconds.
But a couple riders later, Farrington shaved almost four seconds off Solem’s time, clocking in at 36.93 seconds. Solem went on to finish in second while Molly Ashe (USA) and Carissimo landed at third with a time of 45.86 seconds and the final double clear.
“I was really hungry to win something, and I wanted to slam the door closed and make everyone chase me,” Farrington said about his deciding round. “It was a big field with a lot of good riders behind me—especially with McLain and his horse from the Olympics [HH Azur]. When you have those kinds of competitors, you have to take a shot or you’re not going to win.”
Following tonight’s event, Kent Farrington currently holds the top position in the Eastern Sub-League standings heading into the next event at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, Ontario on November 9.
Source: FEI and Noelle Floyd
The 2016 American Gold Cup came to a conclusion on Sunday, September 18th, culminating a full week of world-class show jumping competition with the highly anticipated $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W. Equestrian fans and spectators gathered at Old Salem Farm and watched as Kent Farrington (USA) captured the American Gold Cup aboard his own and Robin Parsky's Gazelle.
Forty horses and athletes, who qualified for the week's main event in Friday's $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier, not only competed for the coveted prize money on Sunday, but also for valuable ranking points within the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League.
Course designer Alan Wade set a technical and challenging first round track which only saw two athletes produce clear rounds to advance to the short course. The 13-fence obstacle course tested athletes and horses over triple and double combinations, a liverpool, tight rollbacks, fragile, narrow verticals and tricky bending lines.
Charlie Jacobs (USA) and Cassinja S, owned by CMJ Sporthorse, LLC, were the first clear pathfinders, making the course look effortless and easy. The crowd watched with bated breath as athlete after athlete followed Jacobs' performance and attempted to finish fault-free over the first round track, but none were able to do so until 2016 U.S. Show Jumping Team silver medalist Farrington entered the Grand Prix Field as 36th in the order. He piloted the ten-year-old Belgium Warmblood mare to the last faultless finish of the first round, which would secure a jump-off between Farrington and Jacobs.
Going head-to-head in the tiebreaker, Jacobs returned to the field first to tackle the nine-fence jump-off course. The pair started strong over Wade's shortened track, but the ten-year-old mare just brushed the back rail over the third to last oxer to collect four faults in 48.690 seconds. Thus, all Farrington had to do to win the class was jump clear.
The experienced show jumping veteran showed no mercy and did just that to claim his first grand prix victory at the American Gold Cup. With no faults, they crossed the finish line in 53.180 seconds for the win.
"I thought Alan Wade built a difficult course today, which I think is well suited for a class of this prestige and prize money," said Farrington. "With it also being a World Cup qualifier, I think it brings the best riders we have using top horses. It worked out for me to win today, but regardless of that I thought it was a great competition and I am thrilled to finally win the American Gold Cup. I've never done that before and it was on my list of things to do."
However, Farrington was not done with his performance just yet as immediately after galloping through the timers, Gazelle spooked and knocked Farrington out of the saddle. Farrington got right up and was all smiles as he caught Gazelle and took a bow for the crowd after sticking his involuntary landing.
"She spooked at something at the end of the jump-off," said Farrington. "She did that in the first round. She's a really special horse. A lot of my horses are like that. I try to find horses that are careful, and that makes them a bit skittish and sometimes a little bit funny about anything moving fast or anything that looks a bit different to them. That's their quality and that's what makes them great and able to win a lot of classes. It's also makes them a little strange sometimes and you don't know exactly what they are going to do. I finished the round and I thought, 'Oh that's over,' and I leaned forward to give her a pat on the neck and canter around the pond and she had a different idea to turn around and go back to the gate. So we compromised with a front flip and bow!"
With no other major championships occurring in 2017, athletes, such as Farrington, are focused on qualifying for the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Finals in Omaha, Nebraska, in March 2017, and the American Gold Cup is proud to host the second leg of the East Coast qualifying events.
"This year, especially with it being in the United States, I'd like to go if I feel like I have a horse that is on form at that time," said Farrington. "I've been to the World Cup Finals a few times. I really only want to go if I think I'm going to be a contender, but I'd like to plan on going right now.
"The World Cup Final is a very particular type of competition," continued Farrington. "It's in a small indoor arena so you really need an indoor specialist. They have to be able to hold up over five rounds, which is a lot of jumping. I wouldn't necessarily take Voyeur, who is an older horse. He's done multiple championships already for me. I think that would be a big ask of him at this point in his career. I'd rather spot him towards individual competitions. If one of my younger ones is ready, in my eyes, to go then I'll take a swing at it."
Source: Phelps Media Group
It was the perfect ending to a day full of great sport at the Brussels Stephex Masters, with world no. three Kent Farrington (USA) finishing first in the competitive CSI5* Audi Prize worth 35 000 Euro.
Nine riders went clear under the flood lights over the twelve fence track that was set at 1.50m. It was by far the triple combination at 11abc – placed by the in-gate – that caused the most problems, and again and again one or more of the elements here fell to the ground.
First to go, Kent Farrington (USA) showed how to do it on the lovely Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris). Seven more riders followed up with clear rounds, and the audience was in for a treat with some of the world’s best ready to race against the clock.
As it turned out, it would be all about Farrington. First into the ring for the jump-off, the American rider knew he had to put the pressure on and so he did with a fast round in 43.88 seconds.
However, Farrington had far from the ideal start to the Brussels Stephex Masters. “The first day for me was terrible,” explained Kent. “I fell off at number three, so obviously he improved and then he came back tonight and was more like his usual self. I actually was not trying to go full speed. I was trying to go smooth in the jump-off, but he is a naturally fast horse and just letting him go in his own pace is usually very competitive.”
“The horse is a real fighter,” Farrington said of his winning mount Creedance that also won the CSI5* Grand Prix in St. Moritz last weekend. “I don’t know what he can or can’t do, and I think time will tell. I am trying to produce him in a good way. I think no matter what, he is going to be very competitive – so I will let him tell me what his level is.”
Source: Brussels Stephex Masters
KENT FARRINGTON TRIUMPHANT AT CSIO5* ST. MORITZ
Just one week after winning Team Silver at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, Kent Farrington kept his good form by winning the two feature classes at last week's Longines St. Moritz CSI5* in St. Moritz, Switzerland.
Kent took top honors in Sunday’s Longines Grand Prix CSI5* of St. Moritz aboard his talented mount Creedance. Forty-nine riders took part in the 1.60m jump off class, and ten of them advanced to the shortened course to try to take the win home.
“My plan was to try to win and I made sure that my plan was aggressive enough to win,” said Farrington. “I think in the jump off, the second to last fence I went around when most of the other riders went inside because my horse is really fast across the ground. I thought it would be less risk and probably the same speed as going inside so that was my option there.”
That option worked out as Farrington was able to set a time no other rider could beat, in 39.56 seconds.
“He (Creedance) is only nine years old so he’s very inexperienced for this level of competition but he’s really fast and I have big hopes for him in the future,” Farrington added.
The previous day Farrington rode Gazelle, a ten-year-old BWP mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Indoctro) in the 1.50m jumpoff class against 48 other starters. Eleven pairs qualified for the jump-off and of those, seven made it a double clear day.
He entered the arena for the jump off at a calm walk and beat the leading time of Pieter Devos for Belgium by almost two seconds. Farrington and Gazelle produced the fastest time of 36.18 seconds for victory in the CHF 35,000 Prize Notenstein La Roche Private Bank AG.
Source: Noelle Floyd
The U.S. show jumping team didn’t just win team silver behind Team France at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, they did it one rider down.
This morning Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ withdrew from competition as the horse sustained a tendon injury in yesterday’s initial team competition. That left Kent Farrington and Voyeur, Lucy Davis and Barron, and McLain Ward and Azur to ride on Day 2 of team competition with no drop score.
Four teams—the United States, Germany, Brazil and the Netherlands—came in on a matching score of 0, and everyone expected a tougher track today to separate out the medals. And course designer Guilherme Jorge delivered, with bigger fences and an extremely snug time allowed. The Germans were the only team in that tie for the top who had the luxury of four riding team members and a drop score.
Farrington and Voyeur led off the U.S. effort with a great round, leaving all the jumps in the cups and picking up only a single time fault.“I saw a lot of horses struggling to jump the triple combination clear, so I really set him up for that,” said Farrington, 35. “Every rail [was] going to matter today, so I wanted to secure that before I took a bigger risk on the time. I thought he jumped amazing, so I was really pleased with the horse.”
Davis and Barron picked up 4 faults in the triple combination, but snuck between the timers within the time allowed.
“I was pleased with the round, but not thrilled, because I would have liked to have gone clear,” said Davis, Los Angeles. “He jumped amazing all days, including today. I really wasn't expecting that rail because he was jumping so confident and smooth. I came around the turn and saw my distance, and I don't know if he saw something or what. I watched the video, but it's a little hard to tell.”
Meanwhile, German team had faltered, with their first three riders bringing down rails, and the French had rebounded. Philippe Rozier (Rahotep de Toscane) and Kevin Staut (Reveur de Hurtebise) picked up just time faults, and Roger Yves Bost (Sydney Une Prince) rode a brilliant double clear. Their unbeatable two-round total of 3 faults meant that Pénélope Leprevost didn’t have to jump Flora de Mariposa as they’d already secured gold.
Last to go for the United States, Ward knew that Team USA, sitting on 5 faults, had no chance at gold. But he didn’t want the team to drop any lower and any mistake would be costly. He and Azur jumped brilliantly, laying down one of the just four fault-free rounds of the day.
“When I realized we couldn’t win I was feeling like I was going to throw up actually,” he admitted. “But you have to gather yourself a little bit, though it takes the wind slightly out of your sails when you’re so focused on winning. We’ve had a little bit of a rough 24 hours, losing Cortes [from the team]. I thought Kent’s round was obviously brilliant, and Lucy was the utmost professional, just like at the [Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France) in 2014]. She was top class and really delivered a great round and allowed me to be in a position where I could do the job that I came here to do.
“[Azur] has a big stride, so I did the options that were the leave-out which helped with the time allowed a little bit,” he said. “I really thought she jumped as good as ever, if not better, than the rest of the week. It was a round I’m proud of, and I’m proud of this team. For sure we would have liked to have won, but you have to take your hat off also to France. They’ve had a borderline disastrous week. To pull this off—that’s what movies are made of.”
The real excitement came after the top two medals had already been decided, as Germany and Canada both finished with 8 faults. According to the Olympic rules all teams tied for medals jump off, and the best three scores from each count. Canada’s Yann Candele (First Choice 15) and Amy Millar (Hero) each put 4 on the board, while Tiffany Foster managed a clear with Tripple X III. Germany’s Christian Ahlmann (Taloubet Z) and Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (Fibonacci) jumped clear. Germany secured team bronze when their third rider, Daniel Deusser (First Class) put in yet another clear.
“It’s been a roller coaster, but the same as it is for the United States, France, Brazil, Canada—we’re not a different position,” said Ludger Beerbaum, who rode Casello. “Everybody was of course hoping to go clear and do the best and be on the podium. Like for all our colleagues it’s the same emotions.”
The horses enjoy an off day tomorrow, then the top teams 35 riders, with a maximum of three riders per team, will come back to jump on Friday’s two-round individual clean-slate final. Farrington, Davis and Ward will all compete for the United States.
U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland is optimistic for what Friday will bring. “I think all three are in very good shape. They're confident, and they all came off a great week. I think all three are ready for Friday,” he said.
Source: Mollie Bailey/Chronicle of the Horse
Kent Farrington & Gazelle Win $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows
After three rounds of competition in the International Ring at Spruce Meadows, USA’s Kent Farrington emerged victorious in the $500,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup.
The class was the highlight event of the ‘North American’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows and the final week of competition of the Summer Series. Thirty-nine riders hailing from twelve nations took on the first round track, designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela. And once again, time proved to be one of the track’s greatest challenges.
“He had a measured first round,” Farrington reflected on Varela’s first round course. “It was difficult with the short time allowed that put a lot of pressure on people that caused them to have rails that they wouldn’t have normally have had.”
Twelve riders progressed into the second round, eight of which qualified on clear rounds. With the conclusion of round two, six riders were sitting on double-clear rounds to head into the jump off.
First to contest the jump off was American rider Jonathan McCrea aboard Aristoteles V (Padinus x Lux). The pathfinders jumped the shortened track fault free to ultimately finish fourth with a time of 45.52 seconds. Next to jump clear was Farrington, and with a blazing fast time of 40.50 seconds, he easily climbed to the top of the leader board with the agile 10-year old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro). Canada’s Eric Lamaze and Check Picobello Z (Cardento x Orlando) also gave the short track a good run, but finished in a time of 43.98 seconds that would eventually land them in 3rd.
With one rider remaining, Farrington’s time was still holding up, but he didn’t yet think he had the class won: “I never think [my time] will hold up until the class is finished. I’m never that confident, because that’s when you get caught,” he said.
However, Farrington knew the time he produced with talented mare he co-owns with Robin Parsky would be a tough one to beat: “I thought I put a lot of pressure on everybody else. I’m not one who really plays it safe. I like to try and win classes, I don’t think you win as much if you’re playing by trying not to lose. I usually have my own plan of what I think is within the horse’s ability, and I try and work within those limits and make the most of the track.”
Farrington thought the three rounds of competition suited Gazelle’s stamina well: “That horse has really come on strong. One of her strengths is that she has a lot of blood, and a lot of energy. So she kind of gets better as she goes.”
“I don’t want to say I’m totally surprised, because I always thought there was a very good horse,” Farrington said of the mare’s recent successes. “I got her when she was seven and have been bringing her along these last few years. She’s had her ups and downs, like all of them, but I always thought she would be where she is today, so I’m very pleased.”
Course designer Santiago Varela was pleased with the competition he saw today. “I thought it was a very nice show and a very good class,” Varela said. “I wanted to have a jump off today, and we put a lot of pressure in the first round as opposed to the second one to keep the horses fresh for the jump-off.”
Next up for Varela will be the Olympic Games, where he will act as technical delegate for the course designer, Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge.
Farrington, too, will travel to the Olympic Games. But first, he will compete in Europe with both Gazelle and Uceko. He will ride Voyeur, a mount that won him the 2014 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup, at the Olympics in Rio and is hopeful that his winning ways will continue at next month’s Games.
“I’m really excited about that,” he said. “Hopefully we can continue this form and have a little extra luck when we get there.”
Source: Noelle Floyd
Kent Farrington & Gazelle Victorious in the $375,000 ‘Pan American’ Cup at Spruce Meadows
Kent Farrington rode Gazelle (Kashmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro) to a thrilling win on Saturday, July 2nd in the $375,000 ‘Pan American’ Cup CSI5* presented by Rolex. Farrington is a perennial presence in prize giving ceremonies at Spruce Meadows, and the win today will result in the third consecutive year that his name is etched onto the ‘Pan American’ trophy. Ireland’s Conor Swail and Grafton (Calvaro x Vondeen) finished second, and USA’s Andrew Ramsay and California 62 (Cassini I x Galant Vert) placed third.
During the CSI5* ‘Pan American’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows, Farrington saved his best for the highlight event. A total of 37 riders competed in round one of the Alan Wade-designed track, with just seven progressing into the jump off.
Andrew Ramsay was the first rider to jump double clear, setting the early time to beat of 37.59 seconds. Hot on his tail, Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt aboard the stallion LB Convall (Colman x Cascavelle) finished the short course in 37.71 seconds to land in 4th place. Mexico’s Patricio Pasquel produced a double-clear round, but a slower time had him finish in the 5th place position.
The penultimate rider to challenge Ramsay’s time was Farrington, who set a new standard in the short track right off the bat, galloping the first three jumps perfectly in stride. The pair finished with a time 35.78 seconds—a time that not even the final rider, Conor Swail, could beat. While Swail and the ten-year-old stallion gave a valiant effort, they were just off the mark with a time of 36.17 seconds that earned 2nd place.
Today’s win for Farrington comes during a successful Spruce Meadow’s Summer Series with Gazelle. In June, Farrington piloted the mare to two wins during the CSI5* ‘National’ and another victory during the CSI5* ‘Continental’ Tournament.
The now ten-year old Belgian Warmblood mare came under Farrington’s care at the age of seven, bought in partnership with Robin Parksy.
“I am very grateful that I have a super group of people behind my career—Robin Parsky being one of them,” Farrington said. “They are really passionate about show jumping and that is what all of us need today in order to compete at this level. I have taken my time bringing this horse up, and she has found her way at the higher level. I had her in Florida this winter, and she was struggling a little bit in the big grand prixs, so I dropped her down for a while and then brought her back up, and she seems to be finding her form.”
When asked about his tactics for the jump-off, Swail admitted that beating Kent’s time was the only thing on his mind.
“I had to go as hard as I could following Kent,” he said. “Kent got one-to-two easier than I would have liked, and then he got seven strides around the corner and I got eight, so I was already behind and had to keep chasing. I did one stride less to the last, which I knew I could get [and] that no one else could. Unfortunately, that was not enough, but I am delighted. Kent is a great rider with a great horse. Being second to him, I will take that any day.”
Source: Noelle Floyd
KENT FARRINGTON NAMED TO THE U.S. OLYMPIC SHOW JUMPING TEAM FOR RIO 2016 OLYMPIC GAMES
The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) has named four athlete-and-horse combinations to the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team and one traveling reserve combination for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Kent Farrington and Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur, a 2002 KWPN gelding, join teammates Lucy Davis and Old Oak Farm’s Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, Beezie Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding, and McLain Ward with Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s Azur, a 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare. The traveling alternate is Laura Kraut and Old Willow Farms, LLC’s Zeremonie, a 2007 Holsteiner mare.
Show Jumping competition at the Games will take place August 12-19, 2016 at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
IT’S A THREE-PEAT AS KENT FARRINGTON CLINCHES DOUBLE VICTORY AT SPRUCE
The ‘Continental’ CSI 5* Tournament at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series featured exciting show jumping competition at the Meadows on the Green with Kent Farrington and Gazelle capturing the top prize in the Scotiabank Cup 1.55m as the only clear round. Farrington also captured the victory in the Altagas Cup 1.45m when he piloted Aron S to the win.
There were 35 entries that went to post in the Scotiabank Cup 1.55m. The challenging course was designed by Luc Musette of Belgium and tested the riders with a tight time allowed, large heights, and technical distances.
Farrington and Gazelle, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro) owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky, were the only ones able to stay clear with no jumping or time faults.
Farrington thought that the course could have been seen in a big grand prix class. “You had a technical related distance to both combinations, which always poses a problem, and then you couple that with a short time allowed and some careful fences at the end, (and it) made it pretty difficult to jump clear under the time,” he said.
For Gazelle, Farrington was focused on the triple combination as a potential trouble spot. However, he was not very worried about the time allowed as he naturally rides fast and chooses places to make up time early so he can take his time at spots on course where he knows his horses may struggle.
“I thought the triple (combination) was a big ask,” he said. “A vertical, vertical, oxer always calls on their scope. I thought she handled that really well. That’s something earlier in the season that she struggled with in Florida, learning to jump the oxers in the combinations without jumping too high and then having the back rail. I’m very proud of her progress. She seems to be learning how to do that much better and more consistently. It’s really a good sign for me.”
Farrington did breathe a sigh of relief when he realized he did not have to jump off. “Yes, that’s always nice,” he said with a smile. “That hardly ever happens. You have to sit and watch the last half of the class, which is not always so fun, but it worked out for us today and we got to save her legs for the grand prix.”
For the past two years, Farrington has brought Gazelle to the Spruce Meadows Summer Series to gain valuable education for the talented mare, and he believes that Spruce Meadows is second to none in preparing horses for top competition.
He explained, “In general, the horses learn to really grow a bigger heart and big scope jumping on this field because they can carry a lot of gallop. The fences are so big and wide. You have some horses that just won’t accept it; they’re too careful. The ones that do accept those poles being extra wide, it makes them better (and) they learn from it. If they can jump this and can jump a big grand prix here, you can walk into almost any big grand prix in the world and feel comfortable and able to jump it.”
Farrington and Aron S Record a Win
Kent Farrington continued his winning ways at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series in the Altagas Cup 1.45m with Aron S, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Tadmus x Karandasj) owned by Alex Crown. They sped through the jump-off to finish in 36.39 seconds, more than two seconds faster than second place finishers, Conor Swail (IRL) and Dillinger.
Farrington said he saw Swail’s ride and “thought it was a very competitive round.”
He added, “My horse is naturally quicker. I thought I took a little more of a chance. I wanted to be sure that I was ahead of him.”
There were 13 in the jump-off out of 52 entries, and seven of those were double clear.
This was the pair’s first FEI Ranking win since their partnership began in February. Aron S has been a consistent competitor, having placed in the top three in 1.50m competitions in Wellington, FL, and at the Royal Windsor Horse Show in England.
“He’s a very competitive horse,” Farrington acknowledged. “We did the 1.45m yesterday to get one round under his belt. I thought he really jumped great today; he was flying. If he’s going to be in that form, we’ll do a lot here.”
When Farrington first started riding Aron S, it took some time to adjust to his way of going, and Farrington quickly realized that it would take compromise.
He explained, “He likes to go his own way. If you try to have too much control, he gets upset. I started in the beginning of really trying to train him and make him more rideable. Once I felt like I got him to listen, to a certain extent, now I let him go a little more free, the way he likes to go.”
“It was a good step up for Aron S into the winner’s circle,” Farrington said. “It’s good for him. It’s nice because he’s been very close, and he got a good win here today. I look for more good things from him before I leave,” he concluded.
Source: Spruce Meadows via NoelleFloyd.com
DÈJÁ VU! KENT FARRINGTON GOES TWO FOR TWO AT SPRUCE MEADOWS
For the second night in a row, USA’s Kent Farrington, ranked No. 6 in the world, won the day’s highlight competition with Gazelle at CSI5* Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament on Thursday, June 10th.
Adding to an opening day win on Wednesday, Farrington took home victory in the ATB Financial Cup 1.55m, when he topped Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt on Chico 784 and Canada’s Eric Lamaze on Check Picobello Z.
From the 43 entries in the ATB Financial Cup, 15 pairs made it through to the jump off. There were nine, double-clear rounds. As the final pair in the order, Farrington and Gazelle chased a leading time of 42.56 seconds, set by Weishaupt. Farrington sliced turns and opened up Gazelle’s stride to stop the timers at 41.46 seconds.
Farrington has partnered with Gazelle, a ten-year-old, Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro), for three years, and co-owns her with Robin Parsky. Farrington rode Gazelle for Team USA at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, where they won team bronze. Farrington noted that she is learning to be a good grand prix horse, and the plan for her time at Spruce Meadows is to gain mileage in bigger competitions.
This is the fourth time that Farrington will have his name etched on the trophy for the ATB Financial Cup and has become one of the top names in show jumping.
“I’ve been in the sport for a long time,” he confirmed. “I started at the bottom of the sport, similar to Eric [Lamaze], with no family background. I think it’s a dream to ride [at Spruce Meadows] in the first place, and then to win here is even better.
“I have a lot of appreciation for all of the people that do this at a high level. I’ve learned from them. I used to watch Eric and Cagney jumping the derby year after year. I’m a student of the sport. To go in there and compete with them, and to win, is a dream since I was a kid.”
Farrington was inspired by Lamaze and the way that the Canadian veteran rider rose through the sport to continually win in North America and Europe.
“Eric is a tremendous competitor,” Farrington added. “He took what he was doing in North America and challenged himself again and went to Europe and went full swing at it. He didn’t go halfway.
“I watched him take Hickstead and go against the best horses in the world and beat them. He really went with no fear, and that was inspiring for me to see—somebody that I knew came from no background in the sport, climbed his way up, and then go over holding nothing back. It was something for me to watch and think if he can do it, then I can try to do it too.”
Lamaze was appreciative of the description and replied that Farrington is also one to watch for the way he runs his business.
“These are very kind words,” Lamaze said. “He has one of the most successful operations in the United States and is one of the best riders in the world. Not only do you see him winning this class tonight and it’s incredible, but you see what he does with his students, and what he does with his whole operation, what he gives back to the sport. That’s what is very impressive to me.
“We see more than just the winning round. We see what goes on in the morning, what goes on every day, the operation that they’re running. Kent is one of the best today in our business. Ian Millar always says every day in this sport that you’re learning. No one can wake up in the morning and think that they know everything. You learn everything from horses; every day is a learning experience.”
The Spruce Meadows Summer Series kicked off competition on Wednesday, June 8, with Farrington winning the opening, highlight competition, the Bantrel Cup 1.55m CSI5*, also with Gazelle.
Five of 29 starters in the Bantrel Cup 1.55m found the clear track to the jump-off, with pathfinder Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 taking the shortened course first. Their blazing time of 39.95 seconds would have been good for the win, but a rail down left them in fourth place.
Next in were Farrington who rode Gazelle to the top of the leaderboard with a clear round in 42.18 seconds.
“I know Eric well, and I know that horse very well,” Farrington said. “I knew that was going to be the speed of the class, so I wanted to be sure to watch him go so I knew what I had to do. When he had a rail down, I thought I would go more measured than I had planned but put enough pressure where the others had to go. He was really going all out there, and it would have been hard to beat if he hadn’t had that rail.”
Source: Spruce Meadows via NoelleFloyd.com
Kent Farrington Goes Two For Two In Windsor
Kent Farrington got to meet the Queen of England. What was the occasion? He was picking up yet another trophy from the Royal Windsor Horse Show in Windsor, England.
Farrington claimed the trophy in both the feature grand prix classes of the week aboard a younger mount, Creedance, topping the Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup on May 14 and the Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy on May 15.
“I’m trying to peak my horses at the right time for the right events. I brought a young horse here and he far exceeded my expectations,” he said. “I thought he could be a contender, but I never would have bet money on him coming in and winning both [classes]. He has a new level in my book now.”
Creedance, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Lord Z x Camantha, Notaris) jumped his first 1.60-meter class with Farrington in March at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Florida and has only been in Farrington’s barn since he and RCG Farm bought him in February 2015.
A full house of enthusiastic visitors witnessed Farrington claim the biggest spoils of the week. Despite a valiant challenge by Britain’s John Whitaker on Argento (Arko III x Gasper), who thrilled the home crowds, the American visitor took the win in the grand prix with the super speedy Creedance.
After an exciting first round, 14 riders came through to the jump-off. Canada’s Tiffany Foster, riding Tripple X III (Namelus R x Cantango), was second to go and held the lead for almost half the jump-off with her clean performance. She was toppled from pole position when Kent smashed her target by three seconds, causing those watching to whoop in delight at the display of calculated horsemanship.
John Whitaker then tried to steal the win for the home crowd, but finished one second adrift despite a strong start out on the shortened course.
“Up to the planks [halfway around the track] I knew I was quicker,” said John, who praised Royal Windsor Horse Show’s move to four-star jumping. “Then he spooked at something. I don’t know what it was, so I ended up doing two or three strides more than Kent.”
“I’ve taken two big wins this week so I think I should get out of town quick!” Farrington said. But in the end, he and Creedance were more than a second faster than Whitaker. “You know it’s not going to be over until [Whitaker] goes. Then you have Laura Renwick who is maybe one of the fastest in the world. So we let it fly together,” Farrington said. “I ride a naturally exceptionally fast horse, so that was a big advantage for me today. His foot-speed is just so quick across the ground and that gave me the extra edge I needed today.”
Farrington brought Creedance to the Royal Windsor Horse Show to give the nine-year-old some experience and walked away with both of the weekend’s big classes.
“Maybe I could have dreamed about it, or hoped for it, but I certainly didn’t expect it,” he said. “I thought I’d bring him here and it would be good experience for him, to step up and jump some bigger classes, and he far exceeded my expectations.”
Sources: World of Showjumping, The Chronicle of the Horse, and Horse & Hound
Kent Farrington Takes Second Win of the week in Tryon With $130,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* Win
Kent Farrington (USA) piloted the talented Gazelle to another FEI victory at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), as the pair finished atop the leaderboard in the $130,000 Asheville Regional Airport Grand Prix CSI 3* in front of a large crowd of spectators. Farrington and Gazelle demonstrated their efficiency, finishing the short course in 37.367 seconds. Fernando Cardenas (COL) and Quincy Car rode to second place with a time of 39.801 seconds, while Frances Land (USA) and For Edition earned third, crossing through the timers in 39.801 seconds.
The class saw 27 entries test the first round of the class, which was set by Manuel Esparza of Mexico. Seven combinations moved forward to the jump-off round, with only four earning double clear efforts on evening under the lights.
Farrington and Gazelle, who also took top honors in the $35,000 FEI 1.50m Suncast® Welcome on Thursday, found their rhythm early in the first round and tackled the track easily. Farrington stated earlier in the week that the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Diva ‘Ter Elsen’), who he owns with Robin Parsky, is quickly learning the ropes of the larger classes.
“She’s jumped under the lights a few times and I try to take a lot of my horses and get them experience early on so that they’re used to crowds and larger atmospheres,” said Farrington. “I’m fortunate to have a great team of supporters behind me so that I can go to some of the best shows in the world.”
Tonight’s course found both seasoned competitors and talented amateurs tackling the track, and was designed particularly with that in mind, according to Farrington. He explained, “When you have a field like this, it’s kind of a mixed bag of horses and riders. [Esparza] had to be clever with how he designed the course so that he has a good competition without giving it away. You also can’t make it too challenging that it over faces the younger horses and riders.”
“I thought that he had a good balance tonight. There’s always the element of a night class and a crowd for both young horses and riders that is a factor, other than just the course alone. I think that was a fair course for the field,” he continued.
While components of the track proved difficult for several pairs, including the Rolex triple combination and a spooky liverpool vertical, Gazelle handled each question on the course with ease. Slicing several fences on the jump-off track, the notoriously speedy Farrington sealed the win with nearly two seconds to spare.
“For me, it’s about measuring the class and feeling confident with what my horse can do and what that is going to mean on course. Samuel Parot is a very competitive rider and that horse is exceptionally fast,” he noted. “They went at the end of the class, so I had to do a faster plan that I would have liked. He’s won a bunch of World Cup Grand Prix classes on that horse and he’s [always one] to count as a major competitor.”
“I tried to put enough pressure on him that he may have one down, which he did, so it worked out for us today,” he added.
Big plans lie ahead for Farrington, who was named to the Short List to represent Team USA on their quest for a medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this summer. Farrington has grown into the one of the strongest riders for the United States and is looking forward to a competitive summer season.
“I’m going to Europe after this and we’ll be jumping in Rome, which will be our next big show. We have a few more that we will use as preparation as well. Hopefully the horses and riders stay healthy and I think we have a great chance in Rio.”
Kent Farrington and Gazelle Gallop to Victory in $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
Week 11 of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival concluded on Sunday, March 27, featuring the $86,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic, held on the derby field at The Stadium at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. For the second week in a row, the 1.50m win went to USA’s Kent Farrington, this time aboard his own and Robin Parsky’s Gazelle. He topped Week Ten’s $35,000 1.50m aboard RCG Farm’s and his own Creedance.
Forty-one entries jumped in Sunday’s 1.50m competition on the derby field with six clear rounds over the Olaf Petersen, Jr. (GER)-designed track. Farrington and Gazelle jumped with the winning round in 38.33 seconds. Lorenzo de Luca (ITA) and Homer de Reve, owned by Stephex Stables and VDB Equestrian Stables, followed with the second place time of 38.61 seconds. Last to go, Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Nordic Lights Farm’s NLF Favorite jumped into third place with a time of 38.99 seconds.
Gazelle, a Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro, is just ten years old, and Farrington has been trying her out in different classes over the winter.
“She is still a green horse for the big sport,” the rider noted. “I had her jump a couple of grand prixs at the beginning of the circuit. She jumped the first 4* and I think she was a low ribbon. Then I threw her in a 5* and it went okay, but she was a bit green and I had two down. I thought the horse was quite careful, so then I thought she needed a few smaller rounds so she stayed confident. I did a few 1.40m classes just to get her confidence back and then I brought her out here. She loves the grass. She jumps fantastic on the grass, and I was really pleased with her performance and her progress through the winter. She really rallied back.”
Speaking of the course and the opportunity to jump on the grass field, Farrington stated, “I thought Olaf did a great job of designing all week. For me, it is a real pleasure to come over here and jump at a different venue other than the same rings for the 12-week circuit. It is a luxury to give our horses a different place to compete, and in my opinion, that is the best thing that we can do for the winter circuit.”
Detailing his jump-off, Farrington explained, “My plan for the jump-off was to go fast. I know that those other horses are pretty competitive. I tried to go what I would call a competitive, fast round, without going all out. The margin was pretty small at the end and today it played into our hands.”
Source: Chronicle of the Horse
Farrington and Creedance Claim the Suncast 1.50m Championship
Week Ten of the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival, sponsored by Horseware Ireland, concluded on Sunday, March 20, featuring the $35,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic in the International Ring at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. The class saw a win for Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farm’s and Farrington's Creedance, with Darragh Kenny (IRL) and Picolo in second, and Abdel Said (EGY) aboard Luron S Z third.
Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) set the final track for this week's 1.50m for 55 starters, with ten clear rounds, and six double clear entries in the jump-off.
“I think Vaillancourt is one of the top designers, and I am always happy when he builds because I think it is a technical course without crazy size,” Farrington remarked. “He usually ends up with the right amount clear. I thought he did a great job with the grand prix on Saturday. It was a mixed field of horses, and he did not end up with a million clear, and we had a good class without it being impossible to jump. I think he is one of the best builders we have around here.”
Speaking of his winning jump-off, Farrington stated, "[Creedance] is already fast all by himself, so that is a big advantage. Before, his steering was not so good, but we have really been working on that for a while without the speed. Today, I let him go a little bit quicker, but he has the advantage that he can both turn really short to the fences and he is very fast across the ground naturally."
Farrington got Creedance, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) one year ago and has been taking his time to bring the horse along and work on his rideabilty. "He is still very green; he has not done a whole lot, but I think he could be a really special horse," Farrington detailed. "He is extremely hot, so it has taken a little while to make him manageable, but he is a real jumper, and he is like a Jack Russell Terrier in the ring. He reminds me of an old horse I had called Up Chiqui, who was an exceptional horse. I think this horse has a lot of similar characteristics, and if I can teach him to harness his energy, I think he could be something special."
Creedance jumped Week Ten's WEF Challenge Cup along with Sunday's 1.50m. Farrington plans to show him in Week Eleven's WEF Challenge Cup as well, and will then decide if the gelding is ready to try the grand prix. "I am not sure yet. He is just nine years old, so I will see how that goes and decide what the next move is," Farrington noted.
Source: Jennifer Wood Media
Farrington and Uceko Speed to Victory in the $200,000 FEI World Cup Jumping at the Inaugural CP Wellington Masters
What started as a dreary and cold morning in Wellington turned into a sunny afternoon—perfect conditions for the final day of the inaugural CP Wellington Masters. Kent Farrington and RCG Farm's Uceko topped a 14-horse jump-off to take the $200,000 FEI World Cup Jumping at Deeridge Farms, owned by the Jacobs family. This win solidified Farrington’s lead in the FEI World Cup Jumping East Coast League.
“I thought it was a beautiful, beautiful event here at Deeridge Farms,” said Farrignton after his win. “I think this facility is amazing and really exciting for our sport and for show jumping here in Florida. For us to have this kind of competition and this caliber of competition is really exciting for all of us as riders.”
Forty horse and rider combinations tackled the first round’s course designed by Alan Wade with only 14 returning for the jump-off. Farrington had Uceko flying around the short course to post a time that was more than two and a half seconds faster than anyone else’s—Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum came closest with Fibonacci, finishing second.
“[Uceko’s] learned to be a fast horse, he actually was not a fast horse when I started,” Farrington said of his mount. “He has a long stride and sort of a slow canter. As I’ve gotten to know him really well, he’s learned to turn very short to the fences, and leave out strides where other horses can’t. Now for a jump-off I really have his plan, and I’m very confident of what he can do. I try to execute it to the best of my abilities, and usually if I don’t make a big error he pulls it off.”
As much as Farrington could use his jump-off strategy for his horse, the overall plan to use Uceko for the FEI World Cup™ qualifier stemmed from the show’s early proposal to hold the class on the turf field. But inclement weather interfered and forced organizers to move the penultimate East Coast event to the sand arena.
“Originally, it was going to go on the grass, and he’s really well suited to grass arenas, so that was my plan,” Farrington said. “Obviously that changed. I was a little concerned that that wouldn’t play to his strengths, but he proved me wrong.
“He usually goes best with a really impressive ring, or in an intimidating setting for most horses, and this is usually where he shines so that’s why I try to pick spookier venues or grass arenas that have bigger, impressive jumps. It wasn’t really playing to his strengths today, but he pulled it off anyway, so I’m really happy with him.”
Sources: Chronicle of the Horse, NoelleFloyd.com, and Phelps Sports
Farrington Becomes the First American to Claim the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final
Rolex testimonee Kent Farrington was without question untouchable on Friday, December 11th, 2015 in Geneva, Switzerland when he blew past the top riders in the world to bring home the United States’ first-ever Rolex International Jumping Riders Club Rolex Top Ten Final.
Or rather, it was the amazing Voyeur that was unbeatable with Farrington at the reins. The sizzling 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Tolano van’t Riethof x Goodwill) owned by Amalaya Investments was so on form in the two-round competition that he finished nearly a second and a half faster than France’s Simone Delestre in the second round.
Speed and accuracy are essential to winning the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final. Founded in 2001 by the International Jumping Riders Club and staged over two rounds with no jump-off, expectations were high. Similar to the ATP Finals in tennis, it is the only competition that rewards consistency throughout the season, by inviting the top ten ranked riders in the world to go head-to-head over two rounds of jumping.
To qualify for this special class, the FEI Jumping World Ranked top ten riders are invited, with any declined invitations being filled by the 11th, 12th in the world, and so on. By the numbers, it makes for the toughest show jumping class in the world. A big 1.60m Round 1 track determined the order that riders returned in Round 2, and eight of the ten were clear in Round 1, guaranteeing a race over the shortened Round 2 track.
Farrington was apprehensive after his first round. “Scott is fast, Bertram is fast. Well, they are all actually fast. I am really nervous right now, I hope they will go slow,” Farrington smiled afterwards.
Second-round clears in the course designed by Switzerland’s Gérard Lachat were proving hard to find until Farrington and Voyeur came into the arena. Living up to their deserved reputation as one of the fastest partnerships on the circuit, they sped around the course as the crowd held their collective breath, laying down a lightening fast 37.54-second round—it looked difficult to beat.
“In a competition like that you have the best riders in the world, and they are all incredibly fast. So going early in the jump-off, I decided I was really going to go for the win and try to put the pressure on everybody else. My horse is very fast, and I ride pretty fast, so luckily today it paid off,” Farrington said about his tactics.
Of course, in Farrington’s world, the meaning of “try” is to throw 110% effort behind every single stride, and Voyeur was right there with him moment to moment. When Farrington took the lead halfway through the order, there was still every chance in the world that he would be caught.
“I don’t think you’re ever comfortable with the kind of competition coming after you go,” Farrington said. “If there’s 20 left to go or two left to go, it doesn’t really matter when you have this level of sport and this level of rider.”
Although he won the Top Ten Final, Farrington tries to not get too focused on the ranking and where he finds himself on it. “I try and make my year based on the horses that I have, and the competitions where I want them to go well. I think a ranking is a consequence of good results but it is not something that I chase or worry about. I try to focus on winning big classes and I try to focus on having my horses on form for those days. I would like to be number one in the world one day, but I think that will happen all by itself without me doing anything different than I am already doing.”
On his winning horse Voyeur, Kent said: “He is a special horse, as I think many top horses are. He is a little bit difficult; he is quite a strong horse with a lot of blood so I think he has gotten better with age and experience. He has gotten more manageable than he was when I started. I try to keep his mind as calm as possible, and the jump-offs are actually easier than the first round because you can kind of let him go at his own speed and he really likes that. So, the first round is always a struggle to keep him calm and I do my best to let him not get too aggressive.”
As to next year and the Olympic Games in Rio, Farrington said modestly: “I think Voyeur has a very good chance, and I also have a couple of younger horses that I think could possibly do it, but that is still a bit away so we go one step at the time.”
For Farrington, who has earned a jaw-dropping haul of prizes from all around the world in 2015, bringing the Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final trophy home with him is a satisfying mark on his last show of the year.
“All of us here would have loved to win this class,” Farrington said. “It’s turned into a really special class, they pay big prize money for it and it’s become a big part of the Geneva show. Competing against the best is always special; to have a Top Ten Final you really showcase the best in the sport. This is a great win for me today.”
Sources: World of Showjumping, Chronicle of the Horse, NoelleFloyd.com
Farrington Takes Second WIN At The CP National Horse Show with the $250,000 FEI World Cup Jumping
Earlier this week, Kent Farrington sat in the press conference for the $130,000 CP Grand Prix, which he won aboard Amalaya Investments’ Willow, and discussed how he’d planned out the CP National Horse Show to best play to his mounts’ strengths. All that planning paid off as Farrington not only won Thursday’s competitions but also today’s $250,000 Longines Grand Prix CSI4*-W with Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur.
“I brought two horses that I thought would be competitive,” he said. “I rode my best horse in the grand prix [today], and they both performed up [to my expectations]. I couldn’t have asked for more.”
Guilherme Jorge set the tracks for this afternoon’s class, as well as for the class Farrington won on Thursday.
“We want to start a little easier and make it tougher throughout the week,” said Jorge. “The riders had the same plan I did because they kept jumping better and better.”
Out of the 36 original starters, 13 returned for the jump-off. Out of those, 11 went clear, so it quickly turned into a race for the finish almost as furious as yesterday’s Breeder’s Cup Classic. Farrington’s time of 33.19 was the fastest over Laura Kraut and Deauville S (34.05) and Olivier Phillipaerts and H&M Challenge V/D Begijnakker Z (34.07).
“Laura and I watched the first couple together. It really comes down to which plan suits your horse,” said Farrington. “The first line [in the jump-off] was seven strides to the wall, and Laura and I both did that the same, and then it was just really what suited your horse and how tight you could roll back to the vertical and how fast you could go to the double and the last fence. Today I was just on a much more experienced horse than Laura.”
Voyeur, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood (Tolano van’t Riethof x Loma) owned by Amalaya Investments, had a successful tour with Farrington at Spruce Meadows in Alberta this summer and was Farrington’s mount for last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (France). But even with their victories, Farrington remarked that the horse isn’t the easiest.
“He’s pretty wild, actually,” he said. “Laura [Kraut] and I were joking about what we consider a normal horse and what others consider a normal horse. We’re known for riding erratic horses. He’s very fresh, and he has a lot of blood. He’s an aggressive horse. You have to be a little bit awake when you’re riding him because he can spin very quickly. He spooks at a lot of things, and he’s a handful, but I think most of the good ones are.”
Source: The Chronicle of the Horse
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
Kent Farrington and Uceko Win $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m at Spruce Meadows Masters
Kent Farrington claimed his fifth, five star victory this year at Spruce Meadows on Friday, September 11th in the $210,000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m aboard RCG Farm's Uceko.
It was the exclamation point on an incredible summer season for the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Celano x Koriander) and a win that for much of the class, Farrington didn’t even think he’d get.
Leopaldo Palacios built a track that Farrington deemed comparable to any five star grand prix, making it a bit unusual for a Friday class. With the afternoon sun shining brightly and a near-to-full International Arena hyping the atmosphere, 26 pairs attempted to clear the 14-obstacle course. Farrington went early in the order and steered Uceko successfully over every obstacle, but picked up a single time fault through the finish line.
Farrington didn’t think that his score would hold throughout the order, but as rider after rider had rails down, it became apparent that he might just be the one to walk away with the $70,000 in prize money.
“It was a serious course, with a very tight time allowed,” Farrington said. “I didn’t know if I was going to win but when you look back at that course, we were lucky to get one clear maybe.”
“I thought I’d be crying all night over a time fault!” he added.
In second place on a score of four faults was Canada’s Tiffany Foster and Victor, and Elizabeth Gingras of Canada also rode a strong four fault round aboard Zilversprings for third.
In many ways, the course was the winner of the day, causing problem after problem for the world-class pairs who rode through the in-gate. Of note was a triple combination riding directly away from the in-gate, set as an oxer-oxer-vertical riding directly to fence 14, a 1.60m vertical in six short strides.
“With the triple combination underneath the trees, set by the bank, at the end of the course, if you didn’t ride the oxer enough you had the top rails, and if you rode the oxer too strong you had the verticals. It was very difficult,” Farrington added. “My strategy was to slow down. I added a stride to the triple combination, to add to his focus and keep him up in the air. I wasn’t thinking about the time allowed at the end of the course.”
For Farrington, it was a happy ending that marked the end of Uceko’s 2015 Spruce Meadows campaign. Uceko will now enjoy a break as Farrington looks forward to Sunday’s $1.5 Million Rolex Grand Prix, which he is qualified for with Voyeur.
During the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, Uceko and Farrington lodged three separate victories, and on the opening day of the Spruce Meadows Masters on September 9th, Farrington and Uceko won the $85,000 Akita Drilling Cup.
Kent Farrington and Uceko Win $85,000 Akita Drilling Cup CSI5* at Spruce Meadows Masters
Kent Farrington returned to Calgary, Canada on Wednesday, September 9th in the way he knows best – by winning with his veteran partner Uceko, owned by RCG Farm.
After his last outing at The Royal Dublin Horse Show in Dublin, Ireland, Uceko enjoyed four weeks of restful time off at Farrington’s summer base near Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Farrington, who has been partnered with the 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Celano x Koriander) since 2009, plans Uceko’s schedule carefully based on venues around the world that the scopey, long-strided gelding likes.
The plan is working; on August 9th Farrington and Uceko won the Longines International Grand Prix CSIO5* at Dublin, and exactly four weeks later they displayed that same great form to win the $85,000 Akita Drilling Cup on the opening day of the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary.
Course designer Leopoldo Palacios designed a track that saw 17 of the 37-entry start list move on to the second round jump-off.
In the jump-off, Richard Spooner (USA) and Cristallo set the early pace in 39.81 seconds to eventually finish fourth. Kevin Staut (FRA) upped the pace with his round in 39.75 seconds to take home third place honors aboard Elky van het Indihof HDC. Farrington and Uceko soon stole the lead in an impressive 38.62 seconds to hold on for the win. Last to go, Roger Yves Bost (FRA) jumped into second place with a time of 38.99 seconds aboard Quod’Coeur de la Loge.
Following his win, Farrington spoke of the exciting atmosphere and fantastic conditions starting off this year’s edition of the Masters.
“The level of competition here is always very high, particularly at the Masters,” Farrington stated. “These are the best riders in the world using their best horses, so there is no easy victory here. The conditions are fantastic. The field looks great and it is jumping great--that is nothing new here at Spruce Meadows. I think this is one of the best jumping fields in the world and today was as good as ever. My horse loves it here too, so that works out well for me. I always try to make a good schedule for him where he gets to compete a lot at Spruce Meadows.”
Uceko’s huge stride ate up the ground between fences in the jump-off, and Farrington’s decision to take several turns on a very tight angle made up the difference between his time and Yves Bost’s.
Uceko displayed that same speed on Thursday in the $126,000 CANA Cup, jumping clear once again in Round 2 to move on to the jump-off. An unlucky tap on fence seven, a solid wall, caused four faults for the pair, who finished in the top ten. Farrington plans to compete Uceko once more this week, in the $210, 000 Tourmaline Oil Cup 1.60m.
The highlight of the Spruce Meadows Masters is Sunday afternoon’s $1.2 Million Rolex Grand Prix CSI5*, the third leg of the Rolex Grand Slam. Farrington, who is pre-qualified for the Grand Prix based on his victory at CSIO Dublin in August, will ride Voyeur in the top international class that is known as a “Major” of show jumping.
“Every rider in the world would love to win that competition,” Farrington said of the Rolex Grand Prix. “The Masters in Calgary is very special. It is the biggest prize money that we jump for all year and the courses are always massive, so I think that is something that we would all like to have on our resume.”
KENT FARRINGTON AND UCEKO WIN €200,000 LONGINES INTERNATIONAL GRAND PRIX OF IRELAND AT DUBLIN HORSE SHOW
Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko followed up on their second placed 2014 finish in the Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland to secure victory in the 2015 edition of the Discover Ireland Royal Dublin Horse Show’s final international competition.
It was with a touch of redemption that Farrington secured the win for the United States on the closing day of the 88th annual Royal Dublin Horse Show CSIO5* in Ireland. After a rocky couple of days for the American riders at Dublin, bringing this particular trophy back to the Team USA stable row raised the spirits of everyone representing and cheering for the stars and stripes this week in Dublin.
Farrington and his veteran partner, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Celano x Koriander), completed a very tough Round One track constructed by Alan Wade that saw only 8 out of 40 starters jump clear, and proceeded to fly to an unbeatable 43.14 seconds in the jump-off for a sweeping victory in the €200,000 Longines International Grand Prix of Ireland.
Early on in Round One, a tough triple bar presented at fence two and rode in five or six strides to a 1.60m plank vertical on flat cups. Faults at those two fences contributed to eight riders retiring on course, including Irish hero Cian O’Connor, and Saturday evening’s Puissance winner, Sameh el Dahan.
“Alan is one of the best course designers in modern show jumping. Today was no exception, and I thought that the Nations Cup on Friday was also excellent,” Farrington added. It was true that the courses Wade built all week had all the well-balanced elements of technicality, height, and time to create a top level of sport.
Back to the Grand Prix, the jump-off round didn’t let off on the pressure. Farrington was the first to note that show jumping is a game of staying focused and moving on to the next day. He didn’t make Friday’s Nations Cup team after Blue Angel was eliminated on course during a warm-up class early in the week (Team USA went on to finish last in the Nations Cup and didn’t lead a victory gallop all week.)
While Uceko warmed up well for Sunday’s Grand Prix with a double clear and top five finish in Saturday’s ranking class, Farrington acknowledged the unpredictable, inherently challenging nature of the sport.
“[Blue Angel] didn’t go very well here, and it’s gone great [with her] in the past but that’s part of being a pro, being able to stay focused and move on to the next day,” Farrington detailed. “That’s also part of show jumping. You go from hero to zero in a second, and maintaining your composure and staying focused, that’s what the job is all about.”
Of course, coming out the hero is always the goal, and Farrington, who carefully plots Uceko’s schedule, set his horse up for success in a venue that he knew the grey gelding would take to.
“I try to really manage his schedule so that he shows at only the places he likes,” Farrington said (their last win was at Spruce Meadows, Calgary, Canada on July 3rd.) “He loves grass rings and big jumps, so I just try to pick those Grand Prixs. He’s really a special horse and I feel lucky to have him in my stable. A special thank you to the owners, RCG Farm, and all of my supporters really. I have a great team of people behind me in my career, and that’s why we’re here today.”
“We’re in North America a lot, and we come up against Kent a lot,” added 3rd placed rider Swail. “So it’s no surprise at all that he’s coming here and winning. He’s a winning machine; he doesn’t know how to lose, to be honest. It’s very difficult when he’s in a class and he gets it all right.”
Prestige held a special meaning at the Dublin Horse Show. From the full brass band that paraded into the arena for the final international class, to the trophy presentation and the formally dressed officials, this competition holds its own particular level of honor among the busy international show jumping calendar.
“This is one of the most prestigious horse shows in the world,” Farrington concluded. “It’s been a longstanding staple of world class show jumping and it continues to be so today. I always love coming here, there’s a really enthusiastic crowd, and I can’t think of too many other venues that are this exciting to compete in.”
Farrington became the eighth American in history to win the Grand Prix of Ireland – the first being George H. Morris in 1958. There’s not much more of a prestigious path to follow than that.
Kent Farrington and Willow Win €24,500 Prix Hotel Royal Emeraude CSI5* at Jumping Dinard
The USA’s Kent Farrington got the result he wanted on the third day of competition at Jumping Dinard International CSI5* in Dinard, France with Amalaya Investments’ Willow.
Over a two round competition in the €24,500 Prix Hotel Royal Emeraude CSI5* 1.50m, Farrington took first place over Gregory Wathelet and Riesling du Monselet of Belgium in a seven-horse jump-off. Bertram Allen and Belmonde placed 3rd for Ireland.
It was an especially satisfying win for Farrington, who started the week with an uncharacteristic elimination aboard Willow, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Guidam x Starina) owned by Amalaya Invesments.
Thursday’s CSI5* warm-up class didn’t go as planned when Willow lost momentum on the approach to a double, and balked again at a liverpool set under an airy white vertical. But FEI ranked world No. 3 Farrington took it all in stride with a positive plan for the following day.
“Willow hadn’t been on the grass in a while, so at first he was a little bit spooky here,” Farrington explained. He’s a quirky horse, so sometimes he can be like that.”
Friday’s class went better for Farrington and Willow, with just a single rail down in the Prix Suez Environment 1.55m. “I thought that on Friday in the 1.50m he had a great round,” Farrington added. “We had 3A down, but half the class had that one down.” Fast forward to Saturday morning’s CSI5*, a well-constructed track that took riders around the sweeping, grass international arena at Stade Val Porée. Farrington laid down a confident first round with Willow, tackling each obstacle with a confident ride and sailed over the aforementioned liverpool vertical with ease
The shortened jump-off course gave riders an option to save time taking a turn from the second to third obstacle on course, a double combination. First-in, Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium, executed the turn well but paid for it with faults at the next two fences; third place finisher Allen faulted there as well. Wathelet, who won Friday’s Prix cu C. Départemental d’Ille et Vilaine 1.45m with Riesling du Monselet, took an arm-flapping, all out galloping pace to the final fence to finish clear on a time of 38.41 seconds, but Farrington’s subsequent clear in 38.39 seconds would stand as the best of the class.
Jumping Dinard fit well into Farrington’s overall plan for Willow, serving as apt preparation for the flashy grey gelding’s next stop−the upcoming Longines Global Champions Tour of Valkenswaard CSI5* on August 13th. That leg of the LGCT will also be held on a wide open grass field, and with a brand new stadium, the atmosphere will match that of Dinard’s.
“It’s the first time they’ve held a five star here in Dinard, and the first time for me showing here,” Farrington said. “I’m enjoying it, it’s a great venue, a great atmosphere and great conditions. And all in all my horse has had a very good show.”
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.”
Kent Farrington Leads An All-American Sweep in $400,000 Pan American Cup CSI5* presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows
Kent Farrington and Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur concluded the Spruce Meadows ‘Pan American’ Tournament CSI 5* presented by Rolex, with a masterful win on Sunday. The competition in the $400,000 Pan American Cup presented by Rolex ended impressively as the three highest ranked American riders claimed top honors. With Farrington leading the way, Beezie Madden finished second aboard Simon, and McLain Ward placed third riding Rothchild.
Thirty-three entries contested course designer Guilherme Jorge’s (BRA) first round track, with nine combinations earning the chance to jump-off, and five clear rounds over the short course.
Farrington won the same competition in 2014 aboard RCG Farm’s Uceko and was back this time aboard the talented Voyeur, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Tolano van’t Riethof x Goodwill).
Farrington and Voyeur most recently won the $400,000 RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex, during June’s ‘National’ Tournament and have been on a hot streak all season. On Sunday, the pair sprinted easily through the jump-off course to secure a substantial margin of victory.
“I had the advantage in the jump-off today of going after McLain,” Farrington noted. “He is one of the most competitive riders in the world, and we always have a good rivalry between us, so I got to watch him go. Unfortunately, coming after me was one of my other rivals, also one of the best in the world [Beezie Madden]. It was a tough day of sport today and I thought my horse was fantastic.”
“[Voyeur] has a huge gallop,” Farrington commented on his jump-off. “Between the second and third fence I think I did one less stride than everybody else in the competition. The rest of it, I just kind of stayed on the same pace. He has a monster gallop, and he is naturally fast across the ground anyway and that is a big advantage in a field like that.”
In the first course, Voyeur was exceptionally strong and caused Farrington to adjust his ride to accomplish the clear round.
“When he is very fresh and he is really jumping, the downside is that he gets really strong,” Farrington explained. “He jumped out of the double really high, and coming towards the gate he got very strong with me. I had to do an extra stride that I did not plan on. It was a bit more work than I was expecting, but he pulled it off.”
For Farrington, course designer Guilherme Jorge did a good job with the conditions he was dealt.
“We didn’t know how much rain there was going to be or how wet the ground was going to be,” Farrington stated. “It was probably a more technical course today than size. It was a little generous with the time allowed, but I think that [Jorge] took into account the rain and the wet ground, so I think that was a smart play for today. It was better to have a couple extra clear rather than having us go ripping around the ring when it was really wet in the first round. I think that was a good strategy, and if you look at the top three finishers, those are the top three horses a lot of places in the world.”
Jorge, agreed, noting, “The idea with the time allowed was exactly that. We didn’t know how much rain we would still have during the competition, so we didn’t want to press too much on that. I still think that nine is an okay number for a jump-off. It is a little bit more than we are used to here at Spruce Meadows, but the quality was still very good and like Kent said, the top three are top three anywhere in the world.”
Source: Jennifer Wood Media for Spruce Meadows
Kent Farrington and Uceko win the $50,000 Lafarge Cup at the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament
Friday night of the Spruce Meadows ‘North American’ Tournament saw the seasoned partnership of Kent Farrington and RCG Farm’s Uceko take a big win in the $50,000 Lafarge Cup. In second place by a slim one hundredth of a second was Eric Lamaze aboard Fine Lady 5 and 19-year-old Venezuelan phenom Emanuel Andrade and his horse Bon Jovi finished third with the only other double clear performance of the night.
The course had a track of 13 obstacles that wove through the International Ring under blue skies and uncharacteristically warm weather. The course, designed by Spain’s Santiago Vareia, saw many riders struggle to navigate the tight time allowed of 78 seconds, as well as a skinny and airy combination at 6A and 6B.
Farrington is no stranger to navigating the difficult courses at Spruce Meadows. While he took the win aboard his longtime partner, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Celano x Koriander), that still doesn’t mean winning is easy for Farrington, or that he ever takes it for granted.
“These classes, especially the ones that do not have the most entries, the [riders] that are good are not just good, they are usually great,” Farrington said. “You have some of the best riders in the world, so it is very difficult to win a class here.”
Before Farrington even left the ring after his round, Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 galloped in to try to take the win from him, but came up just short – stopping the clock 0.12 seconds too late.
Farrington was not able to watch the other horses in the jump off, but he had a lot of confidence in Uceko. “The horse is very brave and he has quite a big step, so I think right from the beginning [of the jump-off], fence one to two on his rollback was already pretty aggressive,” he explained. “I did not watch the others, but I would probably guess that he did at least one, if not two less strides on that turn. Then across the middle of the field he also makes up a lot of ground because his stride is so long. I would say those are two places in particular I think he always gets a little bit ahead of the other horses.”
The veteran Uceko proves that at 14 he is still in his prime, in large part because Farrington is careful to manage his competition schedule closely and choose the appropriate venues and classes to compete in.
“I think that part of being a top rider is also being a top manager of the horses that you have,” Farrington noted. “As he gets older, I try to pick the venues where I think he can shine and give him rest where I do not think he is as competitive. I gave him a big break. I hardly ever show him in Florida, and I usually gear him up here and then take him to Europe the rest of the summer.”
Farrington brings Uceko to Spruce Meadows because of the horse’s proven track record competing at the venue, but also because the environment at Spruce Meadows simply makes Uceko better.
“The jumps are very big here and really impressive, and that suits the horse because he can get a little casual. He is not a naturally fast horse actually, he is a bit slow, so a big field makes him competitive because I can use the length of his stride and turn really short to make him fast out here.”
“He has learned to be very fast,” Farrington continued. “Over the years he has learned to turn shorter to the fences and watch for them. With his experience, he knows when I open him up on the field that the jumps are going to come up fast, so he starts anticipating the fences and he starts looking for them himself, which over time has made him super competitive.”
Kent Farrington Picks Up Second Win in Five Days at Spruce Meadows
The highlight of Friday's competition at the Spruce Meadows Continental CSI5*, the $126,000 Scotiabank Cup 1.55m, culminated with a win for the USA’s Kent Farrington aboard the nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Gazelle (Kashmir van Shuttershof x Indoctro).
Anthony D’Ambrosio, the course designer for international competition in the Meadows on the Green ring this week, saw 70 entries contest his first round 1.55m track with 18 going clear. In the jump-off, only seven were able to clear the course without fault.
McLain Ward and HH Azur were the first duo to clear the short course in 37.05 seconds and eventually placed second. Pablo Barrios and Zara Leandra were also clear in 37.73 seconds to earn third place honors. Up next, Eric Lamaze jumped into fourth with his time of 38.61 seconds aboard Coco Bongo. Farrington immediately followed with the winning round in 36.56 seconds riding his own and Robin Parsky’s Gazelle.
One of Farrington’s up-and-coming horses, Gazelle was recently named as his mount for July’s Pan American Games in Toronto. He got the mare at the end of her seven-year-old year and has slowly been bringing her along with high hopes for the future.
“This year she has really stepped up to a new level and I am really excited about the horse,” Farrington noted. “She is extremely careful. She is a little bit sensitive, but I think she is a great competitor. What more can you ask for?”
Gazelle proved exactly why she is ready for the big leagues by jumping a great first round clear, followed by a fantastic jump off on Friday night.
Commenting on his winning round, Farrington remarked, “These classes here are very competitive. You have extremely fast riders on a big, open field. There were a large number of horses in the jump off today, so you knew that it was going to be very competitive.”
“I got to watch McLain go, so I knew the track that he did and what it was going to take to win,” he continued. “I took a risky move today to the last jump. I was not sure if it was possible to do eight strides, but after McLain went, I thought that was maybe the only chance to catch him. My horse has a pretty big step, so we went for it.” The risk paid off and earned Farrington the winning prize of $41,580.
Kent Farrington Named to U.S. Team for 2015 Pan American Games
The United States Equestrian Federation announced that Kent Farrington will ride Gazelle for the United States at the upcoming Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada from July 21st to 25th. Gazelle is a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro) that is owned in partnership by Farrington and Robin Parsky. Previously, Kent competed in the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico where he earned the individual Gold Medal aboard RCG Farm's Uceko.
Farrington will be joined on the U.S. team by Georgina Bloomberg and Lilli, Lauren Hough and Ohlala, McLain Ward and Rothchild, and team alternate Todd Minikus and Babalou 41. The news comes on the heels of an eventful week for Farrington, as well as a string of recent successes. With the release of the updated FEI World Rankings for May, Farrington improved his ranking from No. 4 to No. 3 in the world.
On Saturday, June 6th, Farrington claimed his most recent win with a major victory in the $400,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada. Farrington rode Amalaya Investments-owned Voyeur to that win, which marked his 24th FEI victory at the famed Spruce Meadows venue. Farrington and his team will now focus on continuing their success at the Spruce Meadows Summer Series and preparing for next month’s Pan American Games.
Kent Farrington and Voyeur take the $400,000 RBC Grand Prix presented by Rolex
Continuing a fantastic winning streak, world no. 3 Kent Farrington raced to victory on the one-and-only Voyeur to win the $400,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. On Saturday, Italian course designer Uliano Vezzani set the track for the afternoon’s feature competition in the $400,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Twelve out of fifty entries qualified for the jump-off, taking fans to the edge of their seats as many of the world’s very best battled it out for a top prize of $132,000. Only five riders were able to clear the short course without fault as times got faster and faster throughout the afternoon.
This win marks Farrington’s 24th FEI victory at Spruce Meadows since 2011 and brings his all-time money earnings at the competition to an impressive $1,306,560. Farrington has been on a roll with Voyeur, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Tolano van’t Riethof x Goodwill), including their most recent victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg in Germany.
When asked the secret to his success, Farrington simply stated, “the secret is to get really good horses.”
“Luckily, I have some great people behind my career,” he detailed. “The Nusz family that owns Voyeur has been really supportive of me and that is why I am able to [compete] at this level today–because of them and a bunch of other people that have really stepped up to help me get here.”
Commenting on his jump-off round, Farrington explained, “I did not see the horse that finished second go. People just told me that it was full speed all the way around. My plan with Voyeur is usually just to match one rhythm and keep him even the whole way. He is a very hot horse, so if you go too hard on him, you will sort of blow his mind a little bit. I would I say I was a more consistent speed throughout the whole course. He has been on form. This is his third big class in a short time, so he is up and running so to speak.”
When Farrington first got Voyeur almost three years ago, he saw great potential and hoped that the horse would be successful. Voyeur has now turned into his top ride. “I always have high expectations for the horses that I get. Even when they are young, I try to see their qualities and their best abilities and hope that I can pull it out of them,” Farrington said. “It is really more a realization of what I hoped that he could be, but I always thought that he could get there.”
Farrington credits jumping at Spruce Meadows as one of the factors that helped Voyeur advance to the top level. “The jumps here are very big and I think all of the horses, if they can jump a Grand Prix here, they can jump anything in the world,” Farrington acknowledged. “I really think that it helps build a lot of the horses. Especially for a lot of the North American riders that produce horses here, you usually see them go on to do really big things at championships. Horses like Hickstead, and Authentic, and Sapphire, they grew up jumping here and I think this field and this jumping really helps bring them to that level.”
Kent Farrington’s Winning Streak Continues on First Day of Roma Piazza di Siena CSIO5*
The USA’s Kent Farrington extended his winning streak to three shows in three weeks by picking up two victories on the opening day of Roma Piazza di Siena CSIO5*, located in the center of Rome, Italy.
Large entry lists didn’t stand in Farrington’s way as he tacked up Cha Cha Cha 7, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare by Chacco-Blue, to take on the day’s first class, a two-phase 1.45m speed competition.
Cha Cha Cha 7 is owned by Haity McNerney and Amalaya Investments, and Farrrington continued his domination of five star speed classes by galloping home clean with a time of 26.59 seconds. Ireland’s Alex Duffy placed second in 26.76 seconds, a close finish aboard Ballywater Farms’ Wrangler II.
For the second class of the day, a 1.50m competition with a jump-off, Farrington easily cleared every fence aboard Waomi, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Lupicor that is owned by Amalaya Investments. Luca Maria Moneta of Italy came second with Quova de Vains, marking the best finish for an Italian rider. With Farrington at the reins, Waomi has been in top form as of late, picking up a win and a third place ribbon with Farrington last week during the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg, Germany.
Fifth Win in Nine days: Kent Farrington and Voyeur Win Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg, presented by H&M
It’s impossible not to smile in the midst of a friendly champagne fight. That was when Kent Farrington allowed himself the biggest grin of the day and a moment to celebrate in Hamburg, Germany. Standing there at the top of the podium at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg, he’d earned a smile and then some.
Aboard his veteran mount Voyeur, Farrington had just won the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg CSI5*, presented by H&M. In this, the heart of an area that is rich in show jumping breeding and sporthorse tradition, the 34-year-old American rider from Chicago, Illinois had his work cut out for him against 46 riders representing 21 countries. Held on the sprawling Derby Park Grand Prix field that is studded with solid obstacles, the two round LGCT Hamburg Grand Prix necessitated a jump-off after six riders managed double clears.
Two full 1.60m rounds plus a jump-off meant that successful navigation of 34 obstacles, with 39 jumping efforts, was required to finish well. In addition to that, you had to be fast as well.
What would be a tall order for most riders was right up Farrington’s ally. Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Tolano van’T Riethof, was made for this kind of jumping. In the three years that Farrington has had the bay gelding in his stable, the two have formed a strong, effective partnership.
“He is hot-blooded, high strung, and naturally very fast,” Farrington said of his horse. “These big fields really suit him – he has a lot of speed and a big gallop.”
Farrington made his first appearance at LGCT Hamburg one to remember. He’s been on a hot streak as of late, and after three wins just one week ago aboard a separate string of horses at the Longines Global Champions Tour Shanghai, China, Farrington has made a significant leap up the 2015 LGCT series standings, from 13th to 4th.
“Number four certainly sounds better than number 13!” Farrington joked. “Hopefully I have some more luck at other Global shows [this season]. These shows always have the best riders using top horses, and it’s always a difficult competition whenever you go to a GCT event.”
Despite a bone-chilling, grey day that threatened rain all afternoon, many thousands of show jumping fans packed into the Derby Park stadium to watch the Grand Prix and cheer on their favorite German riders. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt was just a fraction off Farrington’s jump-off time to finish in second place aboard Madeline Winter-Schulze’s Chico, a 10-year-old Hannoverian gelding by Cordalme.
“To be beaten by Kent Farrington is not a total shame,” Weishaupt commented. “Sometimes you have a second where you think you could have done something better here or there, but today I’m happy. I can’t ask more of my horse.”
For Farrington, who’s far from home in Germany but makes it a point each season to travel to Europe in order to compete against the best in the world, the 2015 Global Champions Tour is just heating up. Eleven more stops on the tour are coming up in a variety of locations; in fact, if there’s anything that makes the LGCT stand out, it’s just how different each show of the series is.
Farrington ended the day with a sense of gratitude, not just for winning, but also for being able to live out his dream every day. “I think all of us [riders], really have a fantastic life, doing what we love, working with horses,” he said. “We’re really lucky to be doing something we enjoy every single day. And winning is always great!”
Complete results of video clips of the 2015 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg CSI5* are available to view here.
Farrington continues winning streak at Global champions tour of Hamburg
Kent Farrington proved that he is still on a winning streak at Global Champions Tour Hamburg on Thursday morning when he won the very first CSI5* class of the day aboard Belle Fleur 38.
With a chill in the air that made for fresh horses and many wool coolers thrown over the warmup rail, Farrington rode to a calculated win in front of an enthusiastic early morning crowd. Kent drew the final position in the 45 horse order with Belle Fleur 38, a nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Berlin, owned by Haity McNerney. As he proved last week in Shanghai, Farrington thrives on pressure in speed classes, and he entered the arena confident and knowing that a clear round in under 52.32 seconds would win the class.
With only 10 obstacles to clear, Farrington stuck to a tight track and crossed the finish timers 0.32 seconds faster than second place finisher Emanuele Gaudiano of Italy. It was a fantastic start to the week for Farrington, who will continue to compete at GCT Hamburg with Belle Fleur 38, as well as his superstar mount Voyeur.
Kent Farrington Earns Impressive Hat Trick at Global Champions Tour Shanghai
World no. 4 Kent Farrington blew away the opposition today, taking home his third victory in three days at the Global Champions Tour event in Shanghai, China. Kent was on fire once again, riding against a diamond-studded field of top riders in the $85,000 Massimo Dutti Trophy. US riders were able to bring their horses to the event on mainland China, after a special dispensation this year allowed them to compete. Farrington was able to take full advantage of his Chinese debut, being the sole representative for the United States in Shanghai this week, and took home a victory each day of the GCT competition.
Kent was third in the ring on Blue Angel, his talented bay mare owned by Robin Parsky. He executed a superb round, ruthlessly setting a tough time of 67.41 and leaving the rest of the field with a real headache on the time to beat. Time and again Kent’s lead looked under pressure as show jumping stars including Ludger Beerbaum, Gregory Wathelet, Edwina Tops-Alexander, and Marco Kutscher all pulled out the stops to try and get within the leader.
Ludger, on his grey stallion Colestus, let rip in hot pursuit of Kent. He tore around the arena but had a rail down, as did Gregory Wathelet. Kutscher on Van Gogh came closest, finishing in 70.31, but it was Kent’s glory day again.
Speaking of his success in Shanghai Kent said: “It has been a great show, really exciting to come here to China. I have never been before. GCT has put on an amazing event here. With the riders at these competitions, the best riders in the world, you can never be sure you are going to win. Everybody is good and there is big prize money on the line.”
Of his first victory in Shanghai on Blue Angel he said: “I know this horse. She is naturally a very fast horse. My plan is to be competitive on all of the horses in all of the classes and try to win every time.”
Blue Angel’s owner Robin Parsky said: “Blue Angel is an amazing horse. She loves to be in the winner’s circle. I could not be more proud of Kent, he has done a wonderful job with his horses. The horses are always happy and healthy.”
In an exclusive interview in the GCT TV live studio Kent also said he was originally planning to be a jockey, which explains his natural ability as a speed rider: “I started out racing ponies, I wanted to be a jockey actually. I rode a lot of thoroughbred horses that were very fast.”
Kent switched to show jumping and admits he “got hooked” and is very competitive at all times. As well as today’s extremely fast win on Blue Angel, Kent also won on Waomi and said of the horse: “This is a totally different style, a bigger horse and very careful, but I decided to go for speed - building her confidence.”
“It is not just determination, I have a great team of owners and horses and a great team around me” said Farrington in regards to the world rankings. "It has taken a long time to get here. I started at the bottom of the sport, clawing my way up.”
Source: GCT News
Kent Farrington Wins 1.50m CSI5* at Global Champions Tour Shanghai
World no. 4 Kent Farrington continued his stellar weekend in China on Saturday with another five star win during the Global Champions Tour Shanghai. The American rider tacked up Amalaya Investments' Waomi, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare by Lupicor, picking up €11,220 in prize money for taking first place.
On Friday afternoon in Shanghai, Farrington led the victory gallop with Blue Angel in the opening CSI5* class of the weekend’s competition.
Farrington’s time in the single-round class was well over a second faster than that of second place finisher Abdullah Al Sharbatl - Kent finished in 56.33 seconds compared to Al Sharbatly’s 57.93 seconds.
Farrington has been riding Waomi since the fall of 2014, and began the season by picking up wins aboard the sharp bay mare during the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
Global Champions Tour Shanghai continued the day’s competition with the Grand Prix of Shanghai CSI5* and will conclude on Sunday afternoon with a pair of high dollar show jumping competitions. Farrington is set to compete with Waomi and Blue Angel in Sunday’s lineup.
Farrington takes first CSI5* win at GCT Shanghai aboard Blue Angel
Competing this week as the sole Team USA representative at the prestigious Global Champions Tour Shanghai, world no. 4 rider Kent Farrington took first prize in Friday’s opening class aboard the slight but speedy Blue Angel, owned by Robin Parsky.
CSI5* competition in Shanghai has brought some of the top riders in the world to the China Art Palace, where a spectacular temporary show jumping competition venue has been constructed on the banks of the Huangpu River in central Shanghai. The week’s classes began with a CSI5* 1.45m speed format competition, used by many of the riders to allow their horses to stretch their legs ahead of Saturday’s Global Champions Tour CSI5* Grand Prix of Shanghai.
Farrington and Robin Parsky’s Blue Angel, a 13-year-old Anglo European mare by Luidam, jumped clear in 32.80 seconds ahead of second-placed finisher, Germany’s Marco Kutscher and Van Gogh, who stopped the clock in 33.33 seconds.
Kent Farrington and Belle Fleur 38 Win $30,000 Equestrian Sport Productions Spring 2 Grand Prix at PBIEC
Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) finished its second week of its Spring Series this past weekend at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with a victory for the no. 5 ranked rider in the world, Kent Farrington of Wellington, FL. He rode Belle Fleur 38, owned by Haity McNerney, to victory in the $30,000 Equestrian Sport Productions Spring 2 Grand Prix.
Sunday's Grand Prix showed a large turnout, with a total of 50 entries, 14 of which qualified for the jump-off. The course was designed by Kenny Krome of Maryland, and featured a speedy jump-off with a majority of single fences. Farrington was one of nine competitors to go clear in the jump-off, which ultimately came down to time.
"[The] jump-off was a steeplechase-type course. [Belle Fleur 38] is a naturally fast horse," said Farrington in regards to his win with a time of 43.254 seconds in the jump-off.
"[Belle Fleur 38] is a fairly new horse for me. She is nine years old and got a late start in the sport." said Farrington. "I see her being very competitive in the future. I would like to thank all the owners and my whole team behind me. It wouldn't be possible [to compete at this level] without surrounding myself with great owners and a great team."
Kent Farrington and Waomi win $100,000 Suncast Championship Finale at 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival presented by Rolex
The $100,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Series Final concluded on Saturday with a win for Kent Farrington (USA) and Amalaya Investments' Waomi. The competition saw 63 entries in the first round during the day, and the top 25% returned to compete in round two on Saturday evening. Fourteen clear entries and the two fastest four fault scores from round one returned to jump-off. Their cumulative scores from both rounds were combined to determine the winner.
In the second round, two out of the 16 competitors were able to clear the course without fault. McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur, owned by Double H Farm and Francois Mathy, were first to complete the jump-off clear in 44.05 seconds. They finished second overall. Farrington and Waomi took the win with two clear rounds and the leading jump-off time of 42.07 seconds.
"I thought it was a difficult track right from the first round," Farrington said following his win. "I was actually surprised there were that many clear. I think the lighting made it a bit more difficult for the jump-off, which was also technical. When you have 16 horses coming back and a lot of fast riders, you know that it is going to be competitive, so I think everybody was putting it out on the line to try to win tonight. No one was conservative, and I think that is why you saw so many faults tonight in the jump-off."
On where he was faster than Ward, Farrington noted, "First, I think my horse is naturally faster across the ground, and I think my turns were probably a bit shorter. McLain was on a green horse, and I don't think he was really able to turn quite as short as I was to the fences."
The victory marked Farrington's fourth in the 1.50m Series for 2015. Three wins came with Waomi, a 12-year-oldmare by Lupicor x Boreas. He also topped one class with Amalaya Investments' Willow.
"I started riding Waomi in the fall during the indoor season, and she pretty much started winning right from the beginning," Farrington said of their partnership. "At The National, she won back-to-back 1.50m competitions. Then she came to Florida here and kept right on track. I started her early in the WEF (Challenge Cup) classes, and she jumped one Grand Prix and also placed. As my other horses were stepping up, I put her more in the position to jump the 1.50m classes, and she has been super consistent and a real winner for me."
Source: Equestrian Sport Productions
second suncast victory for Farrington as the World No.4 takes the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic aboard Waomi
Competing on the grass field at The Stadium at PBIEC on Sunday, USA's Kent Farrington won the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic aboard Amalaya Investments' Waomi. To conclude the eleventh week of WEF competition, 36 entries showed over Olaf Petersen Jr.'s course, with five clear rounds to jump-off. Farrington qualified two horses, first and last to go on the short course.
Farrington began the jump-off with what would prove to be the winning round aboard Waomi, clear in 38.18 seconds. Ben Asselin (CAN) and Attache Stables' Doremi returned with four faults in 42.20 seconds to place fifth. Darragh Kenny (IRL) jumped next with Caroline Lloyd's Sans Soucis Z, clear in 40.15 seconds, to finish third. Harrie Smolders (NED) followed in 38.99 seconds aboard Axel Verlooy's Enjoy Louis to move into second place. Last to go, Farrington returned aboard Amalaya Investments' Willow with a clear round in 40.42 seconds to also earn fourth place honors.
"Today was a nice change of pace coming out to the field," Farrington stated after his win. "I personally love riding on the grass. It is a more natural footing, and I think the horses like it. It was a great change of scenery and I thought the footing here was excellent today. You could not have asked for a better setting than this."
Farrington has had success with both Waomi and Willow in the 1.50m series this winter, among other top finishes throughout the circuit. Waomi won the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic during Week Seven, and two weeks later, Willow won the class in Week Nine. Farrington described the two horses, as well as his plan for each of their jump-off rounds. Waomi is a 12 year old Dutch Warmblood mare (Lupicor x Boreas), and Willow is a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Guidam x Little Rock).
"Willow is really a hot horse. He is on the attack all the time, and I kind of have to throttle him down and try to keep his brain calm so that he does not get ahead of himself," Farrington noted. "That is sort of where his rail will come, when he does not slow down to jump the fence. He just gets too much in a hurry."
"Waomi is a very careful mare that sort of has her own style," he continued. "She is an opinionated lady, and she wants to go the way she wants to go."
"To start with Waomi, I thought there were fast riders coming after me, and I would have to lay down a pretty good trip to be in contention to win today," Farrington said of the jump-off. "I thought she went great. She did everything I asked her to do and luckily that was enough for today."
"Having the fortune of going last on my second horse, I actually thought it was nice training for him to do a jump-off not at full speed," Farrington explained. "I have run him in a lot of classes here and gone very fast, so today I could kind of glide around the course and set him up for the next class I am going to do with him."
Farrington plans to rest Willow next week to show in Miami at the conclusion of the WEF circuit. Waomi will return to compete in Week 12.
KENT FARRINGTON takes $8,000 CSI4* 1.45m AT WINTER EQUESTRIAN FESTIVAL
World Equestrian Games Team Bronze medalist Kent Farrington won the $8,000 CSI4* 1.45m competition with Haity McNerney's Belle Fleur 38 at the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany built the course for Thursday's starting competition. Nineteen competitors jumped clear in the first round out of a total of fifty-two international combinations. Setting the lead time half way through the jump-off, Farrington took the lead with Haity McNerney's Belle Fleur 38 with a time of 37.43 seconds. Dutchman Harrie Smolders and fellow American rider Laura Kraut attempted to unseat Farrington, but proved unsuccessful. Farrington took home his fourth international victory of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival presented by Rolex.
Kent Farrington and Willow Victorious in $85,000 Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic
Week Nine of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) concluded on Sunday with a win for Kent Farrington (USA) and Willow in the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic competing at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL.
Course designer Alan Wade (IRL) finished the week with another strong track for the horses and riders in the 1.50m competition, with 64 entries and nine clear rounds. A tight 73 second time allowed kept nine others out of the jump-off, clear over the jumps but late across the finish line.
Farrington qualified two mounts for the jump-off. He jumped first with Amalaya Investments' Waomi, who he rode to victory in Week Seven's 1.50m Classic. The pair was fast, but had two rails down in the process and finished eighth. This time it was Willow's turn in the winner's circle, and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Guidam x Little Rock) blazed through the track.
"I just used the length of his stride to my advantage," Farrington said of his winning round. "I probably do less strides than the other horses do. Certainly to the combination I left out one stride. That is a pretty risky thing to do, but he has such a big stride that I figured my chances of clearing it were probably the same whether I did seven or eight. Then I probably did one less stride to the next one and one less stride to the last as well. Naturally, he has a very big step, so it is easy to use that in a jump-off."
"Waomi has been a consistent player for me at that level," Farrington noted. "Willow, I have been using in some bigger classes that are probably a touch over his head this winter, trying to rest Voyeur and my other bigger horses. I put him back at his comfort level and he showed why he is good for that, so I am very happy with him today."
"He has a fantastic gallop," the rider detailed. "He is really game; he is brave. He is a lot of fun to ride and he is naturally very fast, so you just have to try to contain him throughout the course and usually he produces good results."
Speaking of his plans for Willow this year, Farrington, explained, "I would like to use him as a top second horse. I think that is really his role. He can compete anywhere in the world, and he has such a great heart. If you ask him to jump a big one, he will do it. He almost won the five star here, the first one around. He had the last fence down in the jump-off, but I thought he tried his guts out. He will kind of do whatever you want, but I think his most competitive level is as a second horse. I think he can win a ton."
Concluding another great week of competition, Farrington praised course designer Alan Wade on his tracks for the week.
"I think Alan Wade is one of the best course designers in modern show jumping," Farrington acknowledged. "I think we all appreciate that he is here to build. It is real level, but it is intelligent building and I think the courses all week have been great."
Kent Farrington wins $85,000 Suncast 1.50 Classic aboard Waomi
Week Seven of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), sponsored by Suncast®, concluded on Sunday with the $85,000 Suncast® 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic featured in the International Arena at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC). USA's Kent Farrington was the winner with Amalaya Investments' Waomi in a 17 horse jump-off over Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Artisan Farms LLC's Tripple X III. Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner's Vanilla placed third.
Course designer Steve Stephens (USA) finished out the week with 75 entries in the 1.50m competition. Out of 17 to advance to the jump-off, the short course only saw six double clear rounds. Farrington, Marie Hecart (FRA), and Charlie Jacobs (USA), all made it through to the tiebreaker with two horses.
Waomi, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Lupicor x Boreas), showed last year with owner Meagan Nusz and Farrington started competing the mare in the fall in Harrisburg and Lexington with top finishes. She had some time off and then picked up again with Farrington at the beginning of the WEF circuit.
"I showed her at the beginning and she was third in the WEF (Challenge Cup) during week two and she also placed in the Grand Prix that week," Farrington detailed. "Then I gave her a little rest again and now I am kind of picking it up. My plan was to do this 1.50m, do the WEF (Challenge Cup) next week and then one of the Grand Prixs at the end."
"She is a really interesting horse," Farrington stated. "She is a little particular. She has her way that she wants to go. I have no martingale on the horse because she prefers to be really free and go in her own style, but she is very careful and quite fast, so she is a lot of fun to ride."
Farrington went first with Robin Parksy's Gazelle in the jump-off, but had one rail down. He then returned with Waomi immediately after Tiffany Foster had jumped into first with a very fast time aboard Tripple X III. Their lead was short-lived, however, as Farrington and Waomi galloped through the timers over a second faster.
"I rode my other horse first, who is very green for a jump-off like that, and I thought she went very well," Farrington noted. "Then Tiffany went and was very fast. I didn't see her round, but I saw her time and that sounded very fast to me. I have seen her on that horse before, and I know that he covers a lot of ground. He is a quick horse, so the jump-off with Waomi was really just to take a shot. She also has a big stride, and I just kind of let her have a run at it."
Kent Farrington wins $85,000 Salamander Hotels & Resorts Grand Prix CSI3*
For the second year in a row, Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky's Blue Angel emerged victorious in the $85,000 Salamander Hotels & Resorts Grand Prix CSI 3* during Week Six at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL. Farrington and Blue Angel topped a nine horse jump-off to defend their title, with Harrie Smolders (NED) and Don VHP Z second, and Ben Maher (GBR) aboard Valinski S third.
Under the lights of the International Ring at The Stadium at PBIEC Friday night, Richard Jeffery (GBR) set the track for 39 starters in the Salamander Hotels & Resorts Grand Prix, with nine moving on to the jump-off and six double clear rounds.
"I think this style of venue really suits the horse and that's why I chose to ride her here again this year," Farrington said of his win with Blue Angel, a 13-year-old Anglo European mare (Luidam x Ascendant). "It's a small ring, more like an indoor arena. She is naturally fast and can add a stride very quickly."
"The ride in the jump-off with her really is not to let her get out of her comfort zone," Farrington noted. "Like going to the last fence, not to go too direct and try to go too fast, more just tone it down and hope that's enough for the class today. I think I was just on a faster horse. I thought Harrie's round was incredible. He turned so tight back to the vertical. He went to the whip going to the last fence and did seven strides. I don't think there was anything else Harrie could do. Luckily, my horse was a little faster today. My horse is also good at a rollback to a vertical like that. Harrie went inside from fence one to two, which was extreme. I didn't think I could do that and still jump the vertical well and do a short rollback, so I had to hedge my bet a little there at the start."
"All of us here are super competitive personalities," Farrington said of the competition. "These are some of the best riders in the world, and we are all out here trying to win all the time. I think that shows the strength of the competition here at WEF, when you see riders of this caliber all competing each weekend."
While some of Farrington's top mounts, such as Voyeur and Uceko, will rest this winter in preparation for the season ahead, the rider is bringing out some new horses for the circuit and using his other horses sparingly.
"I'm trying to use the circuit to develop some new horses and get them in the ring and using Blue Angel and horses like that if there's a certain venue or class that really suits them," Farrington explained. "The circuit is long, so it's a great way to build up a new horse. They can get comfortable in the ring and jump a little bigger than they normally could if you were going to a different place every single week, so I am trying to use that to my advantage."
For the horses that are showing, he acknowledged the nice change to compete in different rings across the show grounds at PBIEC, such as Friday's class at The Stadium.
"I think it's a great change of pace. I think using this ring and the field and maximizing the different venue opportunities that we have here in Wellington is great for the horses and a nice change of scenery for the riders," Farrington said.
Kent Farrington wins Bronze with Team USA at Alltech World Equestrian Games in Normandy
The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team won the Bronze medal at the FEI World Team Jumping Championship held as part of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games at the d'Ornano Stadium. The Team was composed of McLain Ward riding Rothchild, Kent Farrington riding Voyeur, Lucy Davis riding Barron, and Beezie Madden riding Cortes 'C'. The Netherlands won Team Gold while France won a Silver medal.
Team USA clinched the bronze medal, finishing on 16.72, anchorwoman Beezie Madden and Cortes C once again producing the goods when it mattered and notching up a deciding clear round. Overall, Lucy Davis and Barron's score of four faults in each round became the drop score for Team USA. McLain Ward and Rothchild got the bronze-winning Americans off to an expensive start when they were victims of Land Rover oxer ‘bogey’ at 2. Kent Farrington and Voyeur accrued another four with a mistake at the rail over the water tray (10).
Overall, Farrington and Voyeur acquired four faults in each round of the Team Competition. McLain Ward and Rothchild started with a clear round, earning four faults in the second round. Beezie Madden and Cortes C earned a double clear score for team over day two and day three of competition in Caen, Normandy. US chef d'equipe Robert Ridland said: "It's unbelievable how hard the competition is now. It's even harder than it was in Kentucky four years ago."
Kent Farrington takes first victory in Lexington
Kent Farrington, one of the most successful riders on tour throughout the 2014 show season, continued his winning ways on Thursday afternoon as the Open and International Jumpers got underway at the 131st National Horse Show in Lexington, Kentucky.
Riding the Amalaya Investments' Waomi, Farrington topped a large starting field of 51 in a one round speed class, racing home in 53 seconds flat to nail down the victory over a pair of Belgian riders, Nicola Philppaerts and Francois Mathy. Philippaerts, riding J'Espere Dream, clocked in just a whisper behind Farrington at 53.06 seconds. Meanwhile, Mathy piloted Ornellaia to a time of 54.56 seconds for today's third place finish.
Veteran Course Designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, making his National Horse Show debut, created a 14 jump track with 12 numbered fences that saw 22 of the 51 starters go clean. Jorge was thrilled to be in Lexington and working at such an important and historic event. "One of the things I love most about our sport is the tradition, and I don't think you get more traditional than at the National Horse Show," he said. "I feel very honored to be part of it."
Kent Farrington, who arrived in Lexington fresh off a major international win in the Grand Prix of Barcelona at the FEI Nations Cup Finals and the $40,000 Big Jump at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, talked about today's victory. "Waomi is naturally a fast horse, she anticipates the turns and it's easy to leave strides out going around the turns," he said. "I started off really aggressive, leaving out a stride in the first line and that is probably where we scored the win."
He then spoke of his excellent summer of success. "It's really been a team effort. I have some great owners behind me, some really nice horses and a really great staff around me. It really comes down to putting yourself with the right people and getting the right horses underneath you," he smiled.
"The National Horse Show has always been a staple of the famous shows in the United States, so it's really exciting that they are making a big effort to make it special again," he continued. "I think having it at the Horse Park makes it one of the best indoors we have. The organizers have gone to great lengths to make it feel special."
Farrington continued the string of wins on horses borrowed from his student Meagan Nusz. In addition to the win on Waomi today, Farrington rode Nusz' Dynamo to victory in the Trump Grand Prix in Florida two years ago. "That's easy," he laughed. "You get your students nice horses and then it's easy to borrow them every now and again for a win."
Kent Farrington wins the $40,000 Pennsylvania National "Big Jump"
A competitive field of 38 top international riders, including many Olympic and World Champions, headlined the $40,000 Pennsylvania National "Big Jump", sponsored by Wilmington Trust, an M & T Company, at the Pennsylvania Horse Show.
Designed by Michel Vaillancourt, the course was set at 1.50m and included 12 fences and 15 jumping efforts in the first round, which weeded out quite a few competitors as only six riders made it through to the exciting jump-off.
Kent Farrington, top ranked US rider and number four in the world, was first into the ring and set the pace with Willow, jumping clear and in the unbeatable time of 35.05 seconds. Farrington took home the $13,200 first place prize money as well as the Second Cannabis Challenge Trophy. "I was really pleased with him tonight," said Farrington.
Kent Farrington And Uceko Win the Cup of the City of Barcelona
The United States top world-ranked rider Kent Farrington has been proclaimed this night the winner of the Longines Cup of the City of Barcelona after setting himself apart from 37 other international combinations. Farrington was the fastest in the second round with long-time partner Uceko, ahead of Britain's William Whitaker riding Upperclass, and France's Marie Hécart with the very-fast Myself de Breve.
Only two other combinations managed to finish the second round without penalties; Piergiorgio Bucci riding Catwalk Z and Gerco Schröder riding Cognac Champblanc. Brazil saw two top-ranked riders in the top-twelve. Brazil's Doda de Miranda finished 6th with AD Nouvelle Europe Z while Marlon Modolo Zanotelli finished 7th with Rock'n'Roll Semilly.
Kent Farrington and Willow win City of Los Angeles Trophy at LA Masters
World no. 3 Kent Farrington won the City of Los Angeles Trophy on day two of the inaugural Los Angeles Masters event. Farrington's win was of course very popular among the home crowd, who watched the leading US rider guide Amalaya Investments' Willow to one of seven double clear scores in the first international CSI5* competition of the day, with forty two entries. As per usual, Farrington was extremely fast in the jump-off that counted no less than sixteen riders earning a time of 33.42 seconds.
With over a second faster than runner-up Jur Vrieling and his Olympic veteran mount VDL Bubalu, Farrington took a comfortable win in this 1.50m class and the top prize of $27,555 in prize money.
Kent Farrington kicks off Spruce Meadows Masters with Telus Cup victory
Kent Farrington beat a starting field of 34 entries in the $50,000 TELUS Cup 1.50m as the first event of the 'Masters'. He and Blue Angel, a 12-year-old Anglo European mare by Luidam x Ascendant owned by Robin Parsky, were quick in 52.886 seconds for the win. Second place went to McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z in 54.482 seconds, while Pieter Devos of Belgium was just behind in third place in 54.532 seconds on Echo D.
Farrington was pleased with the way Blue Angel started out and noted that her consistency is one of her strengths. “I think I brought a nice team of horses here. This is one of the most important shows of the year; it's big money, it's great atmosphere, and it's one of the best venues in the world. I hope we have some luck for the rest of the week as well,” he said.
He was another to praise the job done in order to make competition possible today. “The footing was better than expected. Spruce Meadows is known for their staff and being able to put on great events regardless of the weather,” he noted. “I think that really showed here, how strong their team is to be able to get all the snow off the field and still have it looking amazing today. I thought the ground was quite good, and I think that's part of the level of excellence that you have here at Spruce Meadows.”
When asked if he thought he would be showing a day after the almost 10 inches snowfall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Farrington laughed, “I didn't think we'd be showing on Wednesday! Yesterday looked pretty cold, so I was happy to stay inside. I thought, 'Today is a day for a hot chocolate and a movie!' I think the weather is going to keep getting better. That's lucky for us.”
Kent Farrington wins inaugural Stephex Masters Grand Prix aboard Willow
As the last to go in a four-horse jump-off, Kent Farrington won the Stephex Masters Grand Prix aboard Willow (Guidam x Little Rock). It was a determined Farrington that went to work, after being second on the same horse in Friday's big class – losing out on a brand new Land Rover. This time around it was clear that the American rider wanted to make it to the top – and so he did. A great performance from Lauren Hough secured double American on top at Stephex Stables in Wolvertem, Belgium.
For a long time it looked like Uliano Vezzani's thirteen fence track would get the better of the riders, not to forget the very tight time allowed that played a crucial part. The latter made many of the riders chase the clock, picking up faults on the way, as the fences fell at the expense of making it to the finish line within the time. Faults spread out, but many got in trouble out of the triple – on the b-element (vertical) or the c-element (oxer). The final line with a huge oxer followed by five strides to a skinny bicycle gate also caused heartache for many.
Riding Amalaya Investments Willow, Farrington showed he was serious about winning. Leaving out a stride on both the first line, and on the penultimate line as well as getting a perfect turn to the third oxer – the time was incredible at 32.76 seconds. With his performance, Kent pushed Lauren down to second. The three top riders all received a STX two-horse truck.
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel win Serpentine Stakes at CSIO5* Dublin
Riding the wave of red, white, and blue following a double Nations Cup victory last week from Team USA, Kent Farrington kept the US patriotism alight by winning the Serpentine Speed Stakes with Robyn Parsky's Blue Angel.
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel were in a class of their own in the Serpentine Speed Stakes sponsored by TRI Equestrian, and left forty other riders in the dust. In classic Farrington-style, he set the target time at 64.93 seconds half way through the class.
Ireland's Bertram Allen was pushed down to second on Romanov; the incredibly talented young Irish rider had taken the lead earlier, stopping the clock at 67.10 seconds. Ireland's Conor Swail made an effort to catch Farrington aboard Susan Grange's Lansdowne, but had to settle for second after producing a time of 66.35 seconds. The Serpentine Speed Stakes saw two Irish riders in the top three and three in the top eight.
Farrington and Voyeur take Prix of Europe at CHIO Aachen presented by Rolex
Becoming a regular Rolex winner, Kent Farrington earned another fantastic win in what can only be described as a month of pure domination. Winning the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Rolex-affiliated show grounds Spruce Meadows in Calgary seemed to set the pair up for another victory. This week in Aachen, taking home the Preis von Europa, presented by Turkish airlines.
The 33-year-old Pan American medalist from Chicago flew to victory with his 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood Voyeur – very much in keeping with the new Top Level Sponsor. The scoreboard showed the unbelievable time of 47.82 seconds as Farrington crossed the finish line of the 410-meter long jump-off course with its eight obstacles. With his victory in the main jumping competition of the first day of the show, which was also a qualifier for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, Farrington took over from the British team Olympic gold medalist Ben Maher, who won the Prize of Europe last year with his mare Cella.
"My horse is quite naturally very fast and I have a lot of trust in him, so I just let him run," was how Farrington commented about his ride. The American has succeeded in winning three international jumping competitions within just three weeks. He now plans to ride his gelding in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday too. "I hope that I qualify," commented the ambitious rider, who is also on the US Team long-list as a potential participant for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.
Farrington and Uceko win the Progress Energy Cup at Spruce Meadows
Farrington and Uceko add another victory to the list, this time taking home the Progress Energy Cup at Spruce Meadows. “Sometimes that’s sport and how it goes,’’ mused Farrington, currently the no. 8 ranked rider in the world. “It’s a game of inches and half-seconds and things like that. I had a couple of things not break my way so far, so it’s good to get a win under our belt, so to speak.’’
Farrington, 33, rode a rocket named Uceko during the jump-off of the $85,000 Progress Energy Cup on the second day of the North American show jumping tournament, posting a ridiculously fast time of 36.93 to beat out eight others vying for the $28,050 top purse. It was his first win of the summer series.
“I didn’t bring as many experienced horses as in the past. I really just brought Voyeur for the bigger classes and younger ones that are getting a lot of good miles and are competitive but they aren’t really ready to win,’’ said Chicago-born Farrington. “When you have an experienced horse like [Uceko], it’s really nice to go into a class and know that you can put the pressure on and put the hammer down to compete and not have to hold back.’’
The 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood was the horse that Farrington rode to two Grand Prix titles at Spruce Meadows last season, most notably among a truckload of top finishes with various mounts. But this week is the first we’ve seen of the terrific grey horse and there’s a reason for it.
“He hasn’t done anything since December,’’ Farrington related. “That horse has worked really hard for me for four years and now that I have some other horses that have stepped up to be competitive I thought he deserved a break so I gave him six months to not even look at a jump and forget about showing for a while. This is his first week out and he feels better than ever. He feels really fresh and excited to be back at the show, and I couldn’t be happier with him.’’
Farrington had hoped to gear Uceko up for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix on Saturday, but now doesn’t believe he’ll be ready and will opt for Voyeur instead.
“He’s a great horse as well,’’ he said of the 12 year old. “He doesn’t have as much experience as the other horse and I think this is one of the best venues not just for top level competition, but to also produce a horse. If they jump here in this ring over these jumps, you can feel pretty comfortable they can jump anywhere in the world.’’
Countryman McLain Ward and HH Carlos Z, habitual speedsters, had posted the previous fastest ride, negotiating the course with a time of 38.49. But Farrington and Uceko juked and jived throughout, taking the tight turns and making the quick gallops that shaved off more than a second and a half.
“My horse has a very big stride so the field really suits him,’’ the victor noted. “He’s also quite brave so you can go a little bit on the attack at the jumps with him. It’s playing to his strengths as a horse.’’
Farrington and Voyeur take the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows
On Saturday, July 5th, Kent Farrington rode to victory in the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup, capturing his third Grand Prix in the past two Summer Series' at Spruce Meadows.
Making the accomplishment even more remarkable was Farrington’s decision to ride Voyeur in Saturday’s Grand Prix instead of Uceko, the horse he had so much success with last season.
With Uceko, who Farrington won with in Friday’s Progress Energy Cup, making a comeback after an extended break over the winter and Voyeur having a breakthrough this year, Farrington could soon have a stable that’s the envy of show jumpers the world over.
“I think [Voyeur] can just win anywhere,” Farrington said. “He’s just a very versatile horse. I think that the second round [on Saturday] was as big as almost any course in the world, and I think he’s shown that he’s on par with those [top] horses.
“I think I have a very special horse in Voyeur, and I expect big things from him in the future.”
Saturday’s event was a showcase for Voyeur to exhibit the carefulness Farrington’s been trumpeting this week at the North American. While 14 riders were able to jump the first round of Leopoldo Palacios Jugo’s course, Farrington and Voyeur were the only combination who were able to sustain their flawless afternoon of jumping in the second round.
They did end up with one time-fault after finishing the round in a time of 77.40 seconds — well behind the fastest times in the round — but it was enough to earn Farrington the win and the $70,000 check that came along with it.
It also helped Farrington add a first-place ribbon from one of the few events at Spruce Meadows he hasn’t already won.
“It felt great to win this class because I’ve never won the Queen’s Cup before, and I’ve had a lot of good seasons [at Spruce Meadows],” Farrington said. “I’ve come in third and fourth, I probably have every other ribbon except for no. 1.”
Kent Farrington and Willow take the Prix SBM Le Casino at Global Champions Tour in Monte Carlo
As the sun sank towards the horizon at beautiful Port Hercule, Monaco, the afternoon’s hotly contested CSI5* Prix SBM Le Casino was won by the USA’s Kent Farrington with Willow, who clinched the win from last to go in the jump-off, ahead of Pius Schwizer (SUI) with Anisette de Lassus in second, and a thrilled Ali Yousef al Rumaihi (QAT) with Gunder in third, in front of a vocal crowd and packed VIP suite.
The first round course from Luc Musette was a challenging mix of tight lines and wide oxers. Nine riders of the 43 starters made it through to the jump-off round. The course required care and precision rather than an attacking ride and many riders came away with four faults picked up at various points around the serpentine route.
With pole position and having the benefit of seeing where others had made errors, Kent Farrington rode a polished round to make him only the third double clear of the competition and the winner with a time of 37.92 seconds. Riding Amalaya Investments' Willow, Farrington took home another high profile win with a horse that is rising through the ranks in the United States. Willow is proving to be another strong and capable mount for Farrington.
Kent Farrington and Blue Angel win the Prix MAG-JLT in Rome
With a very competitive line up, the CSIO5* Premio MAG-JLT 1.50m, known as the small Grand Prix of the CSIO5* event in Rome, was the highlight of Saturday's competition here at the Piazza di Siena Horse Show. The 82nd Annual event held in the heart of Rome is considered a highlight on the annual sports calendar. Italy's Uliano Vezzani set a difficult course as preparation for tomorrow's major Longines Grand Prix challenge.
Well known for his speed and competitive fervor, Farrington is always a competitor that others watch out for - especially when equipped with the careful and very fast Blue Angel. Today's competition saw plenty of fast combinations on the start list, however, sheer talent and speed would not cut it; today's win would require that little extra to seal the deal.
Only eight combinations jumped clear to qualify for the jump-off. "I thought Uliano set a difficult track today, very technical with a short time allowed" says Kent. "I think that is why he only ended up with eight clears for the jump-off. Obviously there was a very strong group of riders, so a jump-off like that is always going to be difficult but I had the advantage of going at the end so I knew exactly what I needed to do to win."
"I came last year to this show. I think this show is one of the most beautiful settings of any show in the world. It is one of the staple events of classic show jumping, I always like to attend this show when I can."
"I'm a really competitive person and I ride naturally fast so it is more about measuring myself and my strategy so that I don't overdo it. That the round doesn't have to be unbelievable, but instead it has to be good enough for the win" says Kent. "Not trying to ask the horse to go over the limit. That is more about what I am thinking of during the jump-off. Where I can make up time and mitigate the risk a little bit."
Farrington Wins Second Leg of 2014 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final as U.S. Sends Eight to Final Competition
World No. 7 Kent Farrington and Voyeur galloped to victory in the thrilling second leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final 2013/2014 at Lyon, France tonight. From a starting field of 38, there were an impressive 21 horse-and-rider combinations into the jump-off and the US rider produced a devastating turn of speed against the clock that rocketed him up from overnight 18th place to lie equal-10th going into Monday’s third and deciding competition following tonight’s success.
Olympic champion, Steve Guerdat, lined up second ahead of defending FEI World Cup Jumping champion Beezie Madden from the USA, while Germany’s Daniel Deusser finished fourth ahead of French rider Patrice Delaveau in fifth.
Tonight's course was set heavy with plenty of height but it seems the time allowed proved to be too generous. With an impressive 21 combinations in the jump-off, Frank Rothenberger will certainly be making some hard decisions for Monday's major showdown. “I was expecting between 10 and 12 clears but we got a few too many" said course designer Frank Rothenberger. "Unfortunately the time wasn’t a factor, a few seconds less and we would have had 10 to 12 clears. The course was big enough, the oxers were at 1.50m and the verticals were 1.60m - to me it was big enough. We have another two rounds on Monday and I didn’t want to take too much from the horses tonight, but 21 (into the jump-off) was definitely too many”.
The jump-off offered some of the best in the sport, all vying for the most competitive spot possible ahead of Monday's Final. The most sensational result of the night came from Farrington and Voyeur. Taking out strides on both the opening line and on the finishing line and executing an excellent turn to the third to last vertical allowed Farrington to stop the clock at 39.61 seconds. It looked nearly impossible for the remaining riders to better his time and as it turns out, it was.
"My horse was really special tonight. I treated it like an individual Grand Prix," said Farrington of his jump-off strategy. "I just try to stay smooth because he's naturally a fast horse. His speed is his speed; the more I leave him alone, the better he goes."
Farrington talked about his super-speedy 12-year-old horse afterwards. “He’s naturally fast by himself so I try to let him run at his own speed - his speed is his speed - and the more I can leave him alone the better he jumps!” he explained. “I got Voyeur as a nine-year-old and he has come back from an injury. I have high hopes for him - he is strong and aggressive but I think he is a spectacular horse” the Florida-based rider added.