Spruce Meadows Continental 2016
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