Tourmaline Oil Cup 2015
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.