Kent Farrington and Blue Angel. Photo Credit: ©ManciniPhotos.
Wellington, FL – November 25, 2015 – Kent Farrington (USA) captured a win in the first FEI class of the 2015 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* hosted at Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), piloting Blue Angel to victory in the $34,000 Equiline Holiday & Horses Opener Grand Prix. Farrington, who is currently ranked second in the world, dashed through the jump-off timers in 34.871 seconds to beat fellow American Laura Kraut and Andretti S, who finished in 36.516 seconds. Samuel Parot (CHI) and Atlantis jumped to third place with a time of 36.716 seconds. The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* will resume with FEI competition on Friday, November 27, and will continue through Sunday, November 29.
Farrington and Blue Angel proved too quick to catch on a competitive first day of the Holiday & Horses CSI 4*, which saw a large class of 60 entries test the Hector Loyola (PRI)-set track. The large class would ultimately return 23 combinations for an incredibly fast jump-off round.
Blue Angel, a 2002 Anglo European Sporthorse mare (Luidam x Astrid) owned by Robin Parsky, is known for her speed in the ring and continuously excels when faced with a fast-paced track. Her agility and carefulness have made the mare an incredible asset within Farrington’s talented and elite string of top mounts.
“A lot of horses were out here competing today, more than 60 entries, and with that came a lot of clear rounds so I expected a very fast jump-off, which it was. I thought Hardin Towell put in a really competitive round and then Laura Kraut left out a stride to the last fence that looked incredibly fast from the warm-up (ring),” said Farrington. “My horse is really quick across the ground. I think that I probably did more strides than anyone else, but she can roll into the jumps really short and I made up some time there.”
In an effort to edge the rest of the class, Farrington included a previously untried route on the jump-off course and elaborated on his decision to include the chancy turn. He explained, “In a class like this you have to pick your risks and know what your horse can handle. At a skinny fence like that, she’s really good at getting close to the jump, so I knew that I could roll in short on an angle which really suits her and her striding.”
The course proved to be a welcomed preparation for numerous combinations as many will test the $212,000 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission & Discover the Palm Beaches on Saturday, November 28. Farrington agreed that the nicely set track offered an opportunity for competitors to start the week off successfully, as most riders entered two mounts. He noted, “I thought it was pretty straightforward today. It was nice for the number of horses here, and you wanted to set a really inviting course. It was a good track for everyone to jump around.”
Cementing a phenomenal year as a representative for Team USA in numerous international competitions including the 2015 Pan American Games hosted in Toronto, Canada, Farrington has made his mark on the equestrian world around the globe over the course of the past twelve months and will continue building upon that success in 2016.
“We’ve had a great year, and I have an amazing team behind me. There is a great group of owners and horses, and my support staff is some of the best in the world. I think one of our strengths is that we’ve surrounded ourselves with a great team,” he remarked. “Next year, I’m looking forward to earning a lot of the same results and improving on what we accomplished this year. We have some very nice young horses coming up, and I’m always continuing to build my string from the bottom up for the future.”
The Holiday & Horses CSI 4* competition will resume with FEI classes on Friday, November 27, with the $34,000 Equiline 1.45m Speed Classic. The highlight of the week, the $212,000 Holiday & Horses CSI 4* Grand Prix presented by Palm Beach County Sports Commission and Discover the Palm Beaches, will begin at 6:30pm on Saturday, November 28. The night will also entertain guests of the Wellington Chamber of Commerce’s Winterfest and showcase the first round of drawings for the 2016 Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments®. FEI competition will conclude on Sunday, November 29, with the $34,000 1.45m Consolation Classic beginning at 1pm.
For more information on PBIEC and to see a full list of results, please visit www.pbiec.com.