Tag Archives: Kent Farrington

International Show Jumping Stars Set for Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Kent Farrington aboard Voyeur. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Kent Farrington to Defend $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Toronto Title

Toronto, Ontario – U.S. Olympian Kent Farrington will headline a star-studded field as the international show jumping division gets underway at the Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 96th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running November 2 through 11 at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto, ON.

Four days of international show jumping competition will culminate in the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, on Saturday night, November 10. Having won last year’s featured event riding Voyeur, Farrington plans to saddle up Creedance as he attempts to defend his title against some of the best show jumping competitors in the world.

“I love the Royal Horse Show,” said Farrington, 37, of Wellington, FL. “It’s a throwback in time with everyone wearing black tie and a packed house. All of the classes feel important. It’s one of my favourite shows in a beautiful city.”

Of Creedance, an expressive 11-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by the rider and R.C.G. Farm, Farrington said, “I’ve had him since he was seven and he’s really stepped up to be a very competitive grand prix horse on the biggest level. He has won classes at The Royal and other five-star events and is very fast indoors. Now that he’s more mature, he’s gotten more predictable and easier to manage. He was quite difficult to manage when he was young but he’s getting better with age.”

Joining Farrington in representing the United States are three of the four 2018 World Championship gold medal team members, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and McLain Ward. Molly Ashe-Cawley, Margie Goldstein-Engle, Andy Kocher, and Catherine Tyree will also represent the stars and stripes in this year’s international division.

The eight international competitors invited to this year’s Royal Horse Show include Daniel Bluman of Israel, Capt. Brian Cournane, Cormac Hanley, and Conor Swail of Ireland, Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire, Karen Polle representing Japan, Rowan Willis of Australia, and New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley.

Canada will also be represented by eight competitors to make up the total of 24 athletes who contest The Royal’s international division each year. Erynn Ballard of Tottenham, ON, Keean White of Rockwood, ON, and Ian and Jonathon Millar, both of Perth, ON, qualified based on their standings in the Longines World Rankings while Jump Canada’s high-performance committee named Ali Ramsay of Victoria, BC and Beth Underhill of Schomberg, ON as its two picks for the international division. Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON and Amy Millar of Perth, ON earned their tickets into the international division as the newly crowned Canadian Show Jumping Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively.

The international show jumping division officially opens on Wednesday, November 7, featuring the $36,000 Jolera International Welcome in the evening session. A sentimental favourite, the $85,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ International Challenge highlights Thursday evening while the popular $50,000 Weston Canadian Open is featured on Friday evening’s Royal Horse Show schedule.

Saturday afternoon, November 10, is Family Day, presented by McDonald’s, at the Royal Horse Show. The entertaining K9-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, pairs show jumping horses with agility dogs to see who can complete their respective courses in the fastest time. In an unparalleled evening of horse sport, the $205,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, presented by GroupBy, will bring down the curtain on closing night of the Royal Horse Show.

In entertainment, Australia’s Guy McLean will demonstrate his unique form of natural horsemanship throughout the Royal Horse Show while Pogo Puissance by Xpogo will take jumping to new heights as young athletes attempt to set records by jumping obstacles on pogo sticks.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.html.

Kent Farrington and Creedance Capture $135k International Jumper Classic CSI4* at NHS

Photo: Kent Farrington on Creedance.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday with a series of upper-level show jumping competitions capped by the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4*, attracting some of the best horses and athletes from the United States and beyond. Earning the largest share of the day’s purse as well as the Walter B. Devereux Memorial Challenge Trophy, Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance captured the victory in the evening’s feature event, while Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) and Picobello Choppin PC also solidified themselves as one of the day’s champions by outrunning the pack in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*.

With the class serving as a prerequisite to qualify for Saturday’s $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, exhibitors in the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* were challenged to finish within the top 40 in order to earn a coveted slot in the show jumping grand finale of the week. Up against a sizable field of talented contenders and a challenging 15-effort track constructed by Ken Krome (USA), 13 pairs mastered the first course to gain eligibility into the jump-off, while four duos fell victim to a single time fault and a handful were knocked out of contention at the oxer-vertical in-and-out, the bogey fences of the evening.

Proving why he has previously held the title of best in the world based on the Longines Rankings, Farrington maneuvered 11-year-old Creedance, the horse he owns with R.C.G. Farm, to the first double-clean ride of the evening as third in the jump-off order-of-go, stopping the clock in 37.49 seconds to set the standard to beat for his peers that would follow. Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Peter Lutz (USA), Conor Swail (IRL), Beezie Madden (USA), and Sharn Wordley (NZL) all followed suit with subsequent double-clear trips, but none were quick-footed enough to overthrow the class leaders.

A familiar face in the winner’s circle, Farrington is a multi-time Olympian for the United States and has been successful on the world stage with mounts such as Voyeur, Uceko and Gazelle, in addition to Creedance, for a number of years. Farrington wore the world’s No. 1 armband from May 2017 until April 2018, only being overthrown from the top spot after a leg injury prevented him from competing. Since returning to the show ring, he has quickly returned to his winning ways, nabbing victories in Valkenswaard, Germany; Valence, France; Calgary, Canada; and Tryon, USA, among others.

Ultimately, Lutz and Robin De Ponthual, owned by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller, earned the reserve position with their double-clean time of 39.34 seconds, and Swail and Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel clinched third place overall in 39.65 seconds.

Prior to Thursday’s feature event, the Alltech Arena welcomed 31 horses and athletes to vie for top honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. Operating under a faults-converted format, any downed rails added three penalties to the time to determine a final score for the round, meaning both speed and precision were imperative for a respectable tally. As one of the first to enter the ring, the ever-formidable Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Jiva set the pace with their quick trip in 56.51 seconds. Hot off their win in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, Madden and Jiva looked to be the ones to beat as pair after pair failed to usurp them.

Nearing the end of the order, Katie Dinan (USA) and Tarioso Manciais, owned by Grant Road Partners, finally edged out the frontrunners, tripping the timers just a hair faster in 56.34 seconds to jump to the top spot, but their lead wouldn’t hold. As the reigning American Gold Cup winner of the $204,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ New York CSI4*-W with D’Arnita, Cawley’s reputation preceded her, and the veteran competitor did not disappoint. As one of the final five to take to the ring, Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Picobello Choppin PC blazed around the Alltech Arena, carefully slicing across the track and leaving all of the rails up in a lightning fast final time of 54.20 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of the previous class leaders, to clinch the blue ribbon ahead of reserve finishers Dinan and Tarioso Manciais as well as Madden and Jiva.

The Alltech Arena also played host to the $10,000 Junior Jumpers and $10,000 Amateur-Owner Jumpers earlier in the day. In the junior contest, Isabella Bleu and her own Jahil led the way with a fault-free jump-off effort in 32.995 seconds to edge out the reserve finishers, Mimi Gochman and Gochman Sport Horse LLC’s Street Hassle BH, with their final time of 33.809 seconds. Not far off the pace, Paige Matthies and Barbara Smith’s Dirkie Z rounded out the top three with a clean jump-off ride in 35.023 seconds. Out of the field of amateur-owners, owner-rider Riley Newsome piloted Dakar VDL twice successfully, leaving all of the fences intact and breaking the beam in 39.783 seconds over the short course, just ahead of the time earned by the reserve champions, Addison Glerkink and Kadley Holdings LLC’s Erco Van T Roosakker, in 40.073 seconds. Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2, owned by Westwind Equine Training Center, finished in the third position, riding to a clean and clear jump-off time of 40.791 seconds.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

Double Clear and a Second Win for Kent Farrington in Tryon

Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 13, 2018 – Kent Farrington (USA) and Gazelle came away with top honors in the $132,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3* after a tense jump-off competition at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC), stopping the clock at 32.232 seconds. Paul O’Shea (IRL) and Imerald Van’t Voorhof, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Emerald Van’t Ruytershof x Bacardi-Orange De Muze) owned by Tequestrian Farms, LLC, took reserve honors with a time of 33.026 seconds, while Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Main Road earned a spot on the podium finishing on four faults in 32.748 seconds aboard the 2008 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Heartbeat x Irco Marco) owned by Sweet Oak Farm and Seabrook LLC.

For Farrington and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Indoctro) owned by himself and Robin Parsky, the challenge was to complete a technical course designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) against a competitive field of 31 entries. Only four pairs returned to prove themselves on the short course, and Farrington was last to go.

“When there are only four in the jump-off, and you go last, I kind of measure the class and see what kind of effort it will take to pull it off,” said Farrington. “It was a little closer than my liking tonight, but I’ll take it. A win is a win.”

Commenting on the course’s difficulty, Farrington admitted, “I think the course was more difficult than maybe a lot of us anticipated, with the lights, because some horses might not have been under the lights yet here. The liverpool fence had a glare, so you saw a lot of young horses struggle with that. There was plenty of course for the field today, and that’s why you only saw four in the jump-off.”

Competing under the lights was no problem for Farrington’s mount of more than five years, he explained. “Gazelle is a very experienced horse, so the lights played to her hand tonight.” His preparation strategy with the mare is to get on early and jump “quite small.” Farrington elaborated: “The horse is extremely careful, one of the most careful if not the most careful horse I’ve ever ridden. So you have to watch that line and keep her from getting too impressed in the ring and keep her measuring her efforts.

“So far so good here,” Farrington said of his experience with the venue, after taking the win in Friday’s $35,000 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3* with Creedance. “I’m here next week with the same horses and bringing some young ones over. I’m just back from Europe, so concentrated on gearing up the team before I do indoor shows.”

For full results from the $132,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*, click here.

For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Kent Farrington and Creedance Refresh the Ring with Win in $35k 1.50m Welcome Stake CSI 3*

Kent Farrington and Creedance. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 12, 2018 – Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance secured the win in the $35,000 1.50m Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) as part of Equus Events Tryon Fall 3 CSI 3* competition. Farrington flew through the jump-off in tandem with Creedance, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) owned by himself and R.C.G. Farm and stopped the timers in 35.942 seconds to top the class. Vanessa Mannix (CAN) rode into second place with her own Catinka 25, a 2009 Oldenburg mare (Catoki x Luxano) and acquired a jump-off time of 37.761 seconds and Spencer Brittan (USA) took third with his own Uncle Blue, a 2008 Swedish Warmblood gelding (Chacco-Blue x Robin Z), stopping the timers in 39.258 seconds.

Among 47 entries and only eight pairs returning to test the short course set by course designer Michel Vaillancourt (CAN), Farrington and Creedance put in an untouchable performance to land at the top of the order. “My horse is naturally very fast, so for us, a good strategy is just kind of keeping his natural speed, and that’s usually good enough to win. He’s a top horse; he’s won big Grand Prixs all over the world.” Concerning the morning’s cooler temperature, Farrington commented, “He [Creedance] likes the cool weather. I think all horses like it. They prefer it a little bit colder; they have more energy and are more excited to jump.”

Farrington suffered a leg injury last winter, but bounced back from the fracture in three months. “I’ve been back for a while. Exactly 12 weeks later, I was already showing 5* Grand Prix’s, so it really didn’t slow me down that much. It gave my horses a little more rest than usual, but since then it’s been business as usual.”

The Olympian recently competed in Europe for a successful summer circuit, but is now stateside to continue touring. “I just got back from Europe myself, so this is a good way to kick off our tour here,” he said of returning to compete at TIEC. Farrington plans to ride another of his well-known mounts, Gazelle, in Saturday night’s $132,000 Adequan® Grand Prix CSI 3*.

Kerins Bests the $5,000 1.40m Power & Speed Stake in Tryon

In Wednesday’s $5,000 1.40m Power & Speed Stake CSI 3*, Ireland’s Darragh Kerins (IRL) took top honors aboard Ringwood Zebo, a 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Califax x Ringwood Audacity) owned by Samantha Rice. Kerins completed the jump-off in 35.08 seconds. Just moments behind, Shane Sheetnam (IRL) earned a jump-off time of 36.23 seconds riding Stalanda Z, a 2008 Oldenburg mare, (Stakkotol x Colander) owned by Seabrook LLC, and Freddie Vazquez (PUR) with Bull Run’s Testify, a 2004 Selle Francais gelding, owned by Bull Run Jumpers Inc. took third with a time of 38.849 seconds.

David O’Brien Claims $5,000 Tryon Resort 1.40m Speed Stake CSI 3* for Ireland

Ireland’s David O’Brien rode KIR Royal SCF to victory in the $5,000 1.40m Tryon Resort Speed Stake CSI 3* in a field of 23 pairs, besting the Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) designed course in 59.46 seconds with the 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Amaretto D’Arco x Nabab De Reve) owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC. Stephanie Macieira (BRA) and Randon Pleasure, a 2005 Selle Francais mare (For Pleasure x Quidam De Revel) owned by Bonne Chance Farm, claimed second-place honors after their 60.69 second performance, while Rowan Willis (AUS) guided Italian Gold van De Kruishoeve, a 2008 Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Samantha Buirs, to a third-place finish after stopping the timers in 61.01 seconds.

For full results from the $35,000 1.50m Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3*, click here.

For more information, please visit www.Tryon.com.

Inside the Rolex Grand Slam: Exclusive Interview with Kent Farrington

Kent Farrington riding Voyeur at the CHI Geneva 2017 (Photo: Kit Houghton)

Can you talk us through your incredible recovery process?

“I am a really active person, so I didn’t want to rest for too long. After the surgery I was walking around the hospital on crutches when everyone else was asleep – I think it was only 10 or 11 hours after my operation, but I felt I needed to move.

Once I was out of hospital I had a week of resting at home to recover. It was exhausting as I was unable to sleep properly and would often wake up in the night because of the medication and the pain, but I wanted to start my rehab as soon as possible so I could get back to my sport. In my mind I was in a hurry to recover and I didn’t want to sit back and wait for that to happen. I think that recovery is down to healing physically but also focusing mentally and that’s what I was determined to do. I started training every other day, doing simple exercises at home, e.g. lying on the couch bending and straightening my leg in sets. I would repeat this every other hour, just doing these sets all day to build my strength.

As I got stronger, I frequently got x-rays to evaluate the progress. If you overtrain you can build too much bone and that can have a real negative impact on your healing and can result in you stopping your training altogether which would have been a disaster for me – it’s all about the right balance.

I also had another problem: when I fell the bone came out of my skin, I had a big wound and a high risk of infection. I had doctors working on that too and was sending photos to the doctors every day to monitor it.

As process went on and the rehab developed, I did a lot of weight resistance on my leg – grueling exercises, elliptical machine routines, bounce exercises and putting my own body weight on one leg and teaching myself to walk again really. I started training 2-3 times a day, repeating all the same exercises. I also bought a rowing machine, so I could train at home in between sessions with my physical trainer.

I did training sessions at 5.30am or 9.30pm as I wanted to be on my own. I work better on my own as I like to do my own thing and focus on getting stronger.  I was really grateful that my trainer would come in early or stay late just to focus on me.

That was my routine: eat, sleep and train.

As you go on, and you are motivated to get better, you learn to cope with it all. I am motivated on my own, so I didn’t need to extra help for that. Getting back to the sport, my amazing horses and my big team of riders and owners motivated me and made excited to get healthy again.”

Can you tell us about the team of people who helped with your recovery process?

“Firstly, I had a fantastic doctor, Dr Nicholas Sama. He is a pro at this job and really took an interest above and beyond what a normal doctor should. I was going to his office a minimum of once week and they took it on as a cause to get me back to my sport as quickly as possible with a full recovery physically.

Ed Smith from Athletes Advantage in Wellington, Florida – a training a rehabilitation centre – was another very influential person. I was going there before and after normal business hours and he was there for me, to train me through everything. These aren’t things those guys have to do, and I am so grateful for all of that support. Top of their field.

I have a really strong team at home. Claudio Baroni is a fantastic rider and helps me to exercise the horses and we made a plan together just two days after the operation. We made a calendar of what all my horses were going to do while I was recovering, and it was great to know they would be in safe hands.  When you do things like that — putting your mind in the focus of planning for the future — it pushes me to do everything in my power to be as good as I can and as quick as I can in my recovery.”

The film you posted on Instagram has had a lot of interest; can you talk us through it?

“I think that is one of the things about social media today – people are very interested in what other people are doing. People kept asking me how I was, could I work and kept questioning if I would ever be able to ride again – so thought I would post that video up and would answers everyone’s questions and show everyone that I was on a good road to recovery.”

How did it feel to be back in the saddle?

“The first couple of times I was a little apprehensive – I thought ‘am I going to remember how to ride’ etc. I had a lot of pain the first time, I couldn’t ride in the stirrups, but I had to control my mind set and tell myself it was going to better. I had to accept I could only make baby steps and each day it would get a little bit better and a little bit better.”

When I first jumped a course for the first time it felt good; it felt okay to ride and jump and it felt exciting. I was like a little kid at Christmas; it’s weird because when you do something your whole life you take for granted how fun something is; for me be back in the saddle and riding made me feel alive again.”

Royal Windsor Horse Show was your first show back; how was the experience this year?

“I love Royal Windsor Horse Show; it is one of the most unique competitions and to be in the Castle Grounds is so special, so I really wanted to be able to compete there. I didn’t want to push myself too much in the first class, so I went at a medium speed and came third which I was really pleased with.

I told myself if I could ride, I could compete and if I was going to compete I wanted to do it properly and at a 5* show, so Windsor seemed the appropriate one to aim for. “

What advice would you have for anyone who was experiencing a similar injury to yours?

“The first thing is acceptance of what your injury is, understand that you’re hurt and you won’t be better in a day or a week. I wanted to educate myself on my injury, so I worked out what I could do, what I could expect and how to be realistic.

I looked up other athletes who had similar injuries to see what they did to recover. One particular sports star stuck with me, a basketball player called Paul George. He suffered a horrific break very similar to mine and people thought he would never play again. He recovered and came back to be one the of the best players in the NBA, so I thought if he can do it, so I can I. That was really good for my moral and motivation.”

Now you are back from injury, what are your main focuses this year – are you eyeing up the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping?

“For sure my eye is on all the big Rolex competitions and of course the Rolex Grand Slam. I was so disappointed to miss The Dutch Masters, but I will focus on getting back on track and aim for that ultimate prize. I am excited for Aachen in July; it is one of the best competitions in the world and I am looking forward to competing against the world’s best riders.”

Which horses do you have high hopes for this year?

“I am lucky to have so many great horses, but I have particular high hopes for Creedance, Voyeur, Gazelle, and Uceko. I also have some up-and-coming young ones. I don’t think they will be ready for Grand Prix level this year but definitely high hopes for the future.”

Which horses do you plan to bring to CHIO Aachen in July?

“I am not 100% sure yet by in my ideal world I would bring Voyeur, Gazelle, and Uceko.”

© 2018 Rolex – Rolex Grand Slam

US Olympians Claim Longines FEI Awards for Best Jumping Rider and Best Horse

Left to right: FEI President Ingmar De Vos, McLain Ward (USA), Kent Farrington (USA) winner of the Longines FEI Best Rider Award, Claudia Mathy, François Mathy and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing (Longines/Pierre Costabadie)

Paris, France – World number one Kent Farrington (Wellington, Fla.) has claimed the award for the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider and HH Azur, the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Double H Farm and François Mathy, was declared the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse at a special presentation in the Paris City Hall.

Olympic silver-medalist Farrington took over the number one slot in the Longines World Rankings in May 2017 and refused to allow anyone to break his winning streak, remaining at the top of the elite list for the rest of the year. The 37-year-old, who is well on the road to recovery after breaking his right leg in a fall in mid-February, received the award for the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider after finishing the year on 3,313 points.

HH Azur, whom McLain Ward rode to victory at last year’s Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Omaha (USA), added another major accolade to her collection when being named the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse. Affectionately known as “Annie,” the Olympic mare is owned by Double H Farms and Francois Mathy (BEL), who collected the award accompanied by his wife Claudia Mathy and McLain Ward.

“We are delighted to present the Longines FEI best rider and best horse here tonight in Paris in this beautiful setting of the Mairie de Paris, a fitting prelude to the FEI World Cup Finals,” FEI President Ingmar de Vos said.

“We are all inspired by how these athletes – both human and equine – ignite the passion in our sport and show us what it takes to succeed on the world stage. In addition, the successful partnership we have established with Longines, demonstrating the synergies between the brand and our sport, not only give extra recognition to our athletes, but the creation of these awards has given additional value to the Longines rankings and provides a further incentive to our athletes worldwide.”

“The Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse and Rider Awards ceremony has enabled us to once again celebrate the common passion for equestrian sports we share with our Top Partner, the FEI,” Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, said. “As we have seen here tonight, through these awards, we are increasing the visibility of jumping and bringing together the heroes of the discipline on a global level. We are delighted to crown the 2017 best jumping athletes in the context of these prestigious FEI World Cup Finals.”

Farrington, and HH Azur’s co-owner François Mathy, were each presented with an elegant Longines watch from the Longines Saint-Imier Collection as well as a replica trophy of the magnificent crystal winged hourglass representing the brand’s emblem at the inaugural ceremony in Paris, alongside the FEI World Cup Finals 2018 draws for Jumping and Dressage.

To see more on the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider, click here.

To see more on the Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Horse, click here.

Edited Press Release from the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI)

Kent Farrington Closes the Year Winning the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva

The Rolex Grand Prix at the CHI Geneva, regarded as the most esteemed indoor Grand Prix on the global equestrian circuit, was won by Rolex Testimonee and World Number One Kent Farrington aboard Gazelle. Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann was second aboard Mary Lou 194 and Gregory Wathelet from Belgium riding Coree placed third.

Some 10,000 equestrian fans walked into the iconic Palexpo venue, brimming with excitement and tension as they waited for the famed curtains to open, marking the start of the most anticipated class of the four-day show, the Rolex Grand Prix.

40 horse and rider combinations had qualified to enter the iconic indoor arena at the CHI Geneva and in doing so, tackle an imposing first round course (and subsequent jump-off) designed by renowned international show jumping course designers, Gérard Lachat and Louis Konickx.

Clear rounds were hard to come by and the current Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping live contender, Philipp Weishaupt, was unable to continue his journey in attempting to lift the most coveted trophy in the sport, as he collected nine faults in round one.

From the first 25 riders who braved the course, including Rolex Testimonees Jeroen Dubbeldam, Eric Lamaze, Bertram Allen and Steve Guerdat, none could master a clear round. It became evident that it would take an exacting and precise round to finish with a score of zero. Last year’s winner of the Rolex Grand Prix at CHI Geneva, Pedro Veniss from Brazil, produced the first seemingly clear round, until the clock stopped just over the allocated time and he collected one unlucky time fault.

A clean score was finally achieved by The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders, shortly followed by Henrik Von Eckermann and Gregory Wathelet. The crowd hushed to near silence as USA’s Kent Farrington entered into the arena, shortly displaying why he is the very best rider in the sport right now, producing a foot perfect round over the 13 obstacles. Cian O’Connor from Ireland completed the list of five riders progressing through to the second-round jump-off of the final Major of the year.

A revised course was presented to these elite athletes, reducing the course to eight obstacles. Harrie Smolders was first to go, setting the bar high with a clear round in just 46.89 seconds. This was fractionally beaten by Von Eckermann, who sped through the finishing gate with a time of 45.59. Wathelet was unable to challenge this, leaving it to Farrington and O’Connor. In true Farrington style, he sped through the course on the tightest of turns as the Geneva crowd sat on the edges of their seats, erupting in a cacophony of noise as the clock was stopped on 44.96 seconds, taking the World Number One into the lead. Cian O’Connor was last to go but despite giving everything, his brave grey horse Fibonacci just clipped one pole at the fourth fence, handing the victory to Rolex Testimonee, Kent Farrington.

After eight months as World Number One, Farrington concluded an emphatic year as the World Number One and now embarks on his very own Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping journey.

Commenting after his victory, Farrington said, “I’m still in shock and I can’t believe that it’s over and that we walk away with a win. I thought my horse was great today and with this win being part of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping, I will definitely be heading to The Dutch Masters in 2018.

“The riders are so strong here and you have the best horses in the world. With a large arena it can be difficult to set an indoor style course and in today’s sport, with as well as everyone rides, they have to make the time short. I knew it was going to be tough when I saw the course and I am so pleased with the result.”

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Farrington’s World No. 1 Dominance on Display in Longines Victory at Toronto

Photo: Kent Farrington with Voyeur (FEI/Cara Grimshaw)

At a milestone 95th edition of the prestigious Royal Winter Agricultural Fair, Kent Farrington (USA) proved why he is the world’s top-ranked rider on the Longines Rankings. He and his 2016 Olympic Games partner Voyeur topped the $150,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto in front of a packed, enthusiastic crowd at the only indoor competition in Canada.

Farrington and his 15-year-old mount laid down a flawless jump-off round, winning with a final time of 35.51 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Main Road made a gallant run at the winner, and it came down to the final fence, but the duo crossed the timers just off the pace in 36.84 seconds to finish second. Sharn Wordley (NZL) and Barnetta were the only other double-clear performers to finish third; their time was 43.48 seconds.

“Voyeur’s really been a career horse for me,” Farrington said. “[Owners] the Nusz family have been long-term supporters of my career and bought Voyeur for me with the hope that he’d be a Champion horse for me. He has been — every bit of it and more. Tonight he really showed why he’s special.”

“Voyeur’s really been a career horse for me!” — Kent Farrington (USA)

Six competitors produced clear rounds over the Guilherme Jorge (BRA) designed track in the first round, which included four 1.60m verticals, an imposing wall, and a wide, airy final liverpool oxer that proved to be a frequent heartbreaker on course, ending early the night of four-time defending champion McLain Ward (USA), among others. The number of clears was halved in the jump-off, and none made their work look quite as smooth as Farrington and his veteran partner.

“I think what you’re seeing is a horse that I know really well,” Farrington said. “I know his weak points, and I know his strengths. I’m very confident in him to do what he can do. My strategy was to put pressure on the last two so that they were really going to have to try. It’s a great partnership, and I hope he still has some more wins down the road also.”

By Catie Staszak

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Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
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Kent Farrington and Gazelle Steal Win in $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5*

Kent Farrington and Gazelle. Photo Credit ©Sportfot.

Mill Spring, NC – October 21, 2017 – Thirty-three horse and rider combinations went head-to-head in the biggest “Saturday Night Lights” event of the 2017 season at Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) featuring the $380,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI 5* competition in front of the packed stands of the George H. Morris Arena. Ultimately the FEI World Number One Kent Farrington (USA) captured top honors aboard Gazelle, owned by Farrington and Robin Parsky. Eugenio Garza (MEX) and longtime mount Bariano finished in second place with a jump-off time of 35.918 seconds. Richie Moloney (IRL) and Carrabis Z stopped the timers in 35.637 seconds and added four faults for third place.

The jump-off brought back only three riders to contest the short course and had the entire venue of 9,000 spectators on their feet as they watched the top three combinations take on the competitive course designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. (GER). Farrington and the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Schuttershof x Diva ‘Ter Elsen’), stopped timers after an incredibly quick round ending in 34.676 seconds.

While Farrington emphasized that the course was very difficult, he also acknowledged that his mount is not easily stumped by hard questions.

“Gazelle is a very experienced horse, so I think that I have the advantage that she’s been around the world and seen a lot of things. They’d have to build something crazy that she hasn’t seen before,” he said. “The ring rides smaller than it looks. The jumps come up fast and with a lot of people I think it’s more difficult for the horses than you would expect when you first walk the course. I think it was an excellent course, and Olaf is a very good builder. I expected five clear, and we ended up with three, so I thought it was a stronger course for a bigger money class, which was appropriate for today.”

Despite the tense competitive environment and exciting atmosphere, Farrington commented that Gazelle is a reliable athlete in these kinds of situation. “She’s a very sweet horse at home. She likes everybody and she likes attention, but in the ring she’s an unbelievable competitor,” he explained. “I don’t know how many Grand Prix classes she’s won this year, but I always can count on her and when she’s in the jump-off I can really call on her and take big risks. She’s incredibly careful, so I’m not worried about the jumps, but try to not make any mistakes and stay out of her way.”

Second place honors were captured by 21-year-old Garza and the 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Jetset-D x Ulderina Van Westleven), who were the first to produce a double clear effort  in round one. The pair also entered the jump-off round as the first combination, finishing behind Farrington in 35.918 seconds.

The pair has been together for nearly Garza’s entire career and their bond has only grown stronger as they have moved through the levels. Garza stated, “Bariano has been my longtime partner for forever. I did the Children’s Jumpers with him, so obviously it’s very nice to have a horse you can grow up with. This week we really took it day by day since he is a little bit older and the CSI 5* is not in his comfort zone.”

“He’s such an amazing horse, and has so much heart. I think he showed that tonight. He tried really hard and when we went clear it was an absolutely unbelievable feeling. Then we just hoped there weren’t as many clear,” he laughed. “The course was great, and I really did have a blast. I couldn’t have hoped for anything more from him or my team,” he concluded.

Third place honors were presented to Richie Moloney (IRL) and Carrabis Z, a 2003 Belgian Warmblood stallion (Canabis Z x Ma Pomme VD Zwarte Hoek), owned by Equinimity LLC. The pair were hot on Farrington’s heels until the final fence of the track, which was tipped from the cups and led to four faults. Moloney discussed his round and the advantage of going later in the class.

“It’s always nice to see riders go beforehand, and where most riders did five strides from fence three to four, I did six, and that was my plan from the start. It always helps to go later. In the jump-off, Kent is always very quick, so we tried to catch him, but not today.”

Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of Tryon Equestrian Partners (TEP), concluded the evening by discussing the incredible turnout of both top riders and spectators the venue sees with each passing competition. “I think there are a lot of great challenges with equestrian sport in this country, in terms of building a following of spectators,” said Bellissimo. “It was really amazing to see at the end a lot of people stuck around and people had a following for Kent as he rode around the ring. We’re pulling great crowds, which I think makes the sport much more interesting. It’s one thing to go out and see some world class competitors like Kent, Eugenio and Richie, but to see a crowd appreciate it means a lot.”

Bellissimo continued, “I want to thank Rolex as well. It’s very unusual for a brand like Rolex to take a bet on a piece of dirt, which four years ago is all this place was: a bunch of rolling hills. For them to step up and be a sponsor of this venue is greatly appreciated. They’re all here for this event and I want to thank them for that. I think [TIEC] is really emerging as one of the top destinations in this country and we anticipate that it will be one of the world’s top destinations as we prepare for the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in September of 2018.”

“This was a great preview of the competitors that will be participating in that event, so we’re excited about the present and the future of the facility and the venue,” he concluded.

Margie Engle (USA) received the FEI Leading Lady Jumper Rider Award presented by Meg Atkinson of Town & Country Realtors for her consistent performances in FEI competition throughout the week. Kent Farrington’s groom, Denise Moriarty, was presented with the Absorbine FEI Grooms’ Award, honoring her dedicated care to the winning mount, Gazelle.

Developing Jumper Series Final Presented by Spy Coast Farm Concludes at TIEC

Earlier in the day, the Developing Jumper Series Final presented by Spy Coast Farm, drew an impressive array of young horses to the George H.  Morris Arena. In the 5-Year-Old Jumper Division, David O’Brien (IRL) took a sweep of first and second place awards, piloting the champion, Maldonado SCF, owned by Spy Coast Farm LLC, as well as reserve, Maui SCF, also owned by Spy Coast Farm, LLC., after completing the short track in 36.222 seconds. Third place was awarded to Brittni Raflowitz (USA), and ESI Show Jumpers Inc.’s, Mevis De Muse, after a final jump-off round of 37.468 seconds.

O’Brien and the top-class 5-Year-Old stopped jump-off timers in 35.943 seconds. He commented, “Maldonado was second in the 5-Year-Old Finals in Kentucky, and he’s a very easy-going guy. He’s probably my most consistent horse I’ve had out this year. We just want to produce him and bring him on up the levels. He should be able to jump the 1.50m, no doubt.”

O’Brien also dominated the 6-Year-Old Division, aboard Spy Coast Farm LLC’s Lazuli II SCF, ending the series on a jump-off time of 34.515 seconds.

Of the talented 6-Year-Old, O’Brien stated, “Lazuli’s half-sister was second in the 5-Year-Old Division. This mare has been brought along as well, and these horses are produced to be the ones at the top of the sport.”

O’Brien rides for Spy Coast Farm, and knows the importance of the Developing Jumper Series in regard to the future of quality horses in America. “In order to produce these horses in America, we need these classes. To get into the main ring in Tryon, it’s one of the best in the world. You want to be here, you want to jump these jumps. On top of that, it’s great to have an establishment like Spy Coast Farm to back this, and to support it. Lisa Lourie is not only breeding young quality horses, but she is also creating these opportunities for these horses to learn and gain important experience.”

Second place position was awarded to Doug Payne and Quintessence, owned by Jane Dudinsky, ending the jump-off in 36.234 seconds. Shawn Casady rode Cecotto De La Ogi, owned by Robert Gomez, to third, with a jump-off time of 41.967 seconds and four faults.

The 7-Year-Old Division of the Developing Jumper Series Final saw a victory awarded to Harold Chopping (CAN) and Fantom, owned by Hunter Farms, after a speedy jump-off round of 37.238 seconds. Ireland’s Aidan Killeen boasted second place with his own Snotty, completing course in 38.204 seconds. Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) rode Kayack to third place after a short course time of 41.086 seconds.

“Fantom is just a very talented horse,” exclaimed Chopping. “He is definitely something for the future. He was a little green when he was started earlier in the year. He can really jump a big jump and is dead brave. I get along with him so well. I really love him.”

Chopping noted that the strategy with a series like the Developing Jumper Series is always consistency. “You obviously want to come out with clear rounds on all three days, so you just try to do the best you can. We started in one ring and then spent the final two days in the George Morris Arena, and I think that it really helps that this horse is very brave. He went right in, and it didn’t take him any extra classes to get comfortable with the big setting.”

He concluded, “To have these young horses jump against their peers is certainly productive for everybody. These horses won’t get lost as just another face in the crowd out there, as they aren’t competing against a variety of ages and experience levels. I think it’s just an overall great concept.”

For more information on TIEC, please visit www.tryon.com.

US Show Jumping Team Prepared for Podium Battle in FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen

Kent Farrington and Gazelle (RedBayStock.com)

Aachen, Germany – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team will be composed of four Olympians when it competes in FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen on Thursday, July 20. The powerhouse team of Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and McLain Ward will face eight nations, all fielding elite talent in their own right, as they seek to secure a podium finish. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will lead the U.S. team, having drawn second in the order, and has set the following order of go:

Kent Farrington and Gazelle: Farrington (Wellington, Fla.), the current world number one ranked show jumper, and Gazelle return to Aachen riding high off a successful few weeks in Spruce Meadows. The Olympic team silver medalist and his and Robin Parksy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare won the prominent ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup during the ‘North American’ CSI5* presented by Rolex earlier this month and the ATB Financial Cup in June. Additionally, in May, they narrowly edged out a victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid CSI5*.

Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden and Coach: Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) began testing Coach at the five-star level at the beginning of the year where he showed his Grand Prix potential early. With the two-time Olympic team gold medalist aboard, Abigail Wexner’s 2008 Holsteiner gelding impressed early on with standout performances during the Winter Equestrian Festival. They collected a fifth-place finish in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* and a fourth-place finish in the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix. Most recently, the budding combination placed third in the CP Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* and are prepared for their toughest challenge to date in Aachen.

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie: The Olympic gold medalist and Zeremonie return to Aachen after helping the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a bronze-medal finish in the 2016 FEI Nations Cup Final and a tie for the team silver medal in the 2016 FEI Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), continues to develop Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms 2007 Holsteiner mare, at the five-star level, where they earned a third-place finish at CSI5* Knokke, Belgium earlier in the month.

McLain Ward and HH Azur: The Olympic gold medalist and current world number two ranked show jumper, along with the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, have risen to the top of some of the world’s most prestigious competitions. They secured an Olympic team silver medal in Rio de Janeiro and captured the lucrative Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final title in April. In a year that garnered massive success, Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur got a much-earned rest following the World Cup Finals. In June, Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) added HH Azur back into the rotation seeking their next big victory. Most recently, they placed fifth in the CP Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5*.

Watch the event live beginning Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST on ClipMyHorse.tv.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department