Hickstead, Great Britain – U.S. Nations Cup rider Kent Farrington and the Dutch Warmblood gelding Uceko, owned by R.C.G. Farm, held their own among the best of the British in a packed jump-off on Sunday to win the Longines King George V Gold Cup at the Royal International Horse Show at Hickstead.
Out of the 47 starters, 10 went forward to the jump-off. Farrington – the only American – was seventh to go. Farrington won the incredibly fast jump-off with 54.36 seconds. Great Britain’s Robert Smith came in second with 54.80 and Leon Tyson of the Netherlands took third with 54.96 seconds. Among his fierce British competitors, Farrington held off defending champion Tim Stockdale to win British showjumping’s richest prize, approximately $93,000.
Uceko is proving to be a spectacular match for the 30-year-old. He made a strong start to the 2011 season, collecting second-place honors in the $100,000 Deluca Toyota Tundra Grand Prix. In April, Farrington collected one of the largest victories of his career with Uceko claiming victory among a star-studded field in the $200,000 Gene Mische American Invitational. This summer, the pair collected a pair of wins in Kentucky, where they topped the field in the $55,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix and the $55,000 Mary Rena Murphy Grand Prix.
It was Farrington’s first time riding in the Sussex sunshine, and his first time to Europe with the U.S. Team. Earlier this week, the U.S. Team took Bronze after a three-way jump-off against France and Germany at the sixth leg of the FEI Nations Cup 2011 at Hickstead.
The U.S. was lying third, counting four faults each from Farrington and Beezie Madden (riding Coral Reef Via Volo) along with a clear from Christine McCrea and Romantovich Take One that negated Laura Kraut’s 12 faults with Teirra. The Irish were next in line with 12 on the board followed by Great Britain carrying 16, Belgium with 20, The Netherlands with 24 and Denmark already trailing with 36 faults after anchor rider Tina Lund retired.
The next stop on the Nation Cup series is Dublin, Ireland, August 3-7, 2011.
For further information on the sixth leg of the FEI Nations Cup 2011, visit www.hickstead.co.uk.
Complete FEI Nations Cup Series information is available at www.FEI.org.