Kent Farrington thrilled his American fans on Friday, September 30th when he picked up victory in the $55,000 Champagne Barons de Rothschild Trophy CSI5* at the Longines Masters of Los Angeles.
Farrington continues to have quite the year with the 9-year-old KWPN gelding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris); just five weeks after winning the Longines Grand Prix of St. Moritz, he was back in winning form within the tight confines of the indoor arena at the Longines Masters.
Uliano Vezzani built a track that kept riders thinking on every turn; from 31 initial starters, just four progressed to the jump off.
First to ride double clear, was Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat and Bianca (Balou du Rouet x Cardento), who finished the shortened track in 42.59 seconds. Next to go was Italy’s Emanuele Gaudiano, looking to repeat victory after topping Thursday night’s opening CSI5* class. However, a rail early in the track saw him lose his chance at the top spot on the podium. Farrington entered the ring next on Creedance and produced the winning time of 40.17 seconds. Last to go was Switzerland’s Jane Richard Philips, who looked on form to overtake Farrington’s time but finished the shortened track with Pablo de Virton (Andiamo x Kashmir Van’t Schuttershof) in 40.22 seconds, just a few hundredths of a second behind the winning time.
“I wasn’t really planning to run him, but last week he did Central Park and in the jump off I had one down and I haven’t been happy with the control,” spoke Farrington of his winning ride. “He’s a small horse so he has to be fighting in the ring, so it’s a fine balance between too much control and him running away with me. I put a little more bridle on today and I thought it made all the difference. I thought he was really great in the jump off. It felt really smooth and he never got away from me like he did in New York.”
The Central Park Horse Show was just one week ago, and in the few short days between competitions, Farrington’s bit change made all the difference.
“I put a little pelham with a slightly longer shank,” he explained. “Before, I was riding in a very short shank with one rein, and I switched to two reins to give me a little more leverage, and thought that was a lot better.”
Farrington has been partnered with the talented chestnut gelding for two years. “He was very, very hot [when I got him], and he still is,” Farrington described. “He’s always careful and always a winner. But before he was basically out of control. It’s just taken some time to put it all together but he’s finding his way and really stepped up to be a top horse for me so I’m really excited for the future.”
See the full class result list here.