For the second evening in a row, it was American Kent Farrington, ranked number six in the world, who led the highlight competition of the day with Gazelle at Spruce Meadows ‘National’ Tournament on Thursday, June 10th, 2016.
Following up on his opening day win on Wednesday, Farrington took home victory in the ATB Financial Cup 1.55m, where he topped Philipp Weishaupt (GER) on Chico 784 and Eric Lamaze (CAN) on Check Picobello Z. Lamaze won earlier in the day in the ATCO Challenge Cup 1.50m with Melody des Hayettes, and Conor Swail led another victory gallop in the Westmoreland Coal Cup 1.50m on Dillinger. The first CSI 5* week of the Spruce Meadows Summer Series, the ‘National’, presented by Rolex, continues through Sunday, June 12.
Highlights of the week’s competition include the $500,000 RBC Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, on Saturday, June 11, and the $175,000 CNOOC Nexen Cup Derby on Sunday, June 12. The course designer in the International Ring for the ‘National’ Tournament, presented by Rolex, is Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, who will be the course designer at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
There were 43 entries in the ATB Financial Cup, and 15 made it through to the shortened course. There were nine double clear rounds. Farrington and Gazelle were the final ones to go in the jump-off, chasing a leading time of 42.56 seconds set by Weishaupt and Chico 784. Farrington sliced turns and opened up Gazelle’s stride to come home just ahead for victory in 41.46 seconds.
Third place went to Lamaze and Check Picobello Z in a time of 42.70 seconds. Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Tripple X placed fourth when they finished in 42.89 seconds, while Antonio Chedraui (MEX) and La Bamba were fifth with a time of 44.26 seconds.
Farrington has ridden Gazelle, a ten-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro), for three years. He co-owns her with Robin Parsky, and felt that she is progressing nicely and finding her form.
This is the fourth time that Farrington will have his name etched on the trophy for the ATB Financial Cup. After years of climbing the rungs of the sport, Farrington has become one of the top names in show jumping.
“I’ve been in the sport for a long time,” he confirmed. “I started at the bottom of the sport, similar to Eric, with no family background. I think it’s a dream to ride [at Spruce Meadows] in the first place, and then to win here is even better. I have a lot of appreciation for all of the people that do this at a high level. I’ve learned from them. I used to watch Eric and Cagney jumping the derby year after year. I’m a student of the sport. To go in there and compete with them, and to win, is a dream since I was a kid.”
Farrington was inspired by Lamaze and the way that he rose through the ranks and was able to continually win in North America and Europe.
He said, “Eric is a tremendous competitor. He took what he was doing in North America and challenged himself again and went to Europe and went full swing at it. He didn’t go halfway. I watched him take Hickstead and go against the best horses in the world and beat them. He really went with no fear, and that was inspiring for me to see, somebody that I knew came from no background in the sport, climbed his way up, and then go over holding nothing back. It was something for me to watch and think if he can do it, then I can try to do it too.”
Lamaze was appreciative of the description, and replied that Farrington is also one to watch for the way he runs his business.
“These are very kind words,” he said. “He has one of the most successful operations in the United States and is one of the best riders in the world. Not only do you see him winning this class tonight and it’s incredible, but you see what he does with his students, and what he does with his whole operation, what he gives back to the sport. That’s what is very impressive to me. We see more than just the winning round. We see what goes on in the morning, what goes on every day, the operation that they’re running. Kent is one of the best today in our business. Ian Millar always says every day in this sport that you’re learning. No one can wake up in the morning and think that they know everything. You learn everything from horses; every day is a learning experience.”
Final Results: ATB Financial Cup 1.55m
1 GAZELLE: 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare by Kashmir Van Shuttershof x Indoctro
2 CHICO 784: 2005 Hanoverian gelding by Cordalme Z x Sandro
3 CHECK PICOBELLO Z: 2006 Zangersheide gelding by Cardento x Orlando
4 TRIPPLE X III: 2002 AES stallion by Namelus R x Cantango
5 LA BAMBA: 2005 Swiss Warmblood mare by Lordanos x Chameur
6 FLOREEN SFN: 2003 Hanoverian mare by Fly High x Gletscher
7 SHOWGIRL: 2000 Selle Francais mare by Gold De Becourt x Elf III
8 HH CISKE VAN OVERIS: 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare by Celano x Darco
9 IMOTHEP: 2003 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Indoctro x Calvados
10 LIBERTY SON 2: 2003 Warmblood gelding by Clooney x Lord Z
11 TEDDY DU BOSQUETIAU: 2003 Belgian Sport Horse gelding by Ogano Sitte x Albion du
12 MARTHA LOUISE: 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang