Kent Farrington & Uceko Claim Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia at CHIO Aachen

Kent Farrington & Uceko. Ph. ©Erin Gilmore for NF

It’s been 15 days since Kent Farrington and Uceko took a big win on a bigger grass field. Aachen, Germany is the only grass arena in the world that can rival that of Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Canada, and Farrington knows how to pick his venues when it comes to his longtime partner: the bigger the field, the better for Uceko.

Farrington won the feature show jumping competition on Friday, July 21, 2017 at CHIO Aachen aboard Uceko, the 15-year-old KWPN gelding (Celano x Koriander) owned by RGB farms that he’s been paired with for nearly nine years.

The Prize of North Rhine-Westphalia brought back the top 13 riders to jump a second round for prizegiving placings.

Farrington made a rollback turn to an offset green oxer in two strides where his competitors made three, and otherwise beat the clock to finish clear in 46.65 seconds. In doing so he topped a German legend, Christian Ahlmann with Taloubet Z, who finished in second with a time of 47.14 seconds. Why is he a legend? Ahlmann, clearly riding with the goal to give his 17-year-old partner a positive, forward ride after their bad-luck elimination during a heavy rainstorm on Wednesday, still managed to be nearly as fast as the winner. Germany’s Simone Blum filled out the top three aboard DSP Alice, and Lorenzo de Luca of Italy was 4th with Limestone Grey.

For Farrington, who is brilliantly choosy when it comes to selecting the classes that Uceko will enter, the Friday win marked a successful Aachen for his consistent grey partner.

“This horse is finished for the weekend,” Farrington said. “This was his grand prix. I’ve had him since he was six years old, and I’m very proud of him.”

For Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen, Farrington will saddle up his io 2016 silver medal winning partner Voyeur. The World No. 1 rider will be among a star class in this leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.

Now, the big question is who has the best chance to win this most venerable of show jumping competitions. Go here to weigh in and vote for your prediction.

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