Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 23, 2017 – Coming off of a recent triumph two weeks ago in the $380,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* aboard Gazelle, Kent Farrington entered the winner’s circle once again on Thursday to kick-off the seventh week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) with a bang. The U.S. Olympic silver medalist piloted his own Creedance, co-owned with RCG Farm, to secure first place honors in the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round Seven, which he had yet to win this season.
Out of an initial 58 horse-and-rider pairs, Farrington and Creedance, a 10-year-old gelding by Lord Z, tackled the challenging course by executing an impressive and clear round in 72.49 seconds. The technical course, designed by Anthony D’Ambrosio, ensured that only 14 riders would eventually advance to the jump-off.
“It’s a big week here in Florida — a 5* week. I’ve been bringing Creedance up slow and this is his first 5* here and we’re off to a great start,” Farrington said. “[Creedance] jumped last week under the lights in the small ring and I thought he was a bit rusty, but he came out in much better form today. I’m very happy with his progress.”
Farrington returned for the jump-off round as one of three left to go, and blazed through the timers in a mere 33.929 seconds, a time that proved too fast to catch.
Farrington attributed his speedy second round to the Dutch Warmblood’s naturally fast-paced way of going.
“I watched a couple go early just to be sure about my plan, but he’s very fast by himself,” remarked Farrington. “I have to stick to his routine and I can’t try to do stride numbers that other horses do. I have to do short turns and use his foot speed.”
Farrington continued, “I think the horse is naturally quick, and I naturally ride pretty quick. I did one extra stride to the oxer before so I think it made it easier to roll back shorter and he’s fast enough to do that, whereas some other horses, if they add a stride there, they’re going to be two seconds behind. I think a smaller, quicker horse has the advantage on a rollback like that.”
Ireland’s Conor Swail guided Flower, owned by Finca Horses Inc., to the second place spot after putting in a clear effort in the first round and finishing the short course in just 34.146 seconds.
Rounding out the top three spots in Thursday’s Week Seven $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup was Japan’s Karen Polle and her own With Wings. The pair laid down a flawless trip, leaving all of the rails untouched and stopping the timers in 34.244 seconds.
Farrington and Creedance are now eligible to compete in this week’s highlight event, the $380,000 Suncast Grand Prix CSI5*, on Saturday night under the lights of the International Arena at WEF starting at 7 p.m.
Jumper competition will resume at WEF on Friday at 8 a.m. beginning with the 1.40m Speed Challenge in the International Arena.
$130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round Seven
Place / Horse / Rider / R1 Faults | Time / R2 Faults | Time
1. Creedance / Kent Farrington / 0 | 72.49 / 0 | 33.929
2. Flower / Conor Swail / 0 | 72.39 / 0 | 34.146
3. With Wings / Karen Polle / 0 | 74.42 / 0 | 34.244
4. Waterford / Lauren Hough / 0 | 72.66 / 0 | 34.523
5. Clearwater / Marilyn Little / 0 | 72.56 / 0 | 34.667
6. Royce / Margie Engle / 0 | 73.04 / 0 | 37.966
7. Atlantis / Samuel Parot / 0 | 70.37 / 4 | 33.274
8. Beezie / Shane Sweetnam / 0 | 71.94 / 4 | 33.719
9. Finou 4 / Aaron Vale / 0 | 74.41 / 4 | 35.083
10. Babylotte / Yuri Mansur / 0 | 72.96 / 8 | 33.683
11. Avalon 280 / Yann Candele / 0 | 73.18 / 8 | 34.442
12. Barnetta / Sharn Wordley / 0 | 74.14 / 8 | 37.784