Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 1, 2020 – The fourth week of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) continued on Saturday, February 1, marking the start to an exciting day full of top competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. Set in the International Arena of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) showgrounds, the Marshall & Sterling/Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4* kicked off Saturday’s competition at 10:30 a.m., a different start compared to other weeks where riders competed under the night sky. Twenty-three athletes representing 14 countries challenged the track, but it was Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance who mastered the course and topped the ranks of the Marshall & Sterling/Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4*.
Course designer Anderson Lima (BRA) set the arduous course. Thirteen obstacles made up the 1.60m set track, including a triple combination and water feature that were set within the tight turns and rollbacks of the course. Alberto Michan (ISR) and Cosa Nostra were the pathfinders of the first round, putting in the first clear as only the eighth to enter the arena. Katherine Dinan (USA) and Dougie Douglas followed suit, making themselves the second clear combination in the first round. In total, 11 riders left the course intact to add their names to the jump off roster.
Lima’s shortened track consisted of eight jumps set in a series of twists and turns followed by one final gallop to the last fence. Michan was first to attempt the course, leaving all of the fences up with a time of 34.075 seconds. Dinan and Jessica Springsteen (USA) also produced double-clear rides, each crossing the timers a bit faster than the other. Unfortunate faults for six
other duos left them out of the jump-off, while Santiago Lambre (MEX) raced to beat the previously set lead by Springsteen in just 34.522 seconds. However, it was Farrington, one of the final three to enter the arena, that would jump an outstanding round in 34.075 seconds to lead him straight to the winner’s circle in the Marshall & Sterling/Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4*.
Farrington, who is currently ranked ninth in the world, has plenty of experience with his 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Creedance. Together, Farrington and Creedance are known for their quick, clear jump offs that often prove to be unbeatable when it gets down to the wire. Farrington’s horsemanship is apparent in his riding, describing his schedule as one he creates based on where his horses like to jump. Farrington has had a successful season thus far and won the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round II during Week Two of WEF.
Claiming the reserve spot was Mexico’s Lambre aboard Cetano Van Aspergem Z. Just two short weeks ago Lambre and his 11-year-old Zangersheide gelding claimed the top spot in the $73,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* and in December of 2019, the pair won the $25,000 Semican National Grand Prix during ESP Holdiay III. With a few top finishes to their name, Lambre is looking forward to advancing his horse to the CSI4* and CSI5* level as the season progresses.
Jessica Springsteen and Stone Hill Farm’s Volage Du Val Henry rounded out the top three. The 11-year-old Selle Francais mare won the CSI4* Sweeden International Horse Show H&M Grand Prix in Stockholm in December before coming to the U.S. for the winter season. Springsteen also received the Leading Lady Rider award for her third place finish.
Competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival will continue on Saturday night with the highlight event of the week, the Great Charity Challenge (GCC). The 11th annual GCC is set to begin at 7:00 p.m. in the International Arena of the Palm Beach Equestrian Center. A crowd favorite, the event is sure to bring a packed stadium to the venue for the next installment of Saturday Night Lights.
FROM THE WINNER’S CIRCLE
Kent Farrington – Marshall & Sterling/Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4* winner
“Creedance is an exceptional horse. He’s naturally so fast and such a winner. He’s unbelievable; careful and at the same time very brave. He has tons of experience going fast . He’s good in big rings and small rings. He’s just an amazing horse and a great winner for me. When the class was moved into the sand, I thought it was a good opportunity for him so I changed my plan a little bit and put him in there. He delivered like he usually does so I was very proud of him today. I try to show him where he likes and not overuse him in places where I don’t think he needs to jump. Every winter when I’m here, I pick a few weeks where he comes out.”
On moving rings:
“It’s always difficult when there is a schedule change because all of us as riders that compete at a higher level have a plan. This is one of the best fields in Florida; it’s one of the oldest fields so it has really mature roots and amazing footing. It’s a little disappointing for all of us to not jump out there this week, but we make the best of the situation. There’s another nice venue in this ring which suited a more experienced horse. It’s small and the jumps come up fast so that was an additional challenge for all of the horses and riders. The caliber of riders and horses here is very high which is why you still saw strong results from many pairs today.”
On his goals for the season:
“My goals for WEF are to protect my older horses and use this show as spring training for them. I’ll be strategically pulling them out for a couple of bigger rounds. At the same time, I want to give my younger horses a chance to step up into bigger classes. That’s one of the great things about being here in Florida — there are so many classes at different heights.”
Santiago Lambre – Marshall & Sterling/Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4* second place
On his season so far:
“It’s great. Cetano is getting better and better. He’s improved even from last year. I always try to win and today he did a great job. There are very fast riders here and I’m very happy with second place.”
On his goals for the season:
“I have six FEI horses, so I try to jump a horse every two weeks. I want to jump every week here because I like the competition. I’ve been coming here for the past three years.”
Jessica Springsteen – Marshall & Sterling/Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4* third place
On the jump off:
“I’m so happy with [Volage Du Val Henry]. She jumped amazing and she’s been in such good shape these past couple of months. She was great on Thursday [in the WEF Challenge Cup Round 4]. I thought I was pretty quick then and I ended up sixth, so today I wanted to go for it a little bit more. It still wasn’t quite fast enough, but she’s such a talented horse and I love riding her.”
On her Leading Lady award:
“It’s such a nice award. This sport is so unique in that we compete with women and men in the same competitions. It’s really special in that way and it’s always so nice that this is awarded every week. I was really excited to win.”
Marshall & Sterling/ Great American $214,000 Grand Prix CSI4*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Time / R1 Faults | R2 Time | R2 Faults
1. Creedance / Kent Farrington / USA / 72.96 / 0 | 34.075 / 0
2. Cetano Van Aspergem Z / Santiago Lambre / MEX / 76.34 / 0 | 34.522 / 0
3. Volage Du Val Henry / Jessica Springsteen / USA / 73.53 / 0 | 35.411 / 0
4. Dougie Douglas / Katherine Dinan / USA / 75.38 / 0 | 37.632 / 0
5. Cosa Nostra / Alberto Michan / ISR / 76.54 / 0 | 37.846 / 0
6. Luibanta BH / Amanda Derbyshire / GBR / 74.4 / 0 | 34.847 / 4
7. Bull Run’s Risen / Kristen Vanderveen / USA / 76.05 / 0 | 35.633 / 4
8. Magnolia Mystic Rose / Eduardo Menezes / BRA / 75.89 / 0 | 37.443 / 4
9. GK Casper / Bertram Allen / IRL / 74.03 / 0 | 38.214 / 4
10. Silver Shine / Martin Fuchs / SUI / 75.76 / 0 | 39.61 / 8
11. Entano / Daniel Bluman / ISR / 75.21 / 0 | 43.23 / 8
12. Cacharel / Kelly Soleau-Millar / 79.03 / 1