Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 1, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show returned to the Kentucky Horse Park on Thursday with a series of upper-level show jumping competitions capped by the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI 4*, attracting some of the best horses and athletes from the United States and beyond.
With the class serving as a prerequisite to qualify for Saturday’s $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, exhibitors in the $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI 4* were challenged to finish within the top 40 in order to earn a coveted slot in the show jumping grand finale of the week. Up against a sizable field of talented contenders and a challenging 15-effort track constructed by Ken Krome (USA), 13 pairs mastered the first course to gain eligibility into the jump-off, while four duos fell victim to a single time fault and a handful were knocked out of contention at the oxer-vertical in-and-out, the bogey fences of the evening.
Peter Lutz (USA) & Robin de Ponthual
Proving why he has previously held the title of best in the world based on the Longines Rankings, Farrington maneuvered 11-year-old Creedance, the horse he owns with R.C.G. Farm, to the first double-clean ride of the evening as third in the jump-off order-of-go, stopping the clock in 37.49 seconds to set the standard to beat for his peers that would follow.
Conor Swail (IRL) & GK Coco Chanel
Georgina Bloomberg (USA), Peter Lutz (USA), Conor Swail (IRL), Beezie Madden (USA) and Sharn Wordley (NZL) all followed suit with subsequent double-clear trips, but none were quick-footed enough to overthrow the class leaders.
A familiar face in the winner’s circle, Farrington is a multi-time Olympian for the United States and has been successful on the world stage with mounts such as Voyeur, Uceko and Gazelle, in addition to Creedance, for a number of years. Farrington wore the world’s No. 1 armband from May 2017 until April 2018, only being overthrown from the top spot after a leg injury prevented him from competing. Since returning to the show ring, he has quickly returned to his winning ways, nabbing victories in Valkenswaard, Germany; Valence, France; Calgary, Canada; and Tryon, USA, among others.
Ultimately, Lutz and Robin de Ponthual, owned by Katherine Gallagher and Michael Meller, earned the reserve position with their double-clean time of 39.34 seconds, and Swail and Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel clinched third place overall in 39.65 seconds.
From the Winner’s Circle
Kent Farrington – $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI4* champion
On maintaining his lead in the jump-off:
“You’re never really sure when you have a big group of competitive riders, so it never feels fast enough. You just have to hope for the best and today we were lucky enough to get out of there with the win. I have a very fast horse and that makes a big difference. You can make a plan for him that you stick with, and it doesn’t really matter if there’s going to be five or 25, you can have confidence to stick to his round and it’s normally going to be pretty close.”
On riding the jump-off:
“I was always going to jump him, I found with experience with him that he’s actually better when I show him a little bit. If I hold out and I wait for a class, he’s typically not as good. If I compete a little bit, I’ve found that’s a better system for him to jump a big class.”
“He’s special. Special everything and he jumps special too, and that goes with the territory so I like him that way. In the warm-up, it’s almost easier if he is in a small space because there’s nowhere for him to go. He’s waiting for me to tell him what to do. That makes him very good inside because he’s naturally so fast. For me, he’s a modern show jumper. He’s fast and careful, and he can jump big. That’s everything I look for in a horse today.”
On coming back from his injury:
“I train pretty hard when I’m not on the horse. If I overdo it at the gym it will nag me a little bit the next day when I’m riding. I was really determined to come back in a hurry. I think it was twelve weeks from when I broke it to when I jumped the five star. For me it felt long, but they told me that’s pretty fast for that kind of injury. It was onto the next — got a little vacation and kept it moving. It’s part of the game. You do this or downhill skiing or anything else and you’re going to take some tumbles. If you ask any of these guys they can tell you a story where they’ve had a wreck here or there. You pick yourself back up and you keep going.”
On whether he hopes to participate at the 2019 World Cup Finals:
“I’m just going to play it by ear. It is still a long ways away. My older ones I think are kind of too old to do that and the younger ones, we will have to see if they are ready to do a whole final like that. I don’t know that I would ask Creedance to jump an entire final, maybe he could do a leg of it, but I think I would need another horse there to jump a leg of it, too, to really have a shot. Creedance is a fantastic horse and a great competitor but the World Cup Final is a lot of rounds and big jumping, and I don’t know that it would be fair to him to have him do that many big rounds. If he is really in unbelievable form then maybe I would consider it, but right now it is too early to say.”
Results – $135,000 International Jumper Classic CSI 4*
Place / Rider / Country / Horse / Athlete / Owner / R1 Faults / R2 Faults | Time
1. Kent Farrington (USA) & Creedance / Kent Farrington and R.C.G. Farm / 0 / 0 | 37.49
2. Peter Lutz (USA) & Robin De Ponthual / Katherine Gallagher and M. Michael Meller / 0 / 0 | 39.34
3. Conor Swail (IRL) & GK Coco Chanel / Vanessa Mannix / 0 / 0 | 39.65
4. Devin Ryan (USA) & Cooper / Devin Ryan / 0 / 0 | 40.04
5. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Don’t Touch Du Bois / Sweet Oak Farm and Spy Coast Farm, LLC / 0 / 0 | 40.91
6. Beezie Madden (USA) & Chic Hin D Hyrencourt / Abigail Wexner / 0 / 0 | 42.10
7. Sharn Wordley (NZL) & Barnetta / Sky Group / 0 / 0 | 43.85
8. Georgina Bloomberg (USA) & Chameur / Purple Road, LLC / 0 / 0 | 44.47
9. Amanda Derbyshire (USA) & Luibanta BH / Gochman Sport Horse LLC / 0 / 4 | 37.59
10. Brian Moggre (USA) & MTM Vivre Le Reve / Major Wager LLC / 0 / 4 | 39.26
11. Jack Hardin Towell (USA) & Carlo / Ann Thompson / 0 / 4 | 39.91
12. Beat Mändli (SUI) & Galan S / Grant Road Partners LLC / 0 / 4 | 40.17
For full results, please click here.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.org.
Categories: CSI 4*