Wellington, Florida, USA – December 06, 2020 – The ESP Yeard End Awards came to an end on Sunday with the running of the $25,000 Year End National Grand Prix at the International Arena of the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC).
A total of combinations 50 combinations entered the ring for the feature class of the week. A national event of its own, the class was contested by several international riders, including the likes of McLain Ward (USA), Kent Farrington (USA), Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), Margie Engle (USA), Daniel Bluman (ISR), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Tiffany Foster (CAN), Nayel Nassar (EGY), just to name a few.
Juan Manuel Gallego (COL) and Havana de La Lande were the first ones to master the course designed by Anthony d’Ambrosio (USA). It was not until the sixth combination crossed the finish line that a jump-off was secured, with Nicholas Dello Joio (USA) and Gelvera being the ones to do so. A list of all-stars duplicated Dello Joio‘s feat including Kent Farrington (USA), Darragh Kenny (IRL), Jessica Springsteen (USA), Margie Engle (USA) and Spencer Smith (USA), guaranteeing an excting jump-off.
It turns out that two riders ranked among the top 10 in the world would battle for the victory, number 7 against number 8. Kent Farrington (USA), a former world number one and currently ranked 7th , aboard Orafina, going head-to-head with Darragh Kenny (IRL) against Belo Horizonte.
Kenny prevailed aboard the 12-year-old bay Holsteiner gelding (Baloubet du Rouet x Clearway), guiding him flawlessly across the course before crossing the finish line in 37.555 seconds during the tiebreaker.
After winning the $50,000 Spy Coast & Sweet Oak Farm Grand Prix two weeks before, Kent Farrington (USA) and Orafina (For Fashion x Canturo) came close to another victory. The American and the promising 8-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (For Fashion x Canturo) had to settle for second place, timed in 37.791 seconds.
Spencer Smith (USA) and Lord Up (Lordanos x Come On) also left all the poles up for no penalties at the end of their two efforts, rounding out the top three in 38.645 seconds.
Winner’s Circle – Darragh Kenny (IRL)
“This is a horse I got from Ashlee Bond at the end of the Winter Equestrian Festival earlier this year. It’s been a super horse for me, very careful and fast. I really like it and it’s a really good horse. He doesn’t have a massive stride, but he is very quick across the ground, so I just used that to my advantage today.”
“It’s great that we can keep this show going and that everybody is following the rules. This is the best thing for our sport, so it’s very important that we all follow the rules and can keep showing. I’m looking forward to the 2021 season.”
For full results, please click here.
Text: Jumper News, no reproduction without permission.
Interview: Press release from PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Jumper News / Snowmanview Magazine / Jeena Jah