Myakka City, Florida, USA – February 25, 2023 – The highlight of the second week of the TerraNova Hunter/Jumper Week 2 was the $77,300 Grand Prix CSI 2*, featuring a very competitive field of 39 to contest course designed by the Manuel Esparza. In the star-studded field of top-ranked international and Olympic riders, Kent Farrington (USA) and his newest mount, Dagny, led the victory gallop.
Manuel Esparza (MEX), an FEI Level 3 course designer, challenged the riders with a tough vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination and a tricky oxer-to-vertical one-stride off a short turn going away from the in-gate, followed by an airy 1.45m skinny vertical of three white rails and a rollback to a maximum-height triple bar along the rail.
The tight time allowed on course caused some difficulty early on, with only four going clear out of the first 20 entries. Of the remaining 19 riders, six more horse-and-rider combinations produced clear rounds inside the time allowed of 77 seconds, confirming 10 to come back for the jump-off.
The jump-off course – fences 1, +14, +15, 2, 9 b-c, 10, 12 – incorporated the TerraNova Equestrian Center vertical jumped the opposite direction from round one, an oxer not included in round one and the b and c elements of the triple combination, finishing with another maximum-height oxer, the final fence from round one.
As the 22nd to navigate the first-round course, Farrington went clear and returned for the shortened jump-off course fifth in the order. Aboard the 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare Dagny (Durrant x Verdi), Farrington was out to win and stopped the timers in a blazing time of 40.18, 2.77 seconds faster than the rest of the field.
Beginning the jump-off course with more pace than his competitors, Farrington rode nine strides from jump one to the TerraNova Equestrian Center vertical, where others did 10. The rollbacks to fence 15 and the Helm Limited vertical at fence two were smooth and efficient. He opened up Dagny’s stride to 9 b-c and the mare had an impressive jump out of the combination. Landing with pace, the pair easily jumped fence 10 and galloped their way to a big effort at the final oxer.
“This is a very fast horse. A new horse in my stable,” Farrington said. “But you can see she looks like a racehorse. (She) is naturally quick so I just let her do her thing and try to stay out of the way.”
This is my first FEI show and I think the fourth class I’ve ever ridden the horse, so things are still very, very new,” he added.
Coming in second, with a jump-off time of 42.95, was Israel’s Daniel Bluman (ISR) and the 13-year-old bay mare Colestina H (Colestus x Caluna/Cardenio 2), owned by Blue Star Investments.
The Isotropic Networks INC-owned entry, Isotropic Shadow, and Jonathon Millar (CAN) crossed the jump-off timers in 45.45 to finish third.
Final Results – $77,300 Grand Prix CSI 2*
1) Kent Farrington (USA) & Dagny / Kent Farrington – 0 / 0 – 40.18
2) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Colestina H / Blue Star Investments – 0 / 0 – 42.95
3) Jonathon Millar (CAN) & Isotropic Shadow / Isotropic Networks INC – 0 / 0 – 45.45
Source: Press Release (edited) from Equinium for TerraNova Equestrian Center
Photos: © TerraNova Equestrian Center / EQ Media