Toronto, Ontario – November 08, 2023 – Kent Farrington (USA) opened international show jumping competition at the Royal Horse Show CSI 4*-W, held as part of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, in Toronto, ON, by scoring victory in the $38,500 Strength and Speed Challenge on Wednesday, November 8.
Competing over a “power and speed” track set by British course designer Kelvin Bywater (GBR), riders had to navigate eight fences fault-free before immediately advancing to the speed portion of the course. While the majority of the 22 horse-and-rider combinations managed to jump clear through the first phase, it was Farrington’s blazing time of 29.17 seconds in the speed phase with his veteran partner, Creedance, that sealed the win. Farrington’s triumph marks the third consecutive time he has come out on top in this class at the Royal Horse Show, having ridden Austria 2 to victory on the two previous occasions.
“I love coming to The Royal,” expressed Farrington, 42, of Wellington, FL, who won the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto in 2017. “It feels like a throwback in time with everyone dressed up in fancy clothes and a packed house at night. It has a special atmosphere and great sport. It’s really a specialty event in our sport in North America.”
Israel’s Daniel Bluman (ISR), currently ranked 15th on the Longines World Rankings, came the closest to catching Farrington’s time riding Cachemire de Braize, an 11-year-old Selle Français gelding (Nissan Quality Touch Z x Jaguar Mail) he owns with Mikhail Ilyaich, Over the Top Stables LLC, and Alex Yadgarov. Bluman stopped the clock just fractions of a second off the winning pace in 29.87 seconds for second place.
Young German talent Rene Dittmer (GER), 30, notched yet another top placing on his North American indoor tour, finishing in third place with a time of 31.26 seconds riding Burlington Riverland, a 12-year-old Selle Français gelding (Mylond Carthago*HN x Dollar du Murrier) owned by Live Oak Plantation LLC.
Farrington is riding a hot streak from the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile, where he helped the U.S. secure the team gold medal before earning an individual silver medal. Now in Toronto, Farrington, currently ranked number three in the Longines World Rankings, looks primed to continue his success riding longtime partner, Creedance.
“Creedance is my old reliable partner and he’s doing what he does best, which is winning classes and going fast,” said Farrington of the 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) that he owns in partnership with Haity McNerney. “He has all of the attributes we are looking for in a modern show jumper. He’s very quick, he has cat-like agility, and he is super careful. He’s been a great horse for my team over the last eight years. He’s just a winner.”
Amy Millar of Perth, ON, was the top Canadian in fourth place riding GCS Athena to a time of 33.05 seconds for owner Brookstreet Stables while Katherine Dinan of the U.S. rounded out the top five with a time of 33.22 seconds aboard Dijon Terdoorn Z, owned by Grant Road Partners.
Final Results – $38,500 Strength and Speed Challenge CSI 4*-W
1) Kent Farrington (USA) & Creedance – 0 / 0 – 29.17
2) Daniel Bluman (ISR) & Cachemire de Braize – 0 / 0 – 29.87
3) Rene Dittmer (GER) & Burlington Riverland – 0 / 0 – 31.26
Source: Press Release from Jump Media for The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Photos: © Ben Radvanyi Photography