Kent Farrington Rises to the Occasion for Victory in Chesapeake Benefit Cup
Wellington, FL – March 15, 2007 – In a 17 horse jump-off, it was Kent Farrington (USA) and Up Chiqui who finally caught Laura Kraut (USA) and Miss Independent for first place in the €25,000 Chesapeake Benefit Cup for a Just World/WEF Challenge Cup Round 8 at the CN Worldwide Wellington Finale, CSI-5*.
This week’s course designer, Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, set an inviting track that took the footing into account. There were 62 entries in the class and 17 saw their way clear to the jump-off. Twenty-three riders had four faults, while Katherine Miracle and Couletto K James had just one time fault. There was just one retirement and one elimination.
Farrington thought “there would be 12 clean,” but both he and Kraut felt that more in the jump-off was better than having too much course for the horses today. “I thought it was a good plan. I commend him as a course builder,” Kraut mentioned. “There’s nothing wrong with having a few extra clear and not having it be so difficult, than the horses really having to try hard because they’ve been worried on this ground.” Farrington added, “This is a qualifier for Sunday too, so I think it was a really fair course. There weren’t any big disasters.”
After the class started, horse show management and the course designer made the decision to change the jump-off course. The 17 riders in the jump-off were allowed to walk the new jump-off course after the first round.
Kraut and Miss Independent, owned by the Miss Independent Group, were the trailblazers in the first round. They returned for the speed course and set down a clear round in a time of 33.82 seconds. It was a trip that would hold up until the second to last rider. Kraut made a great slice over the first fence and made neat turns on a quick pace.
When asked what it felt like to go first, Kraut laughed, “That was a bit daunting. First of all, you don’t know how the footing is going to hold, and then you’re looking at 16 speed demons coming behind you, so you really don’t know what to do. I thought I would ride as fast I could and see how the footing was. I figured I would finish sixth or seventh if I had a good round.”
Gilbert de Roock (NED) and Stephex Stables’ Kira III were a bit slower and had fences 17 and 5b down for eight faults in 37.63 seconds. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor put the pressure on Kraut with a clear round, but was just off the pace in 35.78 seconds with Complete, owned by Castlemartin Stud and Stephen O’Connor. Yann Candele (FRA) and Mustique, owned by Sue Grange and Lothlorien, were another to fall short of Kraut’s time by finishing in 35.22 seconds with a clear round.
Canadian Eric Lamaze and Hickstead, owned by Torrey Pines Stable and Ashland Stables, gave a valiant try to catch Kraut and galloped flat out to the last oxer, but they were still unable to best her time. They stopped the timers in 34.12 seconds.
Nick Skelton (GBR) on John and Lisa Hales’ Russel brought down rails at both jumps in the one stride, as well as the last jump, to finish with 12 faults in 34.44 seconds. Keean White (CAN) and Vienna Rouge, owned by Angelstone Farms and Linda Ratcliffe, left two on the floor for eight faults in 37.19 seconds. Margie Engle (USA) on Hidden Creek’s Quervo Gold was another eight fault finisher in 34.58 seconds. Robert Kraut (USA) and Platinum Performance For Life, owned by Pollyrich Farms, had just one rail at fence 15 for four faults in 35.04 seconds. Aimee Aron (USA) and Ostara had two unfortunate refusals at fence 17 for elimination in the second round.
William Lowry (USA) and Winsor Farm Sales’ Polygraaf opted for a slower, clear round. The big bay covered the ground easily and finished in 36.49 seconds. On her own BCO Olymp, Eliza Shuford (USA) had a rail at the rollback to fence 16 and finished slower in 39.09 seconds. Georgina Bloomberg and Gotham Enterprizes’ Curius had a light rail for four faults at fence 15 and galloped through the timers in 36.77 seconds. Riding for the Netherlands, Wiljan Laarakaers and Flexpower Campari, owned by Laarakaers and Raymond Knoops, left two on the ground through the one stride for eight faults in 37.11 seconds.
As the second to last horse in the class, Farrington knew his rangy chestnut, Up Chiqui, had the ability for victory today. Up Chiqui is owned by Alex Boone, Richard Bass and James McNerny. He was extremely quick from the first to second fence, but Up Chiqui tripped and made a huge effort to clear fence 17. “He slipped really bad one stride away. That horse has such a big heart; he’ll never give up,” Farrington said. “He fought his way out of it. That was pretty ugly. I was a little worried, but he took good care of me.”
Farrington kept an efficient pace and when he landed from the one stride, he pushed Up Chiqui to the last oxer while the crowd whistled. When he looked up, he saw a time of 33.61 seconds, which put him into the lead by 2/10ths of a second. “I thought it would be pretty close,” Farrington recalled. He’s really fast by himself. In the last line, I knew he could do the nine [strides] if he jumped out of the combination well. He jumped out pretty strong, so I took a shot at it and let him do it.”
Kim Prince (USA) chose not to return for the jump-off on Marlou, opting to save her horse for the big class on Saturday. As the last to go, Ian Millar (CAN) and Redefin made a bid for the win, but finished off the pace in 35.22 seconds with a clear round. In an interesting twist, Redefin is another horse owned by Sue Grange and Lothlorien and tied with the exact same time as her other horse, Mustique.
Today was Miss Independent’s return to the victory gallop and Kraut remarked, “She feels great. I jumped her at the National Horse Show, and then I started her back too early. I should have given her more time. I backed off and this is her first big week back. I was happy with her.”
Farrington was all smiles when he spoke of his ten-year-old gelding. “He’s been trying to win a class all circuit, and I sort of messed up the jump-off a couple of times. He was trying his guts out today,” he asserted. “He just started doing the big grand prix this year. He started right out of the gates doing the Sunday grand prix this year. He handled it pretty well, so I just kept putting him in. He continues to rise to the occasion.”
The top 50 in today’s class qualify for the main event in Wellington on Saturday, the €300,000 CN Worldwide Florida Open Grand Prix, CSI-5*. The class begins with 50 entries at noon, and the top 15 will return for a second round at 3:30 p.m.
Show jumping action continues tomorrow in the Internationale Arena with the Show Jumping Hall of Fame High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic at 8 a.m., followed by the Medium Tour Speed Stake CSI and the Acorn Hill 1.40m Speed Challenge.
Results of 103 WEF Challenge Cup Round VIII
CN Worldwide Wellington Finale CSI 5*
March 14th - 18, 2007
T/A: 80.00 T/A: 44.00
1 2111 UP CHIQUI KENT FARRINGTON 0.00 76.60 0.00 33.61
2 2286 MISS INDEPENDENT LAURA KRAUT 0.00 73.99 0.00 33.82
MISS INDEPEND. GRP
3 1468 HICKSTEAD ERIC LAMAZE 0.00 73.53 0.00 34.12
TORREY PINES STBLE
T4 632 REDEFIN IAN MILLAR 0.00 74.19 0.00 35.22
T4 654 MUSTIQUE YANN CANDELE 0.00 75.13 0.00 35.22
6 3155 COMPLETE CIAN O'CONNOR 0.00 76.10 0.00 35.78
7 231 POLYGRAAF WILLIAM LOWRY 0.00 79.81 0.00 36.49
WINSOR FARM SALES
8 2692 PLATINUM PERFORMANCE FOR ROBERT KRAUT 0.00 77.06 4.00 35.04
9 2174 CURIUS GEORGINA BLOOMBERG 0.00 76.76 4.00 36.77
10 1771 B.C.O. OLYMP ELIZA SHUFORD 0.00 76.76 4.00 39.09
11 2240 HIDDEN CREEK'S QUERVO GOL MARGIE ENGLE 0.00 78.20 8.00 34.58
HIDDEN CREEK FARM
12 2755 FLEXPOWER CAMPARI WILJAN LAARAKAERS 0.00 79.27 8.00 37.11
13 1576 VIENNA ROUGE KEEAN WHITE 0.00 76.26 8.00 37.19
14 2752 KIRA III GILBERT DE ROOCK 0.00 78.51 8.00 37.63
15 3161 RUSSEL NICK SKELTON 0.00 73.91 12.00 34.44
16 2294 OSTARA AIMEE ARON 0.00 79.10 elim.
Photo Credit: Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui, winners of the €25,000 Chesapeake Benefit Cup for a Just World/WEF Challenge Cup Round 8. Photo © 2007 Peter Llewellyn/PMG Pictures.
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