Impressive Farrington wins penultimate Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League
USA’s Kent Farrington claimed an impressive victory and cemented his position on top of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American East Coast League when winning the $200,000 Longines Grand Prix qualifier in Wellington, USA.
Riding Uceko, the experienced American finished just over two-and-a-half seconds ahead of Germany’s Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum on Fibonacci in second place and fellow compatriot Richard Spooner on Big Red in third to take the honour at the inaugural Wellington Masters.
A field of 40 horse and rider combinations set their sights on the top prize, but only 14 made it through to the final jump-off.
The overall plan for Farrington to use Uceko for the FEI World Cup qualifier stemmed from the show’s early proposal to hold the class on the turf field. But inclement weather intervened and forced organisers to move the penultimate East Coast event to the sand arena.
That did not hinder Farrington as with Uceko they produced a clear round in the jump-off in a time of 40.30 seconds. Michaels-Beerbaum on Fibonacci rode equally as well but in a slower time of 42.83 seconds, with Spooner and Big Red a narrow six hundredths of a second further back with 42.89 seconds.
The Wellington leg of the inaugural season for the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping North American League was hosted by Deeridge Farms, a private property owned by the Jacobs family since 1980.
The vision behind the event stemmed from acknowledging Wellington as the country’s capital of high-performance horse sport through the winter months and providing competitors with an opportunity to earn World Cup points at the centre of the action.
Rarely used for competitions, the riders applauded the event’s organisers for handling the week’s unexpected weather issues and for executing the unique and top-level event.
Show organisers decided to postpone the use of the turf to next year’s event, after addressing drainage issues this summer.
“It’s a three-year commitment to host the World Cup qualifier here at Deeridge Farms, so we’re looking forward to next year,” said Louis Jacobs, co-president of the event. “We learned a lot this year, and we all had fun. It was a great family endeavour. So we’re excited about what’s in the future.”
The result in Wellington means that Farrington and Spooner head the North American East Coast and West Coast Leagues respectively.
Farrington has collected a total of 63 points in the East Coast League, and is followed by Jack Towell on 50 points, Callan Solem on 47 points, with McLain Ward and Laura Kraut on 46 points.
In the West Coast League, Spooner heads the way with 40 points, while Will Simpson follows on 35 points and Karl Cook on 33 points. Rich Fellers is fourth on 28 points and Simon Nizri fifth with 27 points.
The next and final event in the 2015/16 Longines FEI Jumping North American League comes with the East Coast qualifier at Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, Florida, USA on 24 to 28 February 2016.
Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2015/16 North American League
Result: Round 6 in Wellington, USA
1 Uceko (Kent Farrington) USA 0 penalties 40.30 seconds
2 Fibonacci (Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum) Germany 0 penalties 42.83
3 Big Red (Richard Spooner) USA 0 penalties 42.89
4 Adare (Paris Sellon) USA 0 penalties 43.50
5 Dixson (Ian Millar) Canada 0 penalties 43.54
6 VDL Wizard Solem, Callan USA 0 penalties 43.80
7 Nougat du Valle (Katherine A Dinan) USA 0 penalties 48.64
8 HH Carlos Z (McLain Ward) USA 4 penalties 41.75
9 Czardas (Alberto Michan Halbinger) Mexico 4 penalties 42.39
10 Royce (Margie Goldstein-Engle) USA 4 penalties 42.65
11 Nouvelle (Laura Kraut) USA 4 penalties 42.71
12 HH Copin van de Broy (Quentin Judge) USA 4 penalties 42.91
13 Valinski S (Matt Williams) Australia 4 penalties 46.29
14 Urus (Ljubov Kochetova) Russia 4 penalties 47.43