Kent Farrington (USA) and his 2016 Rio Olympics ride Voyeur ran away with the victory in the fourth leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2016/2017 North American League (Eastern Sub-League) in Lexington, taking the $250,000 prize home.
From a starting list of 40 horse-and-rider pairs who competed over Michel Vaillancourt (CAN) course, fourteen went clear. First to complete a fault-free round was Danielle Torano (USA) and then a talented pool of riders emerged as top contenders, including three Olympians: Kent Farrington, McLain Ward (USA), and Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA).
“I had my plan for that horse for what I think his weaknesses are and for where I needed to help him,” said Kent Farrington about his approach to the course in the first round. “Voyeur’s very strong so I just have to watch that he isn’t too aggressive.”
The track in the final round enticed riders to take sharp turns, but as the rails began to drop, the risk of the sharp angles to the fences became clear with only three going clear. Callan Solem (USA) delivered the evening’s first double clear aboard VDL Wizard, recording an efficient time of 40.69 seconds.
But a couple riders later, Kent Farrington shaved almost four seconds off Callan Solem’s time, clocking in at 36.93 seconds. Callan Solem went on to finish in second, while Molly Ashe (USA) and Carissimo took third with a time of 45.86 seconds and the final double clear.
“I was really hungry to win something, and I wanted to slam the door closed and make everyone chase me,” said Kent Farrington about his deciding round. “It was a big field with a lot of good riders behind me—especially with McLain and his horse from the Olympics [HH Azur]. When you have those kinds of competitors, you have to take a shot or you’re not going to win.”
1, Voyeur (Kent Farrington) USA 0/0 36.93
2, VDL Wizard (Callan Solem) USA 0/0 40.69
3, Carissimo (Molly Ashe) USA 0/0 45.86
4, Aristoteles V (Jonathan McCrea) USA 0/2 49.67
5, HH Azur (McLain Ward) USA 0/4 38.19
6, Callas III (Danielle Torano) USA 0/4 41.39
7, Cristalline (Adrienne Sternlicht) USA 0/4 42.83
8, Carrabis Z (Richie Moloney) IRL 0/4 46.56
9, Lilli (Georgina Bloomberg) USA 0/5 48.04
10, Coriandolo di Ribano (Lauren Tisbo) USA 0/6 49.24