Wellington, FL - March 25, 2011 - The highlight class today in the International Arena at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) was the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic. Kent Farrington (USA) and Up Chiqui, owned by Farrington, Alex Boone, and William Dobbs, was the fastest through the timers for victory.
Week 11 of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival is sponsored by FTI Consulting Inc., and the week's remaining feature events include the final Suncast 1.50m Championship Jumper Classic on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and the feature event of the circuit, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. The event will also be webcast live on the USEF Network, seen here: http://www.usefnetwork.com/FTIGrandPrix2011/.
Guilherme Jorge of Brazil is the course designer in the International Arena this week. The class was a speed format against the clock, and 41 of 13 entries were clear to lead the top of the ribbons. Farrington had the fastest time of the day in 61.38 seconds for the win. Ben Maher (GBR) and Lindsay Cook's Oscar came the closest to that speedy time in 62.36 seconds for second place. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) and Little Emir crossed the timers in 63.21 seconds for third place.
Farrington said of the course, "Guilherme is an excellent course designer, one of the best in show jumping today. It was a fast track and Chiqui is a speed specialist. It's easy to make it look smooth when you're riding one who really knows what he's doing. He's always looking for the next turn, the next jump. You can do options that you wouldn't be able to do on a less experienced horse."
Up Chiqui has been one of the most successful grand prix horses in the last five years, racking up numerous wins with Farrington. Last year they won more than five grand prix classes, including the $100,000 New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix. This winter, they have been competing in the 1.40m and 1.45m classes at the FTI WEF and won a grand prix in Ocala.
"I've been going easy on him," Farrington said. "That horse has done so much for me in my career, so we're just treating him with respect and putting him where he belongs. When he feels like jumping, we jump and when he doesn't, we don't. He feels great. It's not the same power as he once had, but his body was never really built to do it. He's downhill and he does it all from his heart. I try and keep him happy all the time. When he's happy, he wins. He still wins a lot."
Farrington added with a smile, "He likes to win; he's a competitor. That's his nature. His best quality is his heart and his will to try to win all the time. It was great to win (today). That horse has a special place in my heart. He won so much and helped me take another step in my career. I love that horse and it's always fun to win with him."
Tomorrow is the highlight grand prix of the circuit, the $500,000 FTI Consulting Finale Grand Prix, CSI 5*. The gates will open at 6 p.m.
For full results please visit www.showgroundslive.com and for more information, visit www.equestriansport.com.
Final Results: $8,000 G&C Farm 1.45m
1 UP CHIQUI: 1997 BWP gelding by Quidam De Revel x Chin Chin KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Alex Boone, William Dobbs, & K. Farrington: 0/61.38
2 OSCAR: 1996 KWPN gelding by Harcos x Animo BEN MAHER (GBR), Lindsay Cook:0/62.36
3 LITTLE EMIR: 1998 German gelding SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm, LLC: 0/63.21
4 G&C LAGRAN: 1999 Oldenburg gelding by Lancer II x Grannus PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios and Gustavo Mirabal: 0/64.04
5 HH PALOUCHIN: 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Chin Chin RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Double H Farms: 0/64.22
6 LIRVING DU VOLSIN: 1999 SFA gelding by Fergar Mail x Fury De La Cense KATE LEVY (USA), Kate Levy LLC & Christian Woschenko: 0/65.81
7 STARLIGHT: 1999 KWPN mare by Monaco x Uniform KATE LEVY (USA), KATE LEVY LLC: 0/66.62
8 VORNADO VAN DEN HOENDRIK: 1998 BWP gelding by Darco x Ramiro JESSICA SPRINGSTEEN (USA), Stone Hill Farm: 0/66.71
9 CELESTA: 2003 Brandenburg Warmblood mare by Cellestial x Kolibri RODRIGO DIAZ, (COL), Rodrigo Diaz: 0/68.14
10 SIRIUS: 1999 KWPN gelding by Laroche x Tolbert SERGIO ALVAREZ MOYA (SPA), Marta Ortega Perez: 0/70.33
11 COCO: 2000 KWPN mare by Namelus R x Aramis MICHELLE SPADONE (USA), Redfield Farm: 0/71.96
12 CERANO VON HOF CH: 2000 Swiss Warmblood gelding by Cernunnsus von Hof MARTA ORTEGA PEREZ (ESP), Marta Ortega Perez: 0/73.23
Photo Credit: Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui won the $31,000 G&C Farm 1.45m Classic during week 11 at the 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui with ringmaster Cliff Haines, Tricia Boone, and Gustavo and Victoria Elena Mirabal of G&C Farm. Photo © Sportfot, Official Sport Photographer of the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, www.sportfot.com.