Wellington, FL - Competition opened up for the Holiday & Horses Show at the Palm Beach International Horse Show today, and the feature class in the International Arena was the $10,000 Open Stake. Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui, owned by Alex Boone, William Dobbs, and Farrington, captured the top prize in the class. The Holiday & Horses Show is the first competition in the Equestrian Sport Productions (ESP) Holiday Series, which consists of seven shows through the beginning of January. The highlight class of the week is the $50,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix, CSI 2* on Saturday, December 4, at 7 p.m. The Holiday & Horses Show runs through Sunday, December 5.
The course designer in the International Arena this week is Anthony D'Ambrosio of Red Hook, NY. There were 27 entries in today's $10,000 Open Stake, and 14 were clear to advance to the jump-off, which was given as an A/B option ,where riders could stay in the ring or return at the end of the class. The majority of the class did their jump-offs right away, and the fastest over the shortened course was Farrington of Chicago, IL, on Up Chiqui, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Quidam de Revel. The speedy pair stopped the timers in 34.895 seconds.
"I just planned to go fast," Farrington said. "He has his own speed, so I just go his normal, neat jump-off speed. For him it was fast, but not his top gear. He's just a fast horse by himself. It's more effort to make him go slow than to let him go his own way."
Second place was Roberto Teran on Grande Finale 3E, who returned at the end of the class to ride his jump-off in a time of 35.057 seconds. Kate Levy finished third in 35.840 seconds on Starlight.
Farrington and Up Chiqui have a solid partnership of five years and have won many grand prix classes together. They recently won a speed class at the Washington International Horse Show, but the return to a large outdoor arena was welcome too. Farrington noted, "He's been everywhere, so he doesn't really care (about the change from indoor to outdoor). You can take him to any venue, and he's going to go how he goes."
Farrington has been in Florida for a week and their last show was in Syracuse. "It felt good. He's a great horse to ride because he's always a winner. He feels good and it's great to be back down in Florida. I'm excited for the upcoming season," he said. "It is always good to start with a win. It's good to have a smaller class with decent money in it to start the show."
Up Chiqui will compete in tomorrow's major open jumper class, the $30,000 Holiday & Horses Opener, and Farrington will ride Top Gun in Saturday night's $50,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix, CSI 2*.
Tomorrow's competition includes a full slate of professional hunter divisions as well as the $30,000 Holiday & Horses Opener class at 2 p.m.
Final Results: $10,000 Open Stake
1 110 UP CHIQUI, KENT FARRINGTON: 0/0/34.895
2 104 GRAN FINALE 3E, ROBERTO TERAN: 0/0/35.057
3 251 STARLIGHT, KATE LEVY: 0/0/35.840
4 165 TOSCA 290, MOLLY ASHE-CAWLEY: 0/0/37.120
5 558 QUIBBLE N, JIMMY TORANO: 0/0/37.584
6 580 BULL RUNS REVELATION, KRISTEN VANDERVEEN: 0/0/38.088
7 565 TRAFFIC BOY, SHANE SWEETNAM: 0/0/38.395
8 245 CLEU, DEBORAH STEPHENS: 0/0/38.644
9 624 GOWRAN PARK, ANDREW BOURNS: 0/0/38.820
10 243 ALL STAR, DEBORAH STEPHENS: 0/0/40.153
11 332 S & L WHAT NOU, DARRAGH KERINS: 0/0/40.477
12 224 CARTIER, AARON VALE: 0/4/41.216
Equestrian Sport Productions would like to thank the sponsors supporting this year's Holiday & Horses show: Farm Vet, the "The Official Equine Care Provider," Equine Tack & Nutritionals, "The Official Horse Health Supplier," Wellington Equestrian Realty, Rob and Chris Desino, "An Official Realtor," Illustrated Properties, Carol Sollak, "An Official Realtor," Dever, "The Official Golf Cart Provider," Brook Ledge, "The Official Horse Transportation Company," Arenus, sponsor of "The Arenus Low Hunter 2'9" Division," Reist, "The Official Drag," Pine Hollow, an "Official Sponsor," Camping World, the "Official RV Sales and Rental," Palm Beach Equine, "The Official Veterinarian," Elite Equine Shavings, "The Official Shavings," Pennfield Corporation, "The Official Feed," and Beval, an "Official Sponsor."
The other shows in the ESP Holiday Show Series are:
ESP Year End Awards Show - December 11-12, 2010 - "C" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday at 7 p.m. and $5,000 3'-3'3" Hunter Derby on Sunday
ESP Holiday I - December 17-19, 2010 - "A" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday
ESP Holiday II - December 22-24, 2010 - "A" Rated and Jumper Rated 3
ESP Holiday III - December 28, 2010 - "B" Rated
ESP New Year's Show - December 29-January 2, 2011 - "AA" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Sunday
A-T Children's Project Benefit - January 5-9, 2011 - "AA" Rated and Jumper Rated 3 with $25,000 Grand Prix on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
All "A" and "AA" shows in the ESP Holiday Series will include $10,000 Open Jumper Stakes classes and Hunter Classics. The Equestrian Sport Productions Fall Series shows are all USEF, North American League, and Marshall & Sterling League approved.
As always, the added convenience of online entries and live ring updates are available at http://esp.showgroundslive.com.
For more information on Equestrian Sport Productions and their horse shows, please visit www.equestriansport.com.
Photo Credit: Up Chiqui and Kent Farrington won the $10,000 Open Stake class at the 2010 Holiday & Horses Show. Photo © Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.