Wellington, FL- Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington (USA) and RCG Farm's Creedance were victorious in the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7 on Thursday, February 23, at the 2017 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Week seven, sponsored by Suncast®, features CSI 5*/2* competition at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) through Sunday, February 26. The $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5* is the highlight event on Saturday night, February 25. Live streaming of this week's events can be found HERE. The 12-week WEF circuit continues through April 2, 2017, awarding over $9 million in prize money.
Course designer Anthony D'Ambrosio (USA) saw 56 starters on his first round course, with 14 advancing to the jump-off and six clear over the short track. Farrington and Creedance took the win with a time of 33.92 seconds.
Ireland's Conor Swail guided Finca Horses' Flower to second place in 34.14 seconds. Japan's Karen Polle jumped With Wings into third place with a time of 34.24 seconds. USA's Lauren Hough was aboard Laura and Meredith Mateo's Waterford to finish fourth in 34.52 seconds. Marilyn Little (USA) and Karen O'Connor's Clearwater placed fifth in 34.66 seconds, and Margie Engle (USA) rounded out the top six with a time of 37.96 seconds riding Gladewinds Partners' Royce.
For his win on Thursday, Farrington stuck to his own strategy with the speedy mount and made time with quick, tight turns. "I watched a couple go early in the jump-off just to be sure about my plan, but he is very fast by himself, so I have to stick to his routine," Farrington noted. "I can't try to do stride numbers that other horses do. I have to win on short turns and using his foot speed."
Farrington continued, "I think the horse is naturally quick, and I naturally ride pretty quick. I did one extra stride to the oxer before the rollback turn. That probably made it easier to rollback shorter, and he is fast enough to do that. A slower horse, if they add a stride there, they are going to be two seconds behind, so I think a smaller, quicker horse has the advantage on a rollback like that."
"It is a big week here; a five-star week in Florida," Farrington said after his win. "I have been bringing Creedance up slow, and this is his first five-star show here. We are off to a great start. He jumped last week under the lights in the small ring, and I thought he was a bit rusty. He came out in much better form today, so I am happy with his progress, if nothing else."
The ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Notaris) won two five-star grand prixs in St. Moritz and Geneva, Switzerland, in 2016, among other top finishes at a young age. He will next contest Saturday night's $380,000 Suncast® Grand Prix CSI 5*.
Along with the winning prize, Creedance was presented the Champion Equine Insurance Jumper Style Award for week seven, presented by Laura Fetterman.
Competition continues on Friday featuring the $35,000 Illustrated Properties 1.45m speed class in the International Arena. The Adult Amateur Hunter 18-35 Section A will award championship honors in the Rost Arena. For full results, please visit www.PBIEC.com.
Final Results: $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 7
1. CREEDANCE: 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Lord Z x Notaris KENT FARRINGTON (USA), RCG Farm: 0/0/33.92
2. FLOWER: 2005 Belgian Warmblood mare by Bon Ami x Randel Z CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Finca Horses Inc: 0/0/34.14
3. WITH WINGS: 2003 KWPN gelding by Larino x L.Ronald KAREN POLLE (JPN), Karen Polle: 0/0/34.24
4. WATERFORD: 2003 KWPN gelding by Coolcorron Cool Diamond x Julio Mariner XX LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Laura and Meredith Mateo: 0/0/34.52
5. CLEARWATER: 2007 Holsteiner gelding by Clearway x Come On MARILYN LITTLE (USA), Karen O'Connor: 0/0/34.66
6. ROYCE: 2004 Oldenburg stallion by Café au Lait x Grandilot MARGIE ENGLE (USA), Gladewinds Partners LLC: 0/0/37.96
7. ATLANTIS: 2003 Zangersheide gelding by Andiamo Z x Royal Bravour L SAMUEL PAROT (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/4/33.27
8. BEEZIE: 2006 KWPN mare by Cardento x Canabis Z SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), The ISB Group LLC: 0/4/33.71
9. FINOU 4: 2006 Hanoverian gelding by For Pleasure x Concetto AARON VALE (USA), Thinks Like a Horse & Donald Stewart: 0/4/35.08
10. BABYLOTTE: 2006 KWPN mare by Dollar du Murier x Concorde YURI MANSUR (BRA), Yuri Mansur/Euro Stables: 0/8/33.68
11. AVALON 280: 2006 Westphalian gelding by Arpeggio x Potsdam NRW YANN CANDELE (CAN), Erickson Halina Group: 0/8/34.44
12. BARNETTA: 2004 Westphalian gelding by Baloubet du Rouet x Polydor SHARN WORDLEY (NZL), Sky Group: 0/8/37.78