Wellington, USA 29 January 2015: From racing ponies as a youngster to claiming international Grand Prix victories around the world, newest Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington has worked his way to the top echelons of show jumping sport. Currently the top-ranked American in the world, Farrington invited guests to his Wellington stables on Thursday 29th January, for an intimate behind-the-scenes tour ahead of the first 5* Grand Prix during Rolex Week 4 of the 2015 Winter Equestrian Festival.
With a string of Grand Prix horses, including Blue Angel, Voyeur and the great grey Uceko, Farrington’s team bronze medal mount at the 2014 World Equestrian Games in France, order and organisation is the key to success at Kent Farrington Stables in Wellington, Florida.
“The entire staff is my pit crew,” credited Farrington, who is aged 34. “They are the people behind the scenes that are really doing a lot of the heavy lifting. I always want to have everything really organised and the attention to detail can make the difference in the performance, even if it’s only by a tiny amount.”
His base for five months of the year, Kent Farrington Stables consists of two properties combined to create 13 lush acres of expansive living and training facilities for his top mounts. In viewing the meticulous tack room, complete with a collection of bits that would rival any commercial tack store, one begins to understand the incredible structure that allows the team to function seamlessly during a hectic 12-week competition schedule at the neighbouring Winter Equestrian Festival.
“I have the stable organised for 20 horses,” explained Farrington of his methodical neatness. “I have 20 saddles, 20 places for the horses’ show bridles and work bridles. I’ve had some very difficult horses in my career, and some horses that other people didn’t want to ride, so I have a huge collection of bits. I always liked going to the tack shop, and I was always trying a million bridles . . . so I decided that I would have my own tack shop at home, find every bit that I could, and have it organised so that I could find it when I needed it.
“I was kind of a strange kid,” admits Farrington. “I was very organised; my room was always super clean. Some things haven’t changed!”
It is that attention to detail and precision that have helped propelled Farrington to the top of the sport, and lead to a partnership with the leading Swiss watch brand, Rolex.
“It’s an honour for me to be named a Testimonee to Rolex,” said Farrington, who partnered with the Swiss timepiece last autumn. “It really made me feel like a top professional athlete, which has always been a dream of mine. Rolex has been involved in equestrian sport for over 50 years, and has partnered with some of the greats riders and venues in our sport. To be a part of that team is really special for me. It shows their recognition of achievement, and their dedication for the future. I am very proud to be a part of the team.”
Rolex also partnered with the Palm Beach International Center in 2012, and is the official timepiece of the Winter Equestrian Festival, which attracts thousands of horses and competitors from around the globe each year. Considered by many to be the leading circuit in North America, Wellington has been Farrington’s winter base for the past 18 years.
“First, the weather is great,” smiles Farrington of his decision to spend his winters competing under the Florida sunshine. “In the winter, you can’t beat the weather here. Starting from that, the show has really turned into the horse capital of the world in the winter. You’ve got top competition, the best course designers, big prize money, big corporate brands coming in. I think that it’s only going to get bigger. When you have the best riders in the sport and the best horses in the sport all convening to one location for three months at a time, I think this could become the biggest show in the world, if it’s not already.”
Proving the international cache of the Winter Equestrian Festival, fellow Rolex Testimonees Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum of Germany, Canadian legend Eric Lamaze and the great Brazilian rider Rodrigo Pessoa, are all competing alongside Farrington this winter.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered over 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated and independent manufacturing company,
Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, sports, exploration, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities, as well as philanthropic programmes.