Kent Farrington and Gazelle keep their crown winning the CSI5* Grand Prix of Valence
The fourth edition of Jumping International de Valence ended with one of the most beautiful outcomes possible.
Amongst an exceptionally high-level set of riders, former world n°1 and title-holder Kent Farrington (USA) brought
home the victory in the dicult CSI5* Grand Prix Hubside.
“It’s honestly a course worthy of a World Cup Final!” said the riders as they were walking it. Indeed, Uliano Vezzani,
had designed one of the hardest course of the season most likely to prepare the horses as well as the riders for the World Equestrian Games in Tryon (USA) which will be held next month. Of the forty-seven riders starting in this
1.60m Grand Prix Hubside, just thirteen managed to qualify for the jump-off:
Philippe Rozier (FRA), Henrik von Eckermann (SWE), Shane Breen (IRL), Martin Fuchs (SUI), Janika Sprunger (SUI), Robert Whitaker (GBR), Eric Lamaze (CAN), Manuel Fernandez Saro (ESP), Fredrik Jönsson (SWE), Cian O’Connor (IRL), Kent Farrington (USA), Max Kühner (AUT) and Simon Delestre (FRA). All fought bravely in the second round, but only four managed a double clear round.
The fastest was undoubtedly the winner of the 2017-edition, Kent Farrington. Riding his loyal 12-year-old mare Gazelle (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Indoctro), he took all the risks to pull out the victory with a time of 43.85 seconds – a double win, two years in a row. “My advantage is that I know my mare perfectly, it has been years of developing together. Gazelle is really careful, she can gallop very fast and I can approach a vertical jump at full speed, she will always manage not to take a pole down. It’s an amazing show, the organisation is perfect. I have decided to come back next year, and why not attempt a third win!”
After being kept away from high-level competitions for a while, Kent Farrington is now back on his feet with all his energy. His secret? “I took a few months of rest, then I practised, again and again. This is what allowed me to come back to my best self this fast.”
Henrik von Henckermann (SWE) and Toveks Mary Lou (Montendro x Portland L) took to the second step of the podium with a time of 44.69 seconds. The couple, already third at the World Cup Final in Paris this year, proved once more they are in good shape. Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Clooney (Cornet Obolensky x Ferragamo) finished in third position in 47.25 seconds.
The best French rider was Simon Delestre, riding Chesall Zimequest (Casall x Concerto), with whom he won this same Grand Prix two years before. This time, they both fished sixth, taking one pole down in the jump-off.
Go to the following link for full results:
Press release R&B Presse
Photo © F.Petroni