Text By Heather Buchanan
We knew Kent Farrington had many talents but not that being a gymnast was one of them. At the 2016 American Gold Cup he gave new meaning to “sticking the landing.” Crossing the finish line of his winning round of the $216,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping New York CSI4*-W on board Gazelle, he had a surprise fall. He joked, “I thought, ‘Oh that’s over,’ and I leaned forward to give her a pat on the neck and canter around the pond and she had a different idea to turn around and go back to the gate. So we compromised with a front flip and bow! »
Eliciting only two clear rounds with Charlie Jacobs on Cassinja S in second and Lauren Tisbo on Coriandolo di Ribano in third, the course by Alan Wade put the riders through their paces. As one of the 14 qualifying events of the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, the points earned here count towards the finals in March 2017.
Farrington noted, “I thought Alan Wade built a difficult course today, which I think is well suited for a class of this prestige and prize money, With it also being a World Cup qualifier, I think it brings the best riders we have using top horses. It worked out for me to win today, but regardless of that I thought it was a great competition and I am thrilled to finally win the American Gold Cup. I’ve never done that before and it was on my list of things to do. » It’s been great for Equestrio to follow the trajectory of success of Kent and Gazelle which he owns with Robin Parsky.
Georgina Bloomberg was also on a winning streak with a blue ribbon in the $35,000 Hermès Sellier Cup aboard Manodie II H. She also rode Caleno 3 to victory in Friday’s $86,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier.
Competing at the picturesque Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY with its grand, grass grand prix field feels like home for Bloomberg, “I live five minutes down the road and I grew up riding here, » she said. « This is where I am comfortable and happy. I know this field very well, which definitely is a huge advantage. We always show here in the spring. I love riding out here and I am really happy when I am here. All of my friends and family get to come. It’s always really special to win so today was really great. »
One of the most heart-felt moments is when the riders take time to sign autographs and a line of fans wraps around the field to get a moment with their hero. They take away not only how to be gracious in victory but to after a fall how to “land on your feet.”