Nobody else was going to win the $30,000 Grand Prix of Traverse City, if Kim Farlinger had her way.
“I thought I didn’t leave much room to beat me. I was able to hold my gallop to all the fences, and he jumped really well,” Farlinger said. “I was watching everybody else, and they just didn’t get it done.”
After the last of the seven horses jumped off in the last class of Horse Shows By The Bay on July 18, Farlinger and her veteran Cordoba were leading the victory gallop.
Farlinger was more than a second faster than Scott Lenkart, who claimed second with a clean jump-off on Un Prince. Lenkart was also third on the flashy Impulsive, with another slower clear round.
Farlinger, of Ottowa, Canada, is showing at the Horse Shows By The Bay circuit for the first time. “I’d heard a lot of great things, and a lot of Canadian riders really like it here, so I decided to come down and try it,” she said.
Cordoba, a 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood, has been Farlinger’s partner for six years and is a seasoned grand prix horse. “He’s a very fast horse, so I know that if I get to the jump-off, we’ll be competitive,” said Farlinger.
Amateur rider Erin Haas, a veterinarian by trade, had led off the jump-off with a four-fault round in 40.97 seconds. Lenkart was next on Impulsive and showed the way to to a clear jump-off, but a slip on the turn to a double combination sucked some seconds away from his time of 38.52 seconds.
Farlinger was next, and Cordoba's quick, rapid strides ate up the ground, and Farlinger wasted no time in the turns. Her clean jump-off in 36.32 seconds would be the one to beat. Brian Shook made a determined effort to do so on Courage 68, and he was close to the time (37.09 seconds), but felled a rail at the combination.
Canadian rider Robin Walker rode a conservative jump-off round aboard Ilian-De-Taute and left all the rails in the cups, but his time of 42.65 seconds left them in fourth. Lisa Jacquin and Obourg had an early rail at the second fence of the jump-off, so didn't make a huge effort for speed. They finished with 4 jumping faults and 2 time faults. Lenkart finished up the jump-off on his second ride, Un Prince, and did a better job of chasing Farlinger, but was still more than a second slower.
The grand prix concluded the first of three weeks of showing in Traverse City, Mich., at the Horse Shows By The Bay circuit.
For complete results, visit www.horseshowing.com.
Read about Friday's $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby.