Calgary, Alberta, Canada—July 5
Kent Farrington’s tried quite a few times and come close before, but before July 5 he’d never won the $210,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup before.
That all changed when he and Voyeur turned in a score of just 1 time fault over two tough rounds to claim the top check.
“It felt great to win this class. I have come close, but I have just never won this class,” Farrington said. “I have come third and fourth and probably every other ribbon. I think I have a very special horse in Voyeur, and I look forward to big things from him in the future.
“I was excited to show,” Farrington said of his mindset coming into the competition. “I really think a lot of this horse. I was really angry with myself the first week [of competition at the Spruce Meadows summer series]. I thought I gave away the grand prix, making a mistake in the jump-off. I wanted to be very focused today and give him the best shot to win it.”
To find out more about Voyeur, including why Farrington uses the bridle he does on him, in this video interview…
Course designer Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela set a big challenge for the horses and riders in the $210,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup. The competition was held in a two-round format with a final jump-off if needed. Thirty-one entries jumped in Round 1 with 14 clears to advance over the second-round course, but a jump-off was not necessary as none of the competitors were able to finish Round 2 without fault. Farrington’s 1 time fault over Round 2 won it.
Finishing behind Farrington, three competitors had 4 faults each in Round 2 and were placed based on their Round 1 time. Paulo Santana of Brazil on Taloubet took the reserve honors while U.S. rider Quentin Judge and Double H Farm’s HH Copin van de Broy placed third.
Palacios set tough tracks for both rounds of competition and explained his strategy and reaction to the results, stating, “I wanted the first round as the qualifier for the second round. I don’t like to have a jump-off with two rounds. It’s not fair to horses jumping big, big fences to go two rounds and jump-off. I want to congratulate Kent and Paulo and Quentin for what they did. This second round was a very, very serious course.”
Riders agreed on the difficulty of the course, and Farrington noted that his horse was definitely up to the challenge. “He’s a very versatile horse,” Farrington stated. “The second round today was as big as almost any course in the world, and I think that he showed that he is on par with those horses.”
Santana praised Palacios on stepping up the level of competition with his courses outside of Europe, stating, “I think America and Latin America have to thank Leopoldo for pushing the level of competition over here for the last 10 years. I think it’s very good for our sport to stay on a level close with Europe. We can see riders like Kent Farrington and Beezie Madden who are always in the top 10 in the world jumping here and then staying competitive worldwide. In this course, your horse needed to be clever, be brave, and have power.”
Santana jumped second in the first phase of Round 1 of competition at 9 a.m. in the morning and had to wait most of the day to return last in Round 2. Although it was a long day for the rider, he was happy with the end result.
“Coming in the last round, I thought, ‘Oh this is a good position, but there is so much pressure,’ Santana noted. “I didn’t know if I could make a clear round. My horse had an old injury and he was not supposed to jump this horse show, and I had broken my ankle five weeks before we came here, but I rode and he was improving all of the weeks. He got all the support from the veterinary team at Spruce Meadows, and it came together at the right moment.”
Judge was quite happy with his result as well with a fairly new mount in HH Copin van de Broy.
“I can’t say enough good things about the horse. He has miles and miles more experience than I do, so to have a horse like that going into a second round with tricky jumps, it gives me confidence as a rider,” Judge said of Copin van de Broy, who was previously ridden by German rider Marcus Ehning at the Nations Cup, Longines Global Champions Tour and FEI World Cup Final level.
“I have been really fortunate to have Hunter and Jeannie Harrison invest in this horse and believe in me,” Judge said. “McLain Ward and his team gave me really good advice this summer. It has been great. He has been consistent, but it has been a slow progression to get to this. This really proves that we have done the right thing and done our homework, so I am really happy for him.”
Earlier in the week, Farrington had scored another win in the $85,000 Progress Energy Cup on July 4 aboard Ucecko, one of his top mounts who has been out of the show ring for six months. Uceko, 13 and a Dutch Warmblood gelding by Celano, has had an illustrious career with Farrington including some big wins at Spruce Meadows.
Following a fantastic 2013 season, Farrington decided to give Uceko a rest while he focused on some of his other horses. Uceko has not shown since December and came out for the first time this week looking immediately back on form. “That horse has worked really hard for me for four years,” Farrington explained. “Now that I have some other horses that have stepped up to be competitive, I thought he deserved a break. I gave him six months to not even look at a jump and forget about showing for awhile. This is his first week out. He feels really fresh and better than ever and really excited to be back at a show. I could not be happier with him.”
1 VOYEUR: Dutch Warmblood / G / 12 Tolaro Vant Riethof x Goodwill, KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Amalya Investments: 0/89.11 1/77.40
2 TALOUBET: Dutch Warmblood / G / 14 Baloubet de Rouet x Quidam de Revel , PAULO SANTANA (BRA), Paulo Santana: 0/87.86 4/72.70
3 HH COPIN VAN DE BROY: Belgian Warmblood / S / 12 Darco x Brown Boy, QUENTIN JUDGE (USA), Double H Farm: 0/88.18 4/69.30
4 WKD PEPPERPOT: Irish Sport Horse / M / 12 Heritage Fortunus x Diamonds Aretrumps, SAMEH EL DAHAN (EGY), Joanne Sloan Allen: 0/90.27 4/73.71
5 TRIPPLE X III: AES / S / 12 Namelus R x Cantango , TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms, LLC: 0/87.99 5/76.45
6 DIXSON: Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 Vigo D Arsouilles x Olisco, IAN MILLAR (CAN), Susan & Ariel Grange: 0/88.18 5/77.54
7 SHOWGIRL: Selle Francais / M / 14 Gold de Becourt x Elf III , YANN CANDELE (CAN), Watermark Group: 0/89.28 5/76.01
8 HH CANNAVARO: Holstein / S / 10 Caplan x Caretino, MCLAIN WARD (USA), Double H Farm: 0/88.35 9/75.41
9 ANTARES: KWPN / G / 9 Manhattan x Cavalier, PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Stal Thijssen: 0/88.50 9/75.73
10 DYNAMO: Belgian Warmblood / G / 11 Skippy II x Veritas, MEAGAN NUSZ (USA), Amalya Investments: 0/89.20 9/77.55
11 CONCONCRETO SANCHA LS: Studbook La Silla / M / 11 Chin Chin x Polydor , DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Daniel Bluman: 0/89.51 9/75.05
12 SPECIAL LUX: Irish Sport Horse / G / 10 Lux x Coille Mor Hill, JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/89.61 12/74.84