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October 26, 2013

Farrington Finishes On Top

Blue Angel couldn't stop watching the replay of her winning jump-off round on the Jumbotron throughout the awards ceremony for the President's Cup CSI-W.

Washington D.C. – Oct. 26

If a $125,000 purse wasn’t enough, Kent Farrington had an extra incentive to win the President’s Cup CSI-W. Nothing less than a win would give Farrington the leading jumper rider title—and the flashy Rolex timepiece attached to the award. Farrington won both honors at the Washington International, thanks to Robin Parsky's mount, Blue Angel.

Only Farrington, mounted on Blue Angel, and Brianne Goutal, aboard Nice de Prissey, made it around Leopoldo Palacio’s first round fault free. The course was tough enough that Margie Engle scratched Indigo after walking it, four riders retired and two more didn’t make it around.

Farrington foresaw the challenges posed by the Verizon Center’s snug warm-up area and narrow arena and planned accordingly. He chose his most rideable mount, Blue Angel, which gave him the edge.

“Blue Angel is a very fast horse, very good at adding strides and a venue like this really plays to her strengths,” he said. "The horse is a winner; it's a winner all by itself. I don’t think there's anything I am doing special. When you have nice horses to ride, it is more about managing the horses, choosing the right venues that are the best for them to succeed, and minimizing your mistakes."

Goutal’s horse normally prefers a more open field, but finished second here two years ago, prompting her to put him on the trailer anyway.  

“He has a very big stride and he’s a bit stiff in the neck and the mouth,” she said, “so with a lot of turns and twists it gets complicated.”

In fact, Goutal originally logged 1 time fault in the first round, which disappeared when Palacios softened the time allowed. “I was hoping [Palacios] was going to change it. I felt that I was pretty fast and neat enough,” she said, joking that she texted him after her round with the request.

Last to go in the first round, Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo ticked the sixth fence, a vertical following a one-stride combination, to finish third.

“The hardest part was that [the course] was very twisty-turny. There were a lot of jumps off a blind approach,” Madden said. “Everything came up fast and a little bit blind.”

Coral Reef Via Volo has had a few weeks off, so Madden showed her in two other classes earlier in the week. “She usually does a little better with a little bit of showing,” she said. “She does better the more she goes.”

Farrington and Goutal will head to the Alltech National Horse Show (Ky.) next with different mounts.

Click here for lots more from the Chronicle on the Washington International Horse Show. For a full report from the Washington International Horse Show, check out the Nov. 11 issue of The Chronicle of the Horse.  Full results are available at the official Washington International Horse Show site.

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