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September 2, 2013

Farrington Improvises To Win In Sept. 2 Omega Alpha Weekend Update

Zafira was a last-minute substitution for Kent Farrington, but she ended up winning the $250,000 FTI Consulting Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic. Photo by ESI Photography

One can imagine the dismay Kent Farrington felt when he saw Voyeur’s slightly puffy ankle the day before the $250,000 FTI Consulting Grand Prix at the Hampton Classic (N.Y.). He and Voyeur had been primed and ready to defend their 2012 title in the class, but he had to make the horseman’s decision and leave Voyeur in his stall.

So, he pulled out Zafira and won with her instead. It was a big ask of the 9-year-old mare—her biggest grand prix start to date. But they topped a five-horse jump-off to claim the top check. “I thought that maybe my odds weren’t as good with her as with Voyeur, but I thought she could do it,” said Farrington, 32. “This was a big step up for her, and she answered the question.”

Richie Moloney came in second aboard Slieveanorra and earned the $30,000 Longines Rider Challenge, while Georgina Bloomberg scored third place in her final showing outing before hanging up the tack temporarily to focus on her pregnancy—she’s due in December. It was Bloomberg’s best result in her favorite show of the year. McLain Ward, who was aiming to pick up a win in the second leg of the $200,000 THIS Triple Crown Challenge after winning in June at Devon, but a heartbreaking rail at the final fence in the first round ended that bid.

Ward did jump to first and third in the $50,000 Spy Coast Farm Grand Prix Qualifier with Rothchild and Zander, while Moloney took top call in the $40,000 Longines Cup. Junior rider Victoria Press rode to the top of the $50,000 Hampton Classic Hunter Derby on her Mayfair, while Lillie Keenan added the Sam Edelman Equitation Championship to her resume. In the Young Jumper Championships finals, Jeffery Welles rode Bilion to the 7- and 8-year-old title, Ward claimed the 6-year-old section on Adele, and Devin Ryan rode to 5-year-old blue on Dillandra. See full Hampton Classic results. Look for in-depth coverage of all the Hampton Classic action in the Sept. 16 issue of the Chronicle

Over in Spain, the U.S. team didn’t fare well in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup at Gijon. The Netherlands scored the win, while Reed Kessler, Saer Coulter, Lucy Davis and Lauren Hough ended their day after the first round, picking up 24 faults and tying for eighth with France. (See full Nations Cup results) Kirsten Coe was the highest-placed U.S. rider in the grand prix, coming in 19th in the class won by Irishman Bertram Allen. (See full grand prix results)

German Michael Jung continued his absolute domination of eventing championships, claiming team and individual gold at the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships in Malmo, Sweden. He led from start to finish aboard the 9-year-old Halunke; even with a rail in show jumping, he finished more that 6 penalties ahead of silver medalist Ingrid Klimke; bronze went to William-Fox-Pitt of Great Britain. Jung is the first rider in history to hold Olympic, World and European titles simultaneously, and now he’s added a fourth title to that string. The Swedish team captured the silver medal, while France took bronze. (See full results) Look for in-depth coverage of all the action in the Sept. 16 issue of the Chronicle.

In Warrenton, Va., and Del Mar, Calif., the country’s best young hunter prospects competed head-to-head in the Sallie B. Wheeler/USEF National Hunter Breeding Championship. The East Coast winner, Rainier—owned by Kenneth Wheeler Jr., Cismont Manor, and Meridean Partners LLC and handled by Richard Taylor—claimed the overall title. Tish Quirk’s Good Luck took the West Coast title, but the East Coast reserve, Carol Cockcroft’s Waterford, also took overall reserve. See full Warrenton Horse Show results. See full Showpark All Seasons Summer Classic results. Look for in-depth coverage of all the action in the Sept. 16 issue of the Chronicle.

 
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