Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Up Chiqui Up For The Challenge At Kentucky National

The cheeky chestnut and Kent Farrington take another win.

Up Chiqui is just plain hard to beat. In the $50,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute CSI-W, he and Kent Farrington stopped the timers more than 3 seconds faster than Beezie Madden and Onlight to take the top check on Sept. 26 in Lexington, Ky.

The only horse faster than Up Chiqui was Goldika 559, ridden by McLain Ward, but a rail put them into fourth.

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The cheeky chestnut and Kent Farrington take another win.

Up Chiqui is just plain hard to beat. In the $50,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute CSI-W, he and Kent Farrington stopped the timers more than 3 seconds faster than Beezie Madden and Onlight to take the top check on Sept. 26 in Lexington, Ky.

The only horse faster than Up Chiqui was Goldika 559, ridden by McLain Ward, but a rail put them into fourth.
“He’s very brave,” Farrington said of Up Chiqui. “He’ll walk into any venue and try his guts out. That’s what makes him a great horse.”

“Chiqui” left the Kentucky fans with only a taste of his high-kicking post-jump signature form. “Tonight was pretty calm,” Farrington said. “He normally [plays] a lot more. He’ll rodeo buck in the line sometimes if he’s really fresh. That’s just him; that’s just what he does. He’s a real character. He’s a prankster, and he has an attitude. He’s like a punk kid.” Farrington joked that he chooses not to take on the parent role but more of a partner in crime.

“He’s a great horse, and there’s no substitute for a great horse,” said Farrington. “I think at a higher level competition most of the good riders—they all ride well. It’s really a horse competition, and I think it comes down to who has the best horses, and who’s able to manage their horses and manage their career so that they compete them at the right moments and maximize that horse’s time in the sport.”

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Up Chiqui made his FEI World Cup Final debut last year in Gothenburg, Sweden, and placed 13th. The Kentucky win put Farrington into seventh in the East Coast League World Cup standings.    

Farrington hopes to qualify with Chiqui for the trip to Las Vegas, Nev., in April 2009 for the FEI World Cup Finals, but only if it’s right for the horse. “I’d like to try that again, especially since it’s in Vegas, but I only want to try it if he’s on form to do it. So I’ll do the qualifiers, and if he keeps jumping as well as he did tonight, then we’ll take a run at it,” he said. “I don’t think that’s something that you can force. Either it’s in the cards or it isn’t.”

The Kentucky CSI-W was also the finale of the Hagyard Bonus Series. Farrington came into the finale in 11th place in the rider standings, but winning the grand prix put him into the lead at the end.

Up Chiqui’s 2008 Highlights

1st—$150,000 CN U.S. Open Jumper Championship (Fla.)
1st—$75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of Lake Placid (N.Y.)
1st—$50,000 Idle Dice Open Jumper Stakes (Pa.)
1st—$50,000 Vermont Summer Celebration Grand Prix (Vt.)
1st—$50,000 Hagyard Equine Medical Institute CSI-W (Ky.)
1st—$25,000 Upperville Welcome Stakes (Va.)
2nd—$200,000 CN Worldwide Grand Prix (Fla.)
2nd—$100,000 Grand Prix of Devon (Pa.)
2nd—$30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic (Ky.)
3rd—$50,000 Sussex County Grand Prix (N.J.)

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“We came from behind last year and won and then won again this year—we didn’t think it was even an option,” said Alex Boone, who is part of the group of Up Chiqui’s owners.

“It’s just amazing how [Up Chiqui’s success has] continued. Kent has been working hard on getting him ready outside the ring. He’s been working on preparing him even better. Kent is also one of the owners now.”

Up Chiqui and Farrington currently lead the USEF horse of the year standings again, with more than $200,000 in earnings.

In addition to having an owner in Kentucky, Farrington enjoys showing at the Kentucky Horse Park and is especially thrilled by some of the improvements being made for the 2010 FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games.

“The changes in the footing [in some of the rings] are huge. You can’t even compare that to the footing they had earlier in the year. I think those are the steps they should be taking, and I’d like to see more facilities take those same steps, if nothing else to improve the footing. I think that’s so crucial in our sport,” Farrington said.

Jeannie Blancq Putney

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