Sunday, May. 26, 2024

Up Chiqui Repeats In $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W

After Todd Minikus had turned and burned around the jump-off course of the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W, it didn’t look like anyone could catch him. Until Up Chiqui and Kent Farrington came into the ring. 

Farrington set Up Chiqui alight, shaving every turn and slicing every angle, causing the crowd to gasp.  On the long gallop to the last oxer, Farrington went all-out and as Up Chiqui skimmed over the rails, the crowd roared.  They’d stopped the timers more than a second faster than Minikus and taken the win.

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After Todd Minikus had turned and burned around the jump-off course of the $75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W, it didn’t look like anyone could catch him. Until Up Chiqui and Kent Farrington came into the ring. 

Farrington set Up Chiqui alight, shaving every turn and slicing every angle, causing the crowd to gasp.  On the long gallop to the last oxer, Farrington went all-out and as Up Chiqui skimmed over the rails, the crowd roared.  They’d stopped the timers more than a second faster than Minikus and taken the win.

“Todd was very fast, but I think I’m riding an extremely fast horse, so there’s always a chance,” Farrington said.  “I knew it would be hard to beat Todd, and I also had McLain [Ward on Philippa] behind me.  McLain beat me last year at Syracuse on that horse, so I knew nothing’s for sure.”

It was a big jump-off; 10 horses jumped around Michel Vallaincourt’s first-round course clean.  Keean White was riding the youngest horse in the field, the 8-year-old Celena Z, and was the trailblazer for a clear first round.  In the jump-off, however, they had a rail in a combination in 42.99 seconds.  Margie Engle started out strong on Hidden Creek’s Cuervo Gold, but a rail came down early in the course and she finished with the 4 faults in 44.87 seconds.

Christine McCrea looked to be going for the safe clear round, as she piloted Vegas to a clear round in 47.02 seconds.  Then Minikus took the ring on Pavarotti. In a jump-off filled with tight rollbacks and with a long gallop across the ring to a final oxer, Minikus took all the shots.  Pavarotti jumped way up over all the fences and they brought the crowd to their feet with a clear round in 39.33 seconds, setting the pace.

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Michael Morrissey, third in the $25,000 Pennsylvania Big Jump two nights before, went for it on Crelido, but a rail at the first jump would keep them from the blue. They showed that Minikus’ time could be touched, finishing just a fraction of a second slower in 39.99 seconds.  Cara Raether also made a good effort on the big, slow-moving Ublesco, and she timed in at 40.25 seconds, but had a rail at the last oxer. 

Then Farrington and Up Chiqui galloped into the ring.  With Up Chiqui’s characteristic enthusiastic flair, they jumped dramatically.  “I just wanted to try and go as fast as he can go.  Even if I do the same amount of strides, he’s usually faster.  He spends very little time in the air,” Farrington said.

Danielle Torano made a valiant attempt on Vancouver d’Auvray, but the stallion wasn’t quite quick enough, jumping clean in 41.76 seconds.  Jill Henselwood also took a shot on Black Ice, but had a rail in 40.57 seconds.

The last to go, Ward on Philippa, kept the drama going till the end, as Ward tried hard to get it done.  Philippa wasn’t quite as rideable on the turns as she could have been and they lost time there, but would finish third with a clear round in 41.04 seconds.

$75,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National CSI-W
Harrisburg, Pa.—Oct. 18
1. Up Chiqui/Kent Farrington                0-0/37.94
2. Pavarotti/Todd Minikus                0-0/39.33
3. Philippa/McLain Ward                0-0/41.04
4. Vancouver d’Auvray/Danielle Torano        0-0/41.76
5. Vegas/Christine McCrea                0-0/47.02
6. Crelido/Michael Morrissey                0-4/39.99
7. Ublesco/Cara Raether                0-4/40.25
8. Black Ice/Jill Henselwood                0-4/40.57
9. Celena Z/Keean White                0-4/42.99
10. Hidden Creek’s Quervo Gold/Margie Engle    0-4/44.87

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