Farrington And Gazelle Claim Big Grand Prix Win In Valence CSI*****

Aug 21, 2017 - 8:53 AM

Ratiéres, France—Aug. 20   

World No. 1 Kent Farrington put an epic end to the first week of competition at the Jumping International of Valence CSI*****, winning the Axeria/SFAM Grand Prix with Gazelle after a breathtaking 11-horse jump-off during which best riders of the world battled fiercely.

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Kent Farrington gave Gazelle a pat after accepting their awards for the Axeria/SFAM Grand Prix win. Photo by Agence RB Presse/J.Rodrigues

Two French champions (Olivier Robert and Simon Delestre) were crowned in the past editions of Valence’s five-star grand prix, but this year Farrington left no chance to his opponents and added his name to the Jumping International of Valence’s trophy.

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Kent Farrington and Gazelle on the way to victory. Photo by Agence RB Presse J.Rodrigues

U.S. rider Beezie Madden also competed at Valence, placing seventh in the Axeria/SFAM Grand Prix with Breitling LS with a jump-off time good enough to have been second if they hadn’t pulled a rail.

Reed Kessler was 14th in the class on Cos I Can with one rail in the first round.

It capped a remarkable day for Farrington as he had already won the early afternoon class, the 1.45-meter Prix MMA and SFAM, with Baltic Star. The pilot once again proved that he was one of the fastest of the circuit thanks to an impressive jump-off where he outpaced Irish rider Shane Breen’s time by more than a second.

“I think at the end of the ring I really used my horse’s strength—she can keep running through the turn and never have to break,” Farrington said. “So I went wide to the penultimate vertical with speed and on the outside, and I was able to go fast on the last line without ever breaking her canter. I think that’s where I caught him.”

Breen went first in the jump-off atop Laith and turned in a spectacular round. “When I jumped the vertical at the end of the arena, before the turn, I took a little bit of care and right there thought that I was wide from the fence I knew I had left the door open for the following riders and of obviously, the world No. 1 closed it!” Breen said.

The Irish rider still has done a great weekend and won the leading rider of the show’s title with a Mercedes-Benz convertible as a bonus.

Earlier in the week, the Stars and Stripes had flown again, as Madden topped a five-star class, the Prix MMA, on Aug. 17 aboard Breitling LS.

See full results of the Jumping International of Valence CSI*****.

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Beezie Madden and Breitling LS after their win in the first five-star class of the week of jumping at Valence. Photo by Agence RB Presse/J.Rodrigues

 

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