The U.S. Equestrian Federation announced on Jan. 16 that Gazelle has been voted the 2020 International Horse of the Year, and Pritchard Hill, Balmoral’s 9-year-old Oldenburg gelding, has been voted the 2020 National Horse of the Year by the USEF membership. Gazelle and Pritchard Hill were honored during the virtual USEF Pegasus and Horse of the Year Awards Celebration.
International Horse of the Year
Gazelle and Kent Farrington began their partnership in 2014, and since their debut, the pair has amassed an impressive record of wins and top finishes at many of the most prestigious competitions in the world, including the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix of Aachen (Germany), the 2017 International Jumping Riders Rolex Grand Prix of Geneva (Switzerland), and the 2016 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows (Alberta), alongside numerous other CSI5* wins. Robin Parsky and Farrington’s 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Kashmir van Shuttershof—Diva ‘Ter Elsen’, Indoctro) anchors Farrington’s talented string of quality horses.
In 2020, Farrington and Gazelle took home their biggest win of the year in the $213,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix CSI4* hosted in Traverse City, Michigan, where they outpaced 15 other combinations in the jump-off. The pair also finished on the podium in the $401,000 Fidelity Investments Grand Prix CSI5* (Florida), placing second, and added a top-five finish in the $73,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup CSI5* in Wellington, Florida.
“We are thrilled with our superstar horse who, to us, is Horse of the Year every year! [Gazelle] has been with us for seven years and has produced wonderful results each year, taking us all over the world,” said Parsky.
National Horse Of The Year
Pritchard Hill, or “Quinn,” was imported from Europe as a 4-year-old and carefully produced by owners Carleton and Traci Brooks of Balmoral. As a 6-year-old, Pritchard Hill competed in 1.0-meter jumping classes before finding his niche in the hunter ring. The Brookses’ gradual method of allowing the horse to develop, along with the help of John Bragg, paid off with top results in the show ring. Pritchard Hill’s athleticism, coupled with a quiet, intelligent and willing attitude, makes him a consistent performer.
In 2020, Pritchard Hill tallied numerous championship titles in the 3’9″ green hunter and high performance conformation hunter classes during five weeks at the Desert Circuit (California) with Carleton Brooks and Leslie Steele in the irons. The warmblood gelding also won the $1,000 West Coast 3’6″/3’9″ green hunter stake and the $1,000 USHJA 3’6″/3’9″ green hunter stake during Desert Circuit IV. He kicked off his summer with 3’9″ green hunter championship, green/high performance conformation hunter championship, and small junior hunter championship titles at Showpark Summer Festival. Pritchard Hill collected two more 3’9″ green hunter championship titles at Showpark Racing Festival (California) and the National Sunshine Series II (California) to close out his impressive year.
“In this case, the slow way was the fast way, and we are so grateful to everyone who played a role in his success,” said Traci Brooks.