Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Watch Why They Won: Farrington Finishes 1-2 In Michigan

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You know you’re in a good place with an up-and-coming grand prix horse when you can take an “easier week” and win a CSI3*.

That’s what happened Sunday for FEI world No. 8 Kent Farrington, when he finished 1-2 in the $145,100 Grand Prix of Michigan CSI3* at the Great Lakes Equestrian Festival with his new young talent Toulayna and his seasoned veteran Creedance.

Farrington jumped clear over Mauricio Garcia’s first-round track with both mounts, and he knew each one could be highly competitive, but they were up against a dozen other contenders in a crowded 14-horse jump-off. Farrington took different approaches with each of the two, and in the end, it was his ability to execute a time-saving inside turn aboard Toulayna—a move few others tried and none did so well—that lifted her to the win. The pair stopped the jump-off clocks at 39.48 seconds, roughly one-tenth of a second faster than Creedance at 39.60. Cathy Driscoll took a close third aboard Arome with a time of 39.82.

Kent Farrington and Toulayna topped the $145,100 Grand Prix of Michigan CSI3* on July 16 in Williamsburg, Mich. Andrew Ryback Photography Photo

“I had two horses on opposite sides of the spectrum,” Farrington said of his two mounts in Sunday’s class. “It’s good training for [Toulayna] in a three-star class. Creedance is 16 years old, and I went at the end and thought I’d be a little easier on him and he could cruise. He’s so fast across the ground I knew he’d still get a top finish, and we ended up one-two. The plan worked well today.”

Farrington has been producing Toulayna, a 9-year-old Zangersheide mare (Toulon—Vuelta, Parco) owned by Kent Farrington LLC and Rabbit Root Stables LLC, for roughly two years. 

“She’s really stepped up this year and has already won some grand prix [classes] and jumped some five-star classes,” he said. “This was an easier week for her compared to what we’ve been doing and I thought she really shined.” 

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The mare is among a group of horses Farrington is taking a thoughtful approach to bringing up the levels. 

“That’s what I try to do in building a team of horses. We call them ‘high-potential young horses’ and we take our time bringing them up,” he said. “I got [Toulayna] as a 7-year-old, and at the beginning of her 8-year-old year I hardly showed at all. I think we went six months of no showing and then progressed her at the pace I thought she was ready. Now she’s really stepping into gear, and I’ve been moving her up and down depending on where we are in the season.”

Farrington has been taking victories in Traverse City for several years, winning the American Gold Cup the very first year it was held at the Flintfields Horse Park in Williamsburg, Michigan.

“It’s a great place to spend some time, especially with young horses,” he said. “The weather is good, the footing is really good, they have a mix of course builders here and a mix of level of competition. It is great for my young and up and coming horses to be able to move up and down. That’s my plan for the next few weeks.”

Watch their winning jump-off round, courtesy of Traverse City Horse Shows:

See complete class results here.

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