Week 2 of the Winter Equestrian Festival (Florida) finished with an exciting jump-off on the grass derby field Sunday, Jan 22. U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and Landon, one of his new generation of international jumpers, stormed to a win in the CHF140,000 Florida Coast Equipment CIS3* Grand Prix over runner-up Daniel Coyle of Ireland.
A sweeping course designed by Oscar Soberon (USA) welcomed an all-out foot race in the jump-off. The five pairs who advanced were led off by Coyle and Ariel Grange’s Gisborne VDL, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. They set the pace at 40.05 seconds.
Next in the ring, Farrington and Landon, a 10-year-old Zangersheide gelding (Comilfo Plus Z— Indigo Van De Meulenberg, Quadrillo) owned by Haity McNerney, took over the lead by just fractions of a second, stopping the timer at 39.30. They proved unbeatable.
“Landon is a big-strided horse, but Daniel’s horse is also a big-strided horse, and I thought he had an incredible round,” Farrington said after the class. “I probably have a little quicker foot speed than him, but it took a lot to beat that round today because he was dropping strides everywhere on a huge gallop the whole way around.
“He’s very careful and a competitive horse,” Farrington added. “I have a great team coming up, and he’s one of that group, so it was an exciting day for the horse and our team.”
The win was the second of the weekend for Farrington with his new up-and-comers. On Saturday night, he topped the $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix aboard Greya, a 9-year-old Oldenburg (Colestus—Contessa) owned by Kent Farrington LLC, in the mare’s first time jumping under the lights.
Farrington praised the derby field at Equestrian Village in Wellington as a venue that can prepare horses for some of the biggest turf rings they’ll see elsewhere.
“I think it’s some of the best footing you can find in the world, which is a great set up for places like Spruce Meadows [Canada] and Aachen [Germany],” he said. “We love to jump here as often as we can.”
The victory marked Landon’s first grand prix win, but Farrington expects more to come as the 10-year-old develops.
“He has so much power and such a big stride; he has to learn to contain his power, and we are starting to see that now,” he said. “His rounds are getting much smoother, and the jump off today I thought was great.”
Coyle settled for second, and Mexico’s Tanimara Macari took third riding IB Chica for owner Eickendorf Horses and IB Berger GmbH with a time of 44.49 seconds.
Watch Farrington and Landon’s winning jump-off round, courtesy of Wellington International:
See full results here.