No one could match Kent Farrington and Voyeur in tonight’s 15th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. The American jockey took all the risk in round two with the incredible son of Tolano van ‘t Riethof x Goodwill, and stopped the clock at 37.54 seconds. An unbeatable time, even for world number one Scott Brash.
Swiss course designer Gérard Lachat’s first round did not cause any problems for eight riders out of the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. Portugal’s Luciana Diniz was first to go and showed the difficulties of the course with her jumping machine Fit For Fun (For Pleasure x Fabriano), knocking fence 8 and 9a down. Christian Ahlmann showed off a clear round in 65.09 seconds with Codex One (Contendro I x Glückspilz), while his compatriot Ludger Beerbaum started his 12th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final with a rail down on the 16-year-old Chaman (Baloubet du Rouet x I Love You). The seven superstars to follow all cleared Gérard Lachat’s course.
France’s Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan (Hugo Gesmeray x Ryon d’Anzex) kept their shape from last week’s Grand Prix of Paris – where the pair finished second – and jumped an incredible clear in 63.49 seconds. The 20-year-old Irishman Bertram Allen made his debut in the prestigious Top 10 Final and attacked the course with the wonderful grey mare Molly Malone V (Kannan x Cavalier), stopping the clock at 61.19 seconds.
Daniel Deusser and First Class van Eeckelghem (Balou du Rouet x Feinschnitt I van de Richter) cleared the first round in 62.29, while Belgium’s Gregory Wathelet jumped without faults with Algorhythem (Tampa x Calvados) in 64.39. Pénélope Leprévost jumped a wonderful clear on the phenomenal mare Flora de Mariposa (For Pleasure x Power Light) in 63.07. United States’ Kent Farrington started off his second Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final with a relatively slow clear with Voyeur in 64.74. World number one Scott Brash did what was expected from him: the British top-rider jumped clear with Hello Sanctos and set the fastest time in 60.29, earning himself the last spot in the second round.
For both Luciana Diniz and Ludger Beerbaum their Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final became rather disappointing. Diniz took her revenge with Fit For Fun in the second round, finishing on a clear in 44.23, while Beerbaum got another fence down with the experienced Chaman, finishing on 4/44.80.
Germany’s Christian Ahlmann was the first clean jumper out of the first round to jump the second, but was a little bit unlucky in the rollback to the penultimate vertical. “A little too flat! I am really satisfied with my horse, but not with myself,” Ahlmann admitted after finishing on 4/39.34 with Codex One.
Then it was time for Kent Farrington to enter the arena. Being one of the fastest riders in the world, all eyes in the Palexpo were on the American rider and his top horse Voyeur. His round was simply amazing, leaving out strides in almost every line and going as fluent as could be. 0/37.54, a result that turned out unbeatable, but Farrington wasn’t so sure about that after his round. “Scott is fast, Bertram is fast. Well, they are all actually fast. I am really nervous right now, I hope they will go slow,” Farrington smiled afterwards.
No one of them went slow, but also no one could beat the time of Farrington. Gregory Wathelet had an unlucky jump-off with Algorhythem, finishing on 8/40.71, while France’s Simon Delestre and Hermes Ryan chased Farrington and Voyeur from start to finish. But, just where Farrington left out some strides, Delestre had to add some with the incredible Hermes Ryan: 0/38.97.
From then on the eyes were on Penelope Leprevost and Flora de Mariposa, who got an unfortunate mistake on 9a, trying to beat Farrington’s time. Germany’s Daniel Deusser gave everything with the large strides of First Class van Eeckelghem, but just had to be satisfied with the third spot in 39.36. “I thought I was faster, but I am really satisfied, since I haven’t got the fastest horse,” the German rider said afterwards.
When 20-year-old Bertram Allen entered the arena with his great mare Molly Malone V, the expression on the face of Kent Farrington got a little more nervous. This young Irishman was able to beat Kent and no one knew that better than Farrington himself. But while Allen tried to chase the time of Farrington he got a little mistake on fence 16, the fourth fence of the jump-off.
This fence turned out to be the savior of Kent Farrington, when also world number one and defending Rolex Top 10 Final-champion Scott Brash saw his victory fall apart here. Brash seemed to be on the right track with the already legendary Hello Sanctos, but the second pole on fence 16 made sure Kent Farrington and Voyeur became tonight’s champions in the 15th Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final.
Text © World of Showjumping by Peter van der Waaij // Picture © Dirk Caremans/www.hippofoto.be.
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