Red-hot Kent Farrington made it two in a row at the 2014 National Horse Show on Thursday, racing Waomi to her second win in as many days. The speedy pair outgunned a field of 34 to win the $45,000 Staysail Farm International Open Speed in a blazing time of 54.55 seconds, one of only two riders to break the 55 second barrier in today's faults converted formatted class. Ireland's Shane Sweetnam finished a close second with Cyklon 1083, ripping across the finish line in 54.99 seconds, while Lexington's Reed Kessler finished third aboard Ligist in 55.06 seconds.
The creatively designed Guilherme Jorge speed track allowed for a good number of fault-free performances and saw the top eight placings all finish within two seconds of Farrington's winning time. Farrington talked about today's speed course. "Yeah, I think yesterday was a little bigger of a course. I think it was built typical of a fast faults-converted class, with the inside options and things like that where you could really make up time. But, with these riders that you have here and the speed that they get on this indoor footing, the classes always turn out to be very, very competitive," he said.
Farrington did not get a chance to watch Sweetnam's earlier leading round. "When it's so very close like that, I think it's really hard to say where the difference is. The rounds were probably almost neck and neck all the way around. They're both fast horses. I probably just got a little lucky today," he smiled.
While the top 20 or so were very competitive, a number of riders were just warming up for Saturday night's main event, the $250,000 CP National Horse Show Grand Prix. Farrington had the advantage of having a speed specialist in the barn, in addition to Willow, who he will be riding on Saturday. "Yeah, that's fun!" he said. "I like horses that win. I always try to pick horses that win at whatever level they're going to do. I like horses that have a great heart and just want to win classes, and I think she's a real winner. She was a good horse when Megan (Nusz) had her, and she's a good horse now," he said, and added, "And I think she's going to continue winning."
Finishing fourth this afternoon was Colombia's Daniel Bluman who was first to go with Believe and came home with the speedy time of 55.29 seconds. Following up on a second place finish yesterday, Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts finished fifth with J'Espere Dream in 55.630 seconds. Sixth place went to Roberto Teran, also from Colombia, tripping the timers in 56.070 on Farina. Rounding out the top eight were Lillie Keenan and Francois Mathy. Keenan piloted Balance to a final time of 56.760 seconds while Mathy, a third place finisher yesterday, broke the beams in 56.82 seconds on Ornellaia.
$45,000 OPEN JPR FLTS CONV 1.45 Presented by STAYSAIL FARM LLC
1 378 WAOMI AMALAYA INVESTMENTS KENT FARRINGTON 11250.00
2 368 CYKLON 1083 SPY COAST FARM, LLC SHANE SWEETNAM 9000.00
3 263 LIGIST KESSLER SHOW STABLES, LLC REED KESSLER 6750.00
4 257 BELIEVE DANIEL BLUMAN LLC DANIEL BLUMAN 4500.00
5 302 J'ESPERE DREAM LUDO PHILIPPAERTS NICOLA PHILIPPAERTS 3150.00
6 312 FARINA ARK PARTNERS LLC ROBERTO TERAN 2475.00
7 716 BALANCE CHANSONETTE FARM LLC LILLIE KEENAN 1800.00
8 306 ORNELLAIA FRANCOIS MATHY FRANCOIS MATHY 1350.00
9 379 WHAT EVER KAREN POLLE KAREN POLLE 1350.00
10 338 ZERNIKE REMARKABLE FARMS LP BRIANNE GOUTAL 1125.00
11 341 PROF DE LA ROQUE POSTAGE STAMP FARM, LLC DARRAGH KENNY 1125.00
12 303 CARLITO C FRANS LENS OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS 1125.00
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc. International by Kenneth Kraus and Kendall Bierer
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