Kent Farrington (USA) and Robin Parsky's Blue Angel beat out Brianne Goutal (USA) and Remarkable Farms' Nice de Prissey in an exciting one-on-one jump-off for victory in Saturday night's $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix CSI 3*-W presented by Events DC at the 55th annual Washington International Horse Show (WIHS). The FEI World Cup qualifying grand prix was a highlight event of the week at WIHS, which concludes competition on Sunday with the Pony Hunters, WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, and WIHS Regional Finals.
Venezuela's Leopoldo Palacios set the course for this week's show jumping competition at Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C. Palacios set a challenging course for Saturday night's grand prix, which featured 25 international horses and riders. Just two entries were able to clear the first round course without fault to advance to the jump-off, and both cleared the short course in a race against the clock. Brianne Goutal and Nice de Prissey were first to jump off and stopped the timers in 32.23 seconds to finish second overall. Kent Farrington and Blue Angel followed and shaved off almost two seconds for the win in 30.81 seconds.
For their victory, Farrington and Blue Angel were presented with the President of the United States Perpetual Cup. As Leading Jumper Rider, an award sponsored by Robin Parsky, Farrington was also presented with the Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy and awarded a Rolex luxury timepiece from Tiny Jewel Box. Parsky then received a special award as the Leading Jumper Owner, sponsored by The Reid Family.
In the jump-off, Farrington and Blue Angel had the benefit of going second, and the 11-year-old Anglo European mare (Luidam x Ascendant) put in a great effort on course. "When you only have two horses going in the jump-off, going second is obviously a huge advantage, and what you want to do is just watch the first rider go and match their round or pick a spot where you can be a little bit quicker," Farrington noted. "I thought I was a little faster to the double and to the orange jump. I tried to play it safe coming home. I had a hard rub at the liverpool, but you need a little luck in these things."
"Blue Angel is going great right now, and I am very happy with the horse," Farrington acknowledged. "The horse is a winner. It is a winner all by itself. I don't think that is anything I am doing special. When you have nice horses to ride, it is more about managing the horses, choosing the right venues that are the best for them to succeed, and minimizing your mistakes."
Second place finisher Brianne Goutal explained her strategy over the short course with the 12-year-old Selle Francais stallion Nice de Prissey (Rosire x Amarpour). "It is hard going first in the jump-off," she stated. "My horse is fast, but not super fast. My goal was really to be clear, and fast enough. I was hoping Kent would make a mistake or get a little unlucky, but it was his day, not mine."
"He is a fantastic horse," Goutal described. "He is very careful, he has all the scope and tries very hard. There is not so much more that you can really ask from them. He has had a great last two years. It is about managing them, keeping them happy and making sure they are sound. It's about playing your cards well and benefiting from the good qualities your horse has."
Nice de Prissey also finished second in this class in 2011 and Goutal explained that he jumps well in the venue. "I am very surprised actually how well he jumps here," she said. "He really likes the nation's capital I guess."
Third place honors went to Beezie Madden (USA) and Coral Reef Via Volo for the fastest four-fault round in 62.39 seconds in round one. Lauren Tisbo (USA) and Tequestrian Farms' La Centa placed fourth with four faults in 62.50 seconds.
Course designer Leopoldo Palacios explained that he would have preferred to see at least four riders make it to the jump-off, but was okay with just the two. Farrington knew that the course would be difficult and it worked out well for his mare.
"I think we have all been doing these shows long enough, you sort of know what to expect," he stated. "If you have a horse that is better at adding strides, or is very rideable, that is a huge advantage. That is what I tried to do. Blue Angel is a very fast horse, (and) she is very good at adding strides. A venue like this really plays to her strengths."
Other awards were also presented following the grand prix. Ireland's Darragh Kenny was named the Leading International Rider for the week. Conor Swail (IRL) accepted a special award for his mount Ariana, owned by Susan Grange. She earned a $5,000 SHF Enterprises, Inc. Young Jumper Championship Incentive Bonus, which is awarded to WIHS rated jumper division champions who were also graduates of the Young Jumper Championship Series.
Final Results: $125,000 President's Cup Grand Prix, CSI 3*-W, presented by Events DC
1. BLUE ANGEL: 2002 AES mare by Luidam x Ascendant
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Robin Parsky: 0/0/30.81
2. NICE DE PRISSEY: 2001 Selle Francais stallion by Rosire x Amarpour
BRIANNE GOUTAL (USA), Remarkable Farms LP: 0/0/32.23
3. CORAL REEF VIA VOLO: 1998 BWP mare by Clinton x Heartbreaker
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Coral Reef Ranch: 4/62.39
4. LA CENTA: 2002 Oldenburg mare by Cento x Silvio I
LAUREN TISBO (USA), Tequestrian Farms, LLC: 4/62.50
5. CHILL R Z: 2003 Zangersheide stallion by Chellano Z x A Lucky One
CHARLIE JAYNE (USA), Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher: 4/63.33
6. PROF DE LA ROQUE: 2003 Selle Francais gelding by Kannan x Luna
DARRAGH KENNY (IRL), Postage Stamp Farm LLC: 5/64.16
7. SPECIAL LUX: 2004 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Lux Z x Coille Mor Hill
JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble and Windsor Show Stables: 5/65.36
8. BONANZA VAN PAEMEL: 2001 Belgian Warmblood gelding by Darco x Sheyenne de Baugy
CATHERINE PASMORE (USA), Pasmore Stables: 5/67.36
9. CYKLON 1083: 2001 Swedish Warmblood stallion by Cardento x Cortus
SHANE SWEETNAM (IRL), Spy Coast Farm: 8/61.59
10. KISMET 50: 2001 BWP mare by Kannan x Furioso II
CANDICE KING (USA), Bellissimo, LLC: 9/64.64
11. WOODSTOCK O: 2003 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi x Ferro
LAURA KRAUT (USA), Joan Kalman/Freedom Group: 9/65.12
12. ZANDER: 2004 KWPN gelding Cantos x Saygon
MCLAIN WARD (USA), McLain Ward: 9/65.56
Source: Press release from Jennifer Wood Media Inc.
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