They were just in a class of their own in Aachen today, Kent Farrington and Voyeur (Tolano Van´t Riethof x Goodwill). The American couple rode a jump-off that blew the socks off their competitors – outclassing runner-up Luciana Diniz with a round that was an incredible 3.24 seconds faster in Wednesday's biggest class, the Turkish Airlines – Preis von Europa. "Voyeur is naturally fast, so I just let him go in his own speed," Kent said following his win. "He is a special horse, and I have a lot of trust in him – and now he is also getting more experienced at this level."
The 1.55 class – that also counts as a qualifier for Saturday's big class and Sunday's Rolex Grand Prix – was as expected; huge and with some very difficult lines. The most apparent difficulty was the turn to the huge open water placed as the fifth fence followed by five strides to a big oxer. Quite a few had bad jumps at the water, and landed more or less in the middle – while others almost made it to the other side but still left it wet. The vertical-vertical combination towards the end also demanded a fresh and careful horse, and the plank as the penultimate challenge caught out many.
Nevertheless, 17 of the 54 riders went clear over the thirteen fence track to return for the jump-off. And it was an incredible fast one. The Netherland's Frank Schuttert went in as number four to be the first one going really fast on the eccentric Winchester HS (Numero Uno x Nimmerdor) stopping the clock on 51.35.
The shortened track naturally opened for a lot of galloping – as this is something the huge grass ring in Aachen always demands. After two fences the vertical-vertical combination followed, before the following stretches with three fences allowed to gallop on – before it was time to turn back to an oxer that was followed by a long line to a vertical. In the race to the last, quite a few had to see it fall – the upright demanded a very careful horse when coming to it in a high speed. Lauren Hough, Katrin Eckermann, Pieter Devos and Daniel Deusser were among its victims.
Frank Schuttert's lead did not last for long, next to go was Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum who with Fibonacci 17 (For Feeling x Corland) continues to impress. The grey gelding jumped incredible – and cheered and whistled on by the fantastic home crowd Meredith urged the nine year old gelding forward coming flying into the penultimate oxer – but leaving all intact and slotting in to leading position 0.02 seconds faster than Schuttert. Three riders later Shane Breen took over the lead on Confident Of Victory (Cornet Obolensky x Damokles), who despite a hairy moment in the combination – that looked like it would cost them valuable time – managed to cut the time down to 51.11. The tiny, but superfast Lady Lindenhof (Grand Chef Bleus Sf x Type D´elle) was even quicker though and Luciana Diniz put no brakes on as she raced around the track which was almost the size of her horse to take over the lead by 0.05 seconds.
The win was to be American though, as Kent Farrington two riders later showed his competitors the back shoes belonging to his wonderful ride Voyeur – it was an outstanding performance and something that should be seemingly impossible to deliver. Needless to say, none of the remaining competitors could catch Kent who left Luciana behind him in second, Shane in third, Meredith in fourth and Frank in fifth – and with this the American Aachen-debutant continued his winning streak. Kent also won the Pan American Cup presented by Rolex at Spruce Meadows last week. And there might be more wins coming up; "My plan – if I qualify – is to ride Voyeur in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday," Kent said on the plan for the coming week.
This photo has been added to your cart !Your shopping cart »