The 2014 FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (FTI WEF) hosted a full schedule of international show jumping at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) on Friday with several feature competitions during the day and night. The morning kicked off with the remaining jump-off competitors from Thursday's $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 and a victory for Kent Farrington (USA) and Voyeur.
FTI WEF hosted the start of its $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 on Thursday with 89 entries and 23 jumping clear to advance to the jump-off over the Alan Wade (IRL) designed course. Unfortunately, only ten of the jump-off entries were able to complete their rounds before a severe storm blew through the show grounds. The remaining 13 entries showed on Friday morning with Kent Farrington (USA) and Amalaya Investments' Voyeur jumping to victory. The pair cleared the course in the fastest time of 42.86 seconds.
Lauren Hough (USA) and Ohlala were the leaders coming into Friday morning after completing their jump-off round on Thursday in 45.21 seconds. Hough then beat her own time in 44.91 seconds aboard Karina Rotenburg's Böckmanns Lazio on Friday. Hough finished third and fourth with her two mounts when Farrington and Voyeur blazed the fastest pace, followed by the second fastest round of Daniel Deusser (GER) and Stephex Stables' Cornet d'Amour in 44.55 seconds.
Farrington explained that Voyeur, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Tolano van't Riethof x Goodwill, has had some time off since an injury last summer and is just coming back. "This is his first bigger class back," the rider noted. "I have been bringing him back real slow and jumping just smaller classes here. He is naturally very fast and he is a spectacular horse, so hopefully he stays healthy. He's an unbelievable horse."
"He is on the attack right from the get go," Farrington said of his impressive jump-off round. "He has a massive, massive stride and he is very fast on his feet at the same time, so he has sort of the best of both. He has the foot speed of a small horse and the stride length of a big horse."
"Over the time bringing him back, I have really worked on his control," Farrington added. "He has always been a great jumper and obviously his gallop has always been like that, but my control wasn't very good before. He was running off with me a lot of times in the jump-offs, so rollbacks or a very short line at the end was a real challenge with him."
It was a little bit of a different situation for the riders that had to compete in the jump-off on Friday as their first round of the day, but that did not affect Farrington or Voyeur's performance. "It was a little strange," he admitted. "It is kind of like a speed class with only eight jumps, but it is very good money for this class and for me it is more about getting this horse back and going well. I wanted Voyeur to be able to do this jump-off more for my practice and his experience."
"I think you have to make the best of the situation," he said of the decision to postpone the remainder of the jump-off. "Had there been a way to see the weather coming, obviously it would have been better if everybody in the jump-off went together, but that wasn't possible. I don't think they had any other choice."
Farrington plans to show Voyeur again on Saturday and will plan the horse's schedule from there. "I haven't planned too far ahead," he explained. "I am just excited that he is back in the sport and that he feels good and that he is going as well as he is. I will go step by step and see where it takes us."
In addition to the prize money for the class, Farrington earned a special $3,000 bonus as part of the SSG 'Go Clean for the Green' promotion for wearing his SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves. Each week of the Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Series, a $3,000 bonus will be awarded to the winning rider if they are wearing SSG 'Digital' Riding Gloves in all rounds of competition with the SSG logo clearly visible.
Final Results: $125,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 9
1. VOYEUR: 2002 KWPN gelding by Tolano van't Riethof x Goodwill
KENT FARRINGTON (USA), Amalaya Investments: 0/0/42.86
2. CORNET D'AMOUR: 2003 Westphalian gelding by Cornet Obolensky x Damiani
DANIEL DEUSSER (GER), Stephex Stables: 0/0/44.55
3. BÖCKMANNS LAZIO: 2000 Westphalian stallion by Lancer II x Cor de la Bryere
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), Karina Rotenberg: 0/0/44.91
4. OHLALA: 2003 Swedish Warmblood mare by Orlando x Cardento
LAUREN HOUGH (USA), The Ohlala Group: 0/0/45.21
5. SLIEVEANORRA: 2002 Irish Sport Horse gelding by Voltaire x Flagmount Diamond
RICHIE MOLONEY (IRL), Equinimity LLC: 0/0/47.00
6. ZARA LEANDRA: 2004 KWPN mare by Metropole x Ahorn
PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), ZL Group, Inc: 0/0/47.64
7. CYLANA: 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare by Skippy II x Darco
REED KESSLER (USA), Kessler Show Stables: 0/0/47.96
8. VERDI III: 2002 KWPN gelding by Hors La Loi II x Cantus
TIFFANY FOSTER (CAN), Artisan Farms LLC: 0/0/52.35
9. CORTES 'C': 2002 BWP gelding by Randel Z x Darco
BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Abigail Wexner: 0/4/45.16
10. PUMPED UP KICKS: 2003 Brandenburg gelding by Levisto x San Juan
LILLIE KEENAN (USA), Chansonette Farm LLC: 0/4/47.33
11. CITIZENGUARD CADJANINE Z: 2002 Zangersheide mare by Canabis Z x Feinschnitt I Z
RODRIGO PESSOA (BRA), Alain Van Campenhoudt: 0/4/47.66
12. NOUGAT DU VALLET: 2001 Selle Francais gelding by Scherif d'Elle
KATHERINE DINAN (USA), Grant Road Partners: 0/4/48.80
Source: Press release from Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
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