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Kent Farrington delights the home crowds as he wins the U.S. Open Grand Prix, presented by Rolex at the Central Park Horse Show

Saturday, 23 September 2017
CSI3* Rolex Central Park Horse Show 2017

Photo (c) Revolution Sports + Entertainment. Kent Farrington and Creedance won the U.S. Open Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Photos (c) Revolution Sports + Entertainment.

America came out on top at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show with the top three riders in the U.S. Open Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, from the home nation. Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington riding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) took the top podium spot, Hardin Towell riding Lucifer V (Lord Pezi x Grandeur) was second and Kristen Vanderveen riding Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili (Berlin x Darco) was third. 

As the sun set on a typically warm September day in New York, the cities skyscrapers illuminated the night sky and the stage was set for the highlight of the four-day show, the U.S. Open Grand Prix, presented by Rolex. Capacity crowds filled the arena eager to watch the action unfold under the bright lights of Manhattan. 

27 horse and rider combinations were entered to take on the 15 jumping efforts (12 obstacles), set by world famous course designer Guilherme Jorge and contend for the title. Amongst those vying for the title prize was current world number one and Rolex Testimonee Kent Farrington riding his 10-year-old gelding Creedance. Earlier in the day Farrington announced he would donate all of his acquired prize money to charity, benefitting the victims of the recent natural disaster, Hurricane Irma. 

The first round jumped fairly and welcomed nine clears, all progressing through to the second and final stage of the Grand Prix competition, the jump off. Included within these nine riders was Farrington and four other fellow Americans, much to the enjoyment of the patriotic crowd. 

The course was altered and a revised layout of eight obstacles was set for these world class pairings. The crowd waited on the edge of their seats as the first rider made their way across Central Park to enter the Wollman Rink. 

The course proved too challenging for the first two competitors. However three clear rounds followed, the quickest time posted by Kristen Vanderveen in 37.70. The crowd hushed for the world number one jumping every fence with him, as he sped through the course to post the quickest time of the day, narrowly beating Vanderveen with a time of 37.46. Shane Sweetnam from Ireland remained the only rider able to push Farrington out of the lead, but dropped a pole in his efforts to do so, giving the U.S. Open Grand Prix, presented by Rolex win to Farrington.

Speaking after the class Farrington said: “This is a very special venue, very impressive for the horses. Warming up in the back of the park and walking across in the dark, some of them are a bit star struck so luckily we have a very good course designer. He built a fair course for us and I’m very happy to get out with a win.”

When asked about his decision to donate to the hurricane relief effort, Farrington remarked: “I am a resident of Florida, my mum lives there and had to relocate to New York to stay with my sister after the hurricane. We were lucky that the hurricane relocated to the other side of Florida but some others weren’t so lucky. I feel very fortunate to be travelling the world and competing for prize money. This event is all about showcasing our sport and I thought it was a great opportunity to do something for people that could use it.”

Mark Bellissimo, CEO of International Equestrian Group, “I want to thank everyone who put all of this together, especially Rolex. They have been a tremendous supporter of the sport and of this event. For them to have the confidence in us as an organisation, we appreciate the contributions from them to make this happen.”

Source: Press release and pictures © Revolution Sport + Entertainment

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