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Kent Farrington and Creedance triumph in the Trophée de Genève

Thursday, 12 December 2019
CHI Geneva 2019

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Kent Farrington with Creedance. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping



They like it in Palexpo: Kent Farrington (USA) and his incredible little chestnut gelding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) won Thursday night’s CSI5* 1.55m Trophée de Genève, a qualifier for Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix. 

“Creedance is really a spectacular horse, you know he has actually won this class before,” smiled Farrington after his victory – referring to the pair’s win back in 2016. “He is so fast and so careful, which is a big advantage inside for me. We’re off to a good start here in Geneva!” concluded the happy winner after day one at the world’s most prestigious indoor event. 

Thirteen horse-and-rider combinations made it to the jump-off in this 1.55m class. As expected, it was a tough first round that waited for the 48 pairs that had lined up – consisting of thirteen fences including a triple combination and a double. With the time allowed also playing its part tonight, three riders were kept out of the jump-off after recording a single penalty. 

After setting the first clear in round one, USA’s 23-year-old talent Spencer Smith on Theodore Manciais (Kashmir van Schuttershof x Power Light) had to see a rail fall in the jump-off when going in as pathfinder. That was also the case for Sameh El Dahan (EGY) on his CN International Grand Prix-winner Suma’s Zorro (Douglas x Horos XX). 

However, 20-year-old Michael Pender (IRL) impressed everyone when not only delivering the first clear round of the jump-off – but also at a speed that left most speechless. Attacking all the way, and going flat out from the penultimate combination to the last upright – Pender and the tall grey HHS Burnchurch (Heritage Fortunus x Cavalier Royale) stopped the clock at 34.16 seconds. It looked very hard to beat. 

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Runner-up Michael Pender with HHS Burnchurch. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.

The world’s elite all tried, but they could not get to Pender. Jerome Guery (BEL) and Quel Homme de Hus (Quidam de Revel x Candillo) slotted into a temporary second with their time of 35.64, while Oliver Philippaerts (BEL) and Daniel Bluman (ISR) had one rail down each. Harrie Smolders (NED) and Une de l´Othain (Conterno Grande x Cento) came close when crossing the finish line only 0.35 seconds behind the leading time, pushing in between Pender and Guery. Daniel Deusser (GER) and Jasmine vd Biscchop (Larino x Chin Chin) also gave it a good shot, going in behind Smolders with their time of 34.88 seconds. Julien Epailard (FRA) and Virtuose Champeix (Rubins Des Bruyeres x Avec Espoir) illustrated that the leading time could be bettered when shaving off a breathtaking 1.5 seconds, but on the expense of the last upright down. Christian Ahlmann (GER) was next in the ring, and with the powerhouse Dominator 2000 Z (Diamant de Semilly x Cassini I) he pushed into third – 0.66 behind Pender who now only had three riders left to threaten his lead.

With Kent Farrington coming from behind, no one is safe however and tonight the American 38-year-old showed exactly why. Looking dangerously to-the-point already in round one, Farrington once again demonstrated that he is one of the fastest riders in the world. Going all in from start to finish, and with Creedance answering all the questions asked, Farrington shaved off an incredible 1.28 seconds on Pender’s time – taking over the lead. And when world no. one and home hero Steve Guerdat (SUI) had and early rail down with Venard du Cerisy (Open Up Semilly x Djalisco du Guet) and Kevin Staut (FRA) on Viking d´la Rousserie (Quaprice Bois Margot x Apache d´Adriers) went for a medium-quick clear, Farrington could yet again celebrate a victory with Creedance in Geneva – the ultimate start ahead of Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix. 

Earlier in the day, the 1.45m Prix des Vins de Genève went to Nicolas Deseuzes (FRA) on Ulloa du Trefle (Sheraton x Double Espoir). With a time of 55.87 seconds, the French rider left Marlon Modolo Zanotelli (BRA) and Icarus (Douglas x Sioux de Baugy) behind him – with only 0.09 seconds separating the two riders. Laura Kraut (USA) and Deauville S (Diamant de Semilly x Lux Z) finished third after stopping the clock at 56.54 seconds.

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