A full-house of enthusiastic visitors witnessed the USA’s Kent Farrington claim the biggest spoils of the week in the Grand Prix for the Kingdom of Bahrain Trophy.
Despite a valiant challenge by Britain’s John Whitaker (Argento), who thrilled the home crowd, the American visitor took the win with the super speedy Creedance.
After an exciting first round, 14 riders came through with faultless score cards to the jump-off. Canada’s Tiffany Foster, riding Brit Ben Maher’s former London Olympic gold medal winning ride Tripple X III, was second to go and held the lead for almost half the second phase with her clean performance. She was toppled from pole position when Kent smashed her target by three seconds, causing those watching to whoop in delight at the display of calculated horsemanship.
John then tried to steal the win for the home crowd, but finished one second adrift despite a strong start out on the shortened course.
“Up to the planks [halfway around the track] I knew I was quicker,” said John, who praised Royal Windsor Horse Show’s move to four-star jumping. “Then he spooked at something. I don’t know what it was, so I ended up doing two or three strides more than Kent.”
The final double clear of the class came from Italy’s Piergiorgio Bucci (Casallo Z), but a steadier round than the two prior faultless performers meant third place and handed victory to Kent.
“Creedance is a naturally fast horse and was flying out there, but I held my breath a bit when John went,” said Kent. “I grew up watching him and he is still just as good now as he was then.
“I’ve taken two big wins this week so I think I should get out of town quick!”Kent Farrington receives the King’s Cup from HMQ and the King of Bahrain. Photo courtesy of Royal Windsor Horse Show.
France’s Adeline Hecart prevented a home win too, this time for Robert Smith (Cimano E) in the Palm Accumulator. The 20-year-old pinched back 0.01sec from the Brit’s long-time target to steal her second Royal Windsor win in two years with Questions D’Orval.
“There weren’t really many places to make up extra time, so I think there was a bit of luck involved,” said Adeline, who won last year’s winning round competition with the 12-year-old mare.
A huge fan of the show, Adeline is delighted to be here during this special year.
“It is my favourite show in the world,” she said. “Last year, the atmosphere was amazing and the people who come here are so knowledgeable and appreciative of horses. But this year you can really feel that there is something more and sense how much people love The Queen and want to celebrate her birthday.”
Adeline Hecart riding Question D’Orval. Photo courtesy of Royal Windsor Horse Show.
View full class results here.