Kent Farrington and dutch gelding Creedance mastered a tough Uliano Vezzani track with speed and accuracy for the win and the lion’s share of the €270,000 (~$286,500) in the Saturday’s LGCT Miami Beach Speed Class and Global Champions League Final.
Galloping in sixth in the order, Lauren Hough (USA) and Oh La La held the lead for forty rounds with a clean round in 66.57. Fresh off a speedy jump-off win in Mexico City, Martin Fuchs (NED) and his champion stallion Chaplin sped into the lead by .03, fault-free in a time of 66.54s. But third to last to go, American Kent Farrington and the speedster Creedance amazed the crowds with a clear and quick ride in 64.65.
A packed house surrounded the LGCT Miami arena, set literally feet away from the waves of the Atlantic Ocean, as the world’s top horses and riders attempted the 16 obstacle course. Only a handful of the fifty-eight starters were able to answer all the questions asked without fault, third-place Hough, as well as fellow American Jack ‘Hardin’ Towell, Harrie Smolders (NED), Jerome Guery (BEL), Alberto Zorzi (ITA), Maikel van der Vleuten (NED), second-place Fuchs and winner Farrington.
Clear over the course but a touch too slow, Abdel Said (EGY) picked up a single time fault and Eric Lamaze (CAN) claimed the fastest four-fault score to round out the top ten in today’s speed class.
Olympians, World Cup Final Champions and the like had their share of challenges as rails fell and refusals occurred on course. Fence 13, the Golden Horseshoes thought to bring luck, was the only pole rolled by many riders, often referred to as the ‘unlucky’ last jump. Tight turns, tall verticals and wide oxers came up quickly in the compact arena causing several to withdraw such as top-ten ranked riders Daniel Deusser and Steve Guerdat.