Credit : Sportfot
Sunday 22 October - 14h23 | Yeelen Ravier, at the Tryon International Equestrian Center
The $380,000 CSI 5* Grand Prix of Tryon kicked off at 7 p.m. local time Saturday evening at this magnificent riding complex in North Carolina, slated to host the next World Equestrian Games in September, 2018. After a strong first round and three-pair jump-off, it was World No.1 Kent Farrington and his trusty Gazelle who pulled off the victory, pocketing $125,400 in prize money. Eugenio Garza and Richie Moloney rounded out the podium.
What a Grand Prix, and what an atmosphere! As the elite competition was kicking off, spectators had packed the alleys winding through this sublime equestrian complex in Tryon (Mill Spring), near the border with South Carolina. Parents, children, families — all were there to watch the marquee (and free) class of this 5* weekend. And despite the CSI 5* competition taking place at the same time in Helsinki this weekend, an impressive field of horse-and-rider combinations was on hand in the USA.Nevertheless, favourites and less-experienced alike ran into difficulties Saturday on the subtly challenging course by designer Olaf Petersen. The biggest disappointment was certainly, and unfortunately, reserved for Beezie Madden. The queen of Show Jumping, welcomed as a star by the public at the site (including the VIPs looking on), retired after several faults from the get-go with her future lead horse Coach.Also withdrawing from a disappointing ride was Nicola Philippaerts, who had been hoping to defend his title in the class (won last year) with H&M Harley vd Bisschop. Brianne Goutal also threw in the towel after some insurmountable faults with her partner Nice de Prissey, visibly not on his best form. For her part, Eve Jobs, daughter of Apple visionary Steve Jobs, suffered a fall, fortunately not serious, from the excellent Venue D'Fées des Hazalles after a refusal at a vertical. Spectators thus had to wait a while to applaud the first clear round — by Italy’s Eugenio Graza with Bariano. Theirs is a great story too, because it was with the 16-year-old gelding that Graza started his career in Children. Unfortunately for Quentin Judge and the elegant HH Conrad, former ride of Grégory Wathelet, four penalty points were their undoing in North Carolina. Also bringing down rails in the Grand Prix were Reed Kessler and Tradition de la Roque, as well as Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z, two of that country's Team competition champions at this year’s European Championships in Gothenburg. Others, such as Venezuela’s Emanuel Andrade and Ricoré Courcelle had even more disappointing results on the course. And in the end, only Kent Farrington with Gazelle (not surprisingly), Richie Moloney and Eugenio Garza progressed into the jump-off round. Article continues below.
The first of the three finalists to go in the tie-breaking round was Eugenio Garza and Bariano. And the combination had a superb clear round, crossing the finish line in 35.918 seconds. It was a result that would normally put pressure on rivals, but not Kent Farrington! The World No.1, cheered on by an enthusiastic home crowd, let his powerful mare carry him through sharp turns to a blazing fast time of 34.676 s. Last to go, Richie Moloney tried to better that with Carrabis Z, very fast on the ground but perhaps covering less terrain in the strides. The Irish rider and his mount finished in 35.637 s, with the last oxen down. So in the end Kent Farrington lived up to his No.1 billing in Tryon this weekend, picking up yet more points for the world rankings, in which all indications are that he will conserve his top spot…. Full results
Friday 20 October - 09h41
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