Kent Farrington riding Dublin in Lausanne 2017Credit : Scoopdyga
Monday 08 January - 15h47 | Ian Clayton
He took the top spot from fellow American McLain Ward last May, held off a late-charging Harrie Smolders and crossed into 2018 astride the global rankings. And with the winningest horse of 2017 and the inaugural Longines Best Jumping Rider Award all but guaranteed, Chicago’s Kent Farrington is heading into the new year on a wave of momentum.
Credit : FEI
The World No.1 finished the year with 3313 points, ahead of the Netherlands’ Smolders, who climbed three places to number two on the planet, pushing down Ward to third. All three riders had stellar years in different ways in their sport, with Farrington capping 2017 with major victories — including in the Rolex Grand Prix — at the Geneva International Horse Show with Gazelle. In fact, it was Gazelle who finished 2017 as the top earner in Show Jumping, with €1,026,435 or roughly US $1.23 million in prize money. According to Hippomundo, Gazelle — who also won in classes like the World Cup qualifier in Toronto in November and a Grand Prix in Tryon, North Carolina in October — had a winning percentage of 20% and a placing percentage of 55,0%. After his win last month in the Grand Prix in Geneva, Farrington posted on Facebook: “Perfect finish to a great year. Thank you to all of my owners, my team, my family and friends that have all made this possible for me.” Watch his winning ride in Geneva below. And indeed, that perfect end to the year got even more perfect as the latest world rankings in the sport were published, with Farrington maintaining the pole position. While there has not yet been an official announcement, then, and the prize ceremony to take place at this spring's Longines FEI World Cup Final in 2018 in Paris, Farrington will receive the inaugural Longines FEI World’s Best Jumping Rider award, given to the “leading rider in the Longines Rankings at the end of the year.”Elsewhere in the Top Ten, the big names moved around with a couple notable jumps: Smolders from 5 to 2, Ward from 2 to 3, France’s Kevin Staut from 3 to 4, Sweden’s Peder Fredricson 4 to 5, Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca 7 to 6, the Netherlands’ Maikel Van Der Vleuten 6 to 7, Sweden’s Henrik Von Eckermann 13 to 8, Canada’s Eric Lamaze holding steady at 9 and Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat slipping from 8 to 10. Video below (Kent Farrington).
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