FOR KENT FARRINGTON, September 22 was an extraordinary night. The famed American show jumper and Rolex Testimonee made an impressive leap to the top of the leaderboard in the $216,000 Grand Prix CSI 3* aboard Creedance, earing his first-ever win in the main event at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show. Hardin Towell and Lucifer V, winners of the previous evening’s $40,000 CSX FEI Speed Class, finished in second place with a jump-off time of 37.58 seconds, ahead of Kristen Vanderveen and Bull Run’s Faustino De Tili, who captured third in the speed class.
The group navigated a challenging track set by Guilherme Jorge, which saw nine entries move to the second and final phase of competition, while Farrington, the second-to-last rider in the jump-off, sealed the win with a masterful round aboard the 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Lord Z x Camantha) owned by Farrington and R.C.G. Farm.
“This is a very special venue,” Farrington expressed, “and it’s very impressive for the horses. Warming up in the back of the park and walking up here, some of them are a bit star-struck, so luckily we have a very good course designer who built a fair course for us. That’s why you saw a fair amount clear—and then it was a competition of speed. We had some competitive riders in there and I’m happy to get out of here with a win.”
Farrington also touted Towell as a tough competitor who is difficult to beat in pressure situations. Unable to watch Towell’s ride aboard Lucifer V, Farrington noted that in order to win the class, he knew he would have to make up time at the beginning of the course, pushing Creedance to a “paced start and a finessed finish.” It was a brilliant victory, even for the number-one ranked show jumper on the FEI World Ranking List.
But what makes the Rolex Central Park Horse Show truly special is the way it allows so many people—not just the professionals—to participate, offering equestrian competitions in many classes and styles, and even having a family day where children can ride ponies around the course. It’s clear that Rolex wants to share its love of the sport with all. And that’s what makes this event one of the best in its class.