The USA’s Kent Farrington produced a spectacular win with Creedance in the Landrover Speed competition on the opening day of CSIO Rome Piazza di Siena 2021 today.
The 40-year-old rider who helped his country to team silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games was chasing a target time set by 2000 Olympic gold medallist Jeroen Dubbeldam of the Netherlands and Forever SFN who broke the beam in 61.90. But, 26th to go of the 56 starters, the American rocketed into the lead when stopping the clock in 57.84 seconds and he simply couldn’t be caught.
Farrington has a special talent for jumping at speed while keeping his horses perfectly balanced. And he gave another of his master-classes today with the 14-year-old Creedance who breezed home effortlessly.
Together the pair have a tremendous record that goes all the way back to 2015, and the pure consistency of Creedance’s performances is something quite unique. In 2019 alone the horse produced six major wins including a double at the Global Champions Tour in New York, and last year he posted 4* wins in both Wellington and Lexington, USA. The American duo got 2021 off to a flying start with a 5* win in Wellington before travelling to Europe and claiming runner-up spot in the Audi Prize at ’s-Hertogenbosch CSI5* in The Netherlands in March.
Dubbeldam had to settle for fifth place in the final analysis when runner-up spot in the Landrover class went to the only other rider to break the 60-second barrier, Frenchman Kevin Staut who steered Visconti du Telman through the finish in 59.38 seconds. Third and fourth places went to two rising stars of the sport, 21-year-old Harry Charles from Great Britain riding Valkiry de Zance and 27-year-old Italian Filippo Bologni with Diplomat.
After his great start today, Farrington was asked what his hopes are for the remainder of the week, particularly in tomorrow’s Intesa Sanpaolo Nations Cup and Sunday’s Rolex Grand Prix. “We try to do well every day with all of the horses. We have a great team here from America, four strong riders for the Nations Cup (Farrington, McLain Ward, Laura Kraut and Jessica Springsteen). And of course the Grand Prix of Rome is one of the most historic classes in our sport, and this is one I want to win!”, he said.
Not for the first time, Bologni and his faithful 17-year-old chestnut stallion were in flying form when winning the first class of the show, the De Niro Boot Co Speed which took place at the Gallopatoio, the alternative arena located close to the entrance to Piazza di Siena.
And, later in the morning, Italians filled the top three places in the Selleria Equipe 1.50m Two Phase, the first competition to be staged this year in the world-famous Piazza di Siena oval where so much history has been made down the years. Roberto Turchetto claimed pole position with the Irish-bred My Cool Passion ahead of compatriots Francesco Turturiello in second with Quite Balou and Paolo Paini in third with Chaccolie.
The focus now moves to tomorrow’s Nations Cup in which 12 countries will battle it out for the one of the most prestigious titles in the sport of showjumping.
Full results HERE