Kent Farrington's Luck Continues with Grand Prix Win at Pennsylvania National Horse Show
RELEASE: October 23, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Heidi Hill
History repeated itself as Kent Farrington and Upchiqui won the $75,000 Budweiser Prix de Penn National for the second time on closing night of the 2008 Pennsylvania National Horse Show.
Suspense is the essence of competition. Farrington faced 28 very tough competitors to repeat this win. The seventh of 10 clean trips in the first round, Farrington knew speed would be a prime factor in the jump-off. “Upchiqui is an exceptionally fast horse,” said Farrington, 20. “ He’s a great horse. He covers the ground faster than most horses and is quick over the fences.”
The 11-year-old Belgium Warmblood needed to be quick. He was chasing a time of 39.99 seconds, set by Todd Minikus and Pavarotti; and, would be followed by McLain Ward and Phillipa, who had beaten him as well as Jill Henselwood on Black Ice, another speed queen.
Upchiqui, jumping according to plan and form, galloped on towards the last fence—the highest jump at 5’1” on the courses. He stopped the clock at 37.94 seconds, chopping almost two seconds from Pavarotti’s round. Neither Ward nor Henselwood could catch them.
The top three were Upchiqui, Pavarotti and Phillipa. Leading Open Jumper Rider honors went to McLain Ward. This was his third time to win that title. He won it in 2001 and 2003. Laura Chapot won this year’s Leading Lady Jumper Rider title.
The courses, designed by Michel Vaillancourt, proved excellent at sorting the good riders from the great ones throughout the show. He was pleased with the number of clear first rounds as jump-offs are great for spectators.
“There were a couple of lucky rubs,” he said. “Fences that should or would have come down in other rounds, didn’t. But it’s good to get a break once in awhile. These are world-class horses and riders. They got better as the week went on.”