Fifth Win in Nine days: Kent Farrington and Voyeur Win Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Hamburg, presented by H&M
It’s impossible not to smile in the midst of a friendly champagne fight. That was when Kent Farrington allowed himself the biggest grin of the day and a moment to celebrate in Hamburg, Germany. Standing there at the top of the podium at the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg, he’d earned a smile and then some.
Aboard his veteran mount Voyeur, Farrington had just won the Longines Global Champions Tour of Hamburg CSI5*, presented by H&M. In this, the heart of an area that is rich in show jumping breeding and sporthorse tradition, the 34-year-old American rider from Chicago, Illinois had his work cut out for him against 46 riders representing 21 countries. Held on the sprawling Derby Park Grand Prix field that is studded with solid obstacles, the two round LGCT Hamburg Grand Prix necessitated a jump-off after six riders managed double clears.
Two full 1.60m rounds plus a jump-off meant that successful navigation of 34 obstacles, with 39 jumping efforts, was required to finish well. In addition to that, you had to be fast as well.
What would be a tall order for most riders was right up Farrington’s ally. Amalaya Investments’ Voyeur, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding by Tolano van’T Riethof, was made for this kind of jumping. In the three years that Farrington has had the bay gelding in his stable, the two have formed a strong, effective partnership.
“He is hot-blooded, high strung, and naturally very fast,” Farrington said of his horse. “These big fields really suit him – he has a lot of speed and a big gallop.”
Farrington made his first appearance at LGCT Hamburg one to remember. He’s been on a hot streak as of late, and after three wins just one week ago aboard a separate string of horses at the Longines Global Champions Tour Shanghai, China, Farrington has made a significant leap up the 2015 LGCT series standings, from 13th to 4th.
“Number four certainly sounds better than number 13!” Farrington joked. “Hopefully I have some more luck at other Global shows [this season]. These shows always have the best riders using top horses, and it’s always a difficult competition whenever you go to a GCT event.”
Despite a bone-chilling, grey day that threatened rain all afternoon, many thousands of show jumping fans packed into the Derby Park stadium to watch the Grand Prix and cheer on their favorite German riders. Germany’s Philipp Weishaupt was just a fraction off Farrington’s jump-off time to finish in second place aboard Madeline Winter-Schulze’s Chico, a 10-year-old Hannoverian gelding by Cordalme.
“To be beaten by Kent Farrington is not a total shame,” Weishaupt commented. “Sometimes you have a second where you think you could have done something better here or there, but today I’m happy. I can’t ask more of my horse.”
For Farrington, who’s far from home in Germany but makes it a point each season to travel to Europe in order to compete against the best in the world, the 2015 Global Champions Tour is just heating up. Eleven more stops on the tour are coming up in a variety of locations; in fact, if there’s anything that makes the LGCT stand out, it’s just how different each show of the series is.
Farrington ended the day with a sense of gratitude, not just for winning, but also for being able to live out his dream every day. “I think all of us [riders], really have a fantastic life, doing what we love, working with horses,” he said. “We’re really lucky to be doing something we enjoy every single day. And winning is always great!”