“I ride some very fast horses and Austria is one of the fastest, so if you’re going to go with her in the jump-off, she really only has one speed,” said Kent Farrington of the 13-year-old Holsteiner mare.
That quicked footed pace was on full display in Friday’s $37,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 3 at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, FL.
Of the 84 combinations to contest the Peter Grant (CAN) and Joey Rycroft (CAN) designed course, 15 posted clear first rounds. With nine electing to return for the eight-obstacle jump off, Farrington and Austria 2 led off, setting the time to beat at a scorching 38.29 seconds that couldn’t be caught.
“Those smaller horses, they gain confidence from working out of speed, especially when the jumps get bigger and wide,” he said.
“They have to be comfortable jumping off a big gallop so it’s a good way to start her. There are tough competitors here as always and it’s never easy to win, so I’m happy to get the win today.”
Fellow Olympic medalist Laura Kraut (USA) and her veteran partner Confu, a 14-year-old Holsteiner, were the closest to catching the speedy pair and still finished a second and a half off the mark in 39.79 seconds. World Equestrian Games team gold medalist Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) and Bennys Legacy took third with a clear in 41.04 seconds.