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Kent Farrington (USA) and Creedance entered the Castle Arena at Royal Windsor as the leadoff pair in the jump-off of the CSI5* Kingdom of Bahrain Stakes for the King’s Cup—and before they were even over the first fence, you couldn’t help but wonder: Could anyone outpace this pair?

The answer, emphatically, was no.

Farrington’s longtime partner, Creedance—a 14-year-old chestnut gelding by Lord Z—recorded his 29th international victory in sensational style Saturday evening before a jubilant crowd at Windsor Castle. Not only did the pair top a star-studded field that included the likes of Laura Kraut and Confu, Robert Whitaker and Catwalk IV, and the red-hot Holly Smith and Denver, but they did so with visible ease, recording a winning margin of nearly three seconds.

“He’s incredible, and I love this horse,” Farrington said.

Farrington’s superior management of Creedance cannot be overstated. The quick-footed chestnut has won three CSI5* Grand Prix events, but in the last couple years, Farrington has kept him at the 1.50m-1.55m level, and Creedance has thrived. The gelding has won four CSI5* ranking classes this year alone. That includes two victories at CSIO5* Rome Piazza di Siena at the end of May.

“He’s 14 years old, and we try to manage him well,” Farrington said. “He’s naturally fast, and to do classes at speed is easy. It’s his natural pace.”

That pace would serve them well numerous times throughout the evening. First in the original order of go, the pair made easy work of Bernardo Costa Cabral’s 1.55m track and shed nearly five seconds off of the original 77-second time allowed. After a few rounds, the ground jury elected to shorten that time allowed to 74 seconds, and that tightening up undoubtedly caused a few extra rails to fall during the class.

Just six combinations advanced to the short course, and while Farrington had no other competitors to watch before him, he simply stuck to his plan, and that would have the rest of the jump-off cast chasing him—futilely. He established his pace by lining up two eight-strided sweeping turns up the first three fences, and while some riders were able to do as little as six strides between the first two fences, none could then get the correct line out to the third fence and were forced to add.

A brilliant execution of two rollback turns to a careful vertical and a square oxer, respectively, before an all-out gallop to the last, put Farrington securely on top, and his winning time was 34.72 seconds. Daniel Coyle (IRL)and new mount Oak Grove’s Carlyle came closest, taking runner up honors on 37.26 seconds. Laura Kraut and her beloved mount Confu finished third on 37.83 seconds.

While limited in size due to restrictive measures due to the ongoing global pandemic, the crowd made their appreciation known.

“This is one of my favorite shows. You can’t ask for a better setting,” Farrington said. “It’s fun to have the crowd—it’s been a while since we had that.”

As Farrington and Creedance readied to enter the arena one last time for their winner’s presentation, the World No. 5 couldn’t help but notice the Shetland Pony Grand National races that were wrapping up behind him.

“The Shetland Pony races—that’s how I got started [in the sport],” Farrington said. “I’m still doing it now. I’m just on a bigger pony, with bigger jumps. And it’s still just as fun.”

Holly Smith riding Fruselli winners of the CSI5* Falcon Stakes during the Royal Windsor Horse Show, held in the grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor in Berkshire in the UK between 1st – 4th July 2021

Earlier on Saturday, Smith and Fruselli topped the CSI5* Falcon Stakes—less than 24 hours after winning Friday’s Pearl Stakes. Royal Windsor concludes Sunday, July 4 with the CSI5* Rolex Grand Prix, a class which Farrington has already won twice. Watch it—and the entire competition—exclusively on HN LIVE! in North America.