“I have a great team coming up,” said U.S. Olympic medalist Kent Farrington.
To some, that might sound like a simple, positive sentiment. To show jumpers, however, it’s a veiled warning that they’re about to forfeit more wins to the rider who has already accumulated almost 10 million Euro in prize money since 2015 (Jumpr App).
The latest: Sunday’s CSI3* Grand Prix at Wellington International in Florida, where 10-year-old stallion Landon took his inaugural Grand Prix win with Farrington in the irons. Landon is one of several up and coming mounts in his string and, according to Farrington, demonstrates all the sustaining qualities for top sport.
“He’s a very careful and competitive horse. So it was an exciting day for the horse and our team,” said the world no. 18.
Competitive enough to beat Daniel Coyle (IRL), who has been on a hot streak. Coyle jumped-off with 12-year-old stallion Gisborne VDL, leaving strides out to clock in at 40.05 seconds. Farrington and Landon kicked it into high gear, getting across the grass in 39.09 seconds.
“Landon is a big-strided horse, but Daniel [Coyle]’s horse is also a big-strided horse, and I thought he had an incredible round,” said Farrington.
“I probably have a little quicker foot speed than him, but it took a lot to beat that round today because he was dropping strides everywhere on a huge gallop the whole way around.”
Tanimara Maria Macari Carrillo (MEX) earned third with 10-year-old mare IB Chica, logging a time of 44.49 seconds.
While Farrington has been picking up 5* wins all across North America on the Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) tour with familiar mounts like Orafina and Austria 2, his program is anything but a one-horse-fits all system. For Landon, the challenge has been learning to channel his talents and use his body correctly over fences.
“My program is sort of very specific for each horse. [Landon] has a very big stride so we work a lot on him learning to control his power through little control exercises with poles and, actually, very simple things,” Farrington explained.
“He has to learn how to contain his power and we’re starting to see that now in his rounds, they’re getting much smoother and his jump-off today I thought was great. It validates our work and what we’ve been hoping is that we have a good team of horses coming up and the results are starting to show.”
Landon is still gaining experience, so the results data is limited yet already impressive. Of eight rounds at 1.60m, he has a 100% top ten finish rate (Jumpr App).
Denise Moriarty, Farrington’s groom, was awarded the $500 Grooms Award by Double H Farm.
As Farrington said, top honors is, more importantly, the representative of a healthy training system. Though the whole team can come to a simple consensus: “It’s always great to have a win.”