An ambush predator captures prey by stealth. Waiting patiently for an opportunity, they will bide their time before launching a sudden overwhelming attack that quickly incapacitates their target.
Kent Farrington (USA) and Toulayna are one such a combination.
Acquired from Belgium’s Philippaerts brothers as a 7-year-old, the American Olympian, and known threat in a jump-off, has been biding his time with the hot blooded mare.
“I took a lot of time in the beginning. I think I didn’t show for six months, just training her at home, getting her flat work a little bit better,” he shared.
“She’s always been a great jumper, but I needed to really get her more rideable.”
They continued to hone the mare’s speed and strike skills over her 8-year-old year. Farrington showed Toulayna in just 16 international classes in 2022, primarily at the 1.45m level, where they averaged just .80 faults (Jumpr App).
“I’ve slowly built her up as an eight year old, didn’t do very much and then kicked it off really at the beginning of the 9-year-old year in Florida. And she’s just going uphill from there.”
Going for the kill might be more accurate. In 2023, the pair are proving deadly in a jump off. They’ve earned six international podium finishes so far this season, five of them victories, and boast a 75% clear round average at the 1.55m height, according to Jumpr App.
Which is to say that Farrington’s patience has paid off. Literally.
Toulyana has already earned €193,954 in prize money in 2023 and that was before heading into this week’s CSI5* MLSJ Toronto.
On Friday, they added to the prize pot when they topped the 5* BLF 1.50m Qualifier, besting proven speedsters Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Donatello 141 by nearly two seconds (32.97 to 34.79). On Saturday, they took the Kubota 1.55m Grand Prix too—again by an untouchable margin. Farrington and Toulayna were the only pair in the 10 horse jump off to come in under the 38 second mark, stopping the clock at 37.26. Their closest runner up: Santiago Lambre (BRA) and Chacco Blue II in a time of 39.10.
“She’s a fast beast,” said Farrington after Saturday’s Grand Prix win.
“She’s a small horse, but has quite a big stride for her size. She has a very aggressive style that suits me. She’s razor sharp, careful, and has a big heart. So I think that’s the modern show jumper today. And she’s showing it. I’m excited for what she can grow to do in the future.
“And she’s only a nine year old.”