Seven years ago, Kent Farrington and the then 9-year-old KWPN gelding, Creedance, topped an impressive field in the 2016 ‘Big Ben’ Challenge at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto.
For a horse that was already starting to demonstrate promise—and his trademark speed—in the big classes, it was a harbinger of even more impressive things to come.
“There were some really nice horses jumping here tonight,” said Farrington after his Big Ben win. “More than anything, more than winning, I’m thrilled with the progress of the horse. I feel like he’s on track to become a very good grand prix horse.”
Turns out, Farrington was right.
Fast forward to 2023, and the kind of perfect bookend that can only be found in horse sport: Farrington and Creedence won the CSI4* 1.45m Strength & Speed Challenge on November 8 at the Royal, followed by the CSI4* 1.50m Canadian Open International Speed Challenge on November 10.
On Saturday, in the press conference for the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Toronto, the American Olympian announced he has decided to end the gelding’s brilliant career on a high note, at one of the places where it truly began.
“I spoke with the McNerney family that has Creedence with me,” said Farrington. “He [was jumping five-stars] and winning at [the five-star level] when he was nine years old. He’ll be turning 17. I want to finish with him on top.
“He came here to [the Royal]. He won both classes that he entered in great form. And, you know, he’s jumped a lot of rounds with big heart, and he doesn’t jump from power. And so, I don’t want to really drop him down and jump smaller fences. I’d rather finish with him winning at a high level and let him retire.”
Produced by the American rider over eight seasons from the 1.30/1.35m level up to the top sport, Farrington and Creedance quickly earned a reputation for their consistency and being the pair that no rider wants to follow in the jump-off. It was a partnership that resulted in CSI5* wins around the globe‚ from Toronto, Wellington, Miami Beach, and Spruce Meadows, to Windsor, Saint Tropez, Geneva, and Rome—just to name a few.
Through the trajectory of their career, the pair pocketed more than €1.7 million in prize money, and climbed 52 podiums—nearly 70% as winners, according to Jumpr App. In Farrington’s estimation, the nimble gelding was virtually made for the job.
“He has all of the attributes we are looking for in a modern show jumper,” the 2023 Pan American Games Individual silver medalist said of Creedance last week at the Royal. “He’s very quick, he has cat-like agility, and he is super careful.”
And now, with a well-earned retirement at a sound 16 years of age, Creedance has more than put a point on his legacy. According to Jumper App, the gelding departs the sport with an impressive 54% clear-round average across all heights and eight podium finishes in 2023, alone—on par with his best competition seasons to date, despite being jumped more conservatively due to his age.
For Farrington, though, that stats are just proof of what he’s known all along: “He’s been a winner his whole career.”
Happy retirement, Creedance!