Friday’s Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.60m competition was a thrilling event that captured the level of high performance competition the ‘Masters’ Tournament represents. Out of just a handful in the jump off round, of 37 starters, Kent Farrington(USA) piloted Gazelle to another Spruce Meadows victory. Once again, a famed entry of equestrian greats entered the ring with the hope to earn a qualifying position in the coveted CP ‘International’ Grand Prix. Though currently ranked number one in the world, Farrington had yet to qualify for Sunday’s prestigious event.
He commented, “It was nice to get the qualification out of the way to now focus on the next one – I’ll enjoy this victory tonight but It will be back to work tomorrow.” Early to go in the second round and establishing a quick time to beat, was fellow American Lillie Keenan. Farrington continued, “Lillie really went for it, she has a long strided horse and on the roll back to the third fence I think she went wider than planned. My strategy was to go a little bit slower to number two and turn back very short – I think that’s where I made up the time.”
Twenty-two year old Lillie Keenan(USA) aboard the talented 11-year-old gelding Super Sox made her mark in the International Ring with an early clear round in the challenging 1.60m test. Keenan showed her skill after posting a lightning fast pace to set the tone for an exciting 5 horse jump off.
Finishing in third place was Switzerland’s Puis Schwizer aboard the 11 year old gelding Leonard De La Ferme CH. His solid double clear round was 2.44 seconds behind the untouchable Farrington, yet also sealed his qualification for Sunday’s Grand Prix.