U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington and Kaprice had the speed to win the $37,000 Equinimity WEF Challenge Cup Round 2 CSI2* on Thursday, January 16, during the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL.
The 22-horse jump-off was a who’s who of top sport from a competitive starting field of 103 horses. Farrington utilized Kaprice’s foot speed to stop Oscar Soberon’s (MEX) short track clock at 37.44 seconds over fellow U.S. rider Abigail McArdle riding Victorio 5, who collected a time of 38.36 seconds for owner Victorio Equine Group LLC.
“For this level of competition I’m producing younger horses, so for me it was more about what the horse is ready to do than how fast the class is going,” said Farrington of what shaped his plan for Thursday’s jump-off. “Kaprice is naturally very quick, and she grows in her confidence off riding with a bit of speed because she is extremely careful. It’s an incredible horse and it’s all about keeping her confidence high.”
Farrington got the ride on Kaprice, a 10-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Echo van’t Spieveld x Carthago) and the end of its six-year-old year but took his time producing the mount. “I spent a lot of time not showing. She had a lot of blood and energy, so I spent almost a year playing with her on the flat and jumping really small fences to get her more manageable,” he said. “In the last year, she is coming into her own.”
Farrington’s plan is to compete Kaprice, which he owns together with Haity McNerney, in the $73,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI2* on Saturday evening in the mare’s second appearance under the lights.
“My plan is to grow her this season,” continued Farrington. “With things like Tokyo coming up it’s great that we have WEF and this new ground to jump on. I’m confident here to show all my horses and it’s a great place to produce horses.”
Under 25 rider Taylor St. Jacques (USA) held the lead for several trips, but settled for third riding her own Upsilon de la Liniere, in a time of 38.62 seconds, while Brazil’s Rodrigo Pessoa took fourth in 38.82 seconds aboard Venice Beach for owner Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC. Capping the top five, Lacey Gilberston (USA), stopped the clock and 39.01 seconds riding Baloppi for owner Seabrook LLC.