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Kent Farrington and Uceko, owned by RCG Farm, thrilled the crowd with a lightning fast ride in the jump-off to win the $85,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix de Penn National at the 67th Annual Pennsylvania National Horse Show on Saturday evening.
It was the third win in the prestigious event for Farrington, but the Wellington, FL resident went early in the line-up and was not convinced that his clear round time of 37.95 seconds would stay on top of the leader board.
Grand Prix de Penn National Kent Farrington and Uceko. Photo ©Al Cook
"He's actually kind of a slow horse in the air, he jumps very high and a little bit in slow motion," said Farrington. "With this horse I never really know. I ride him as fast as I can go and even then sometimes it's still not enough to win."
Watch Farrington and Uceko's first round here:
Fortunately, it was enough, which was no surprise to Katie Dinan of Wellington, FL. The 19-year-old rider came close to overtaking the leaders, piloting Nougat du Vallet to a fault free round on the Alan Wade designed course in 39.48 seconds. Dinan thought the loss might have been due to a momentary lack of focus.
"When I heard that Kent had taken the lead, I knew that he would have been really fast," said Dinan. "I think that maybe I could have been a little bit faster to fence one. We both could have been a little bit more focused. He was looking a little bit in the stands, but after that I was really happy with the way he went."
The Harvard student still had a nice consolation prize to take back to school. Dinan earned enough points to be named the Leading Lady Open Jumper Rider, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover of Harrisburg.
Shane Sweetnam of Ireland settled for third place with his clear round time of 40.61 seconds, but due to his successes earlier in the week, he claimed the Leading Open Jumper Rider title, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover of Harrisburg.
A field of 31 riders from eight nations competed in the Grand Prix, and the list read like a who's who in the equestrian industry. Four out of the nine that made it to the jump-off were Olympians, but only Margie Engle managed a clear round in a time of 46.68 seconds for fifth place. Beezie Madden, who went first in the jump-off, had faults, along with McLain Ward and Reed Kessler. Belgium's Olivier Philippaerts also had faults, but Tim Gredley of Great Britain went clear, clocking in at 42.97 seconds to finish fourth.
The Pennsylvania National Horse Show is one of the largest indoor horse shows in the U.S., hosting horses and competitors from across the country with 20,000 spectators attending from the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 1,400 qualified horses competing for $420,000 in prize money, the show features Hunter and Jumper competition and is the site of the Pessoa/USEF National Hunter Seat Medal Finals, the Randolph College/USEF National Junior Jumper Championships and the $85,000 Grand Prix de Penn National.
Watch Farrington and Uceko's lightning fast jumpoff round:
Top Ten - $85,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Prix de Penn National Grand Prix
Rider | Horse | Round 1 Faults | Round 2 Faults | Round 2 Time
- Kent Farrington | Uceko | 0 | 0 | 37.95
- Katie Dinan | Nougat du Vallet | 0 | 0 | 39.48
- Shane Sweetnam | Amaretto D’Arco | 0 | 0 | 40.61
- Tim Gredley | Unex Omelli | 0 | 0 | 42.97
- Margie Engle | Indigo | 0 | 0 | 46.68
- Beeie Madden | Cortes ‘C’ | 0 | 4 | 39.75
- Reed Kessler | Cylana | 0 | 4 | 42.54
- McLain Ward | Antares F | 0 | 8 | 38.16
- Olivier Philippaerts | Vadetta VH Mettenhof | 0 | 8 | 42.34
- Kirsten Coe | Baronez | 1