Wellington, Florida, USA – January 28, 2023 – Kent Farrington (USA) registered another podium finish in the CHF$216,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI 4* in front of a packed Wellington International during “Saturday Night Lights” on January 28. The Wellington Equestrian Festival (WEF) welcomed forty-five international combinations to vie for top honors during the NetJets-sponsored WEF 3.
Course designer Peter Grant (CAN) built a testing track that started with a bang as five early clears promised a thrilling second round. Eventually, the code was cracked on his course with fourteen advancing to a tie-breaking jump-off. Talent from Brazil, Belgium, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland and the United States made up the list of riders with their eye on the prize over the short course.
Appearing halfway through the original order, Ben Maher (GBR) clocked his clear round aboard Dallas Vegas Batilly, a 2013 Selle Français mare (Cap Kennedy x L’arc Triomphe *bois Margo) owned by Charlotte Rossetter and Pamela Wright. He returned in the jump-off to chase down current leader and Irish Olympian Shane Sweetnam (IRL) aboard Namaste van het Eyckeveld, owned by Voquest LLC. By one tenth of a second, Maher unseated Sweetnam from the top of the leaderboard and posted an eventual winning time of 38.35 seconds.
Sweetnam settled for second while Kent Farrington (USA) took third for the home nation riding Toulayna for owner Rabbit Root Stables LLC. F
Fourth went to Germany’s Richard Vogel (GER) on United Touch S, and Lacey Gilbertson (USA) capped the top five riding Karlin van’t Vennehof.
All three podium finishers were seated on new mounts, including third-place Farrington aboard Toulayna, a 2014 Zangersheide mare.
“I’m thrilled with the horse,” said Farrington. “She’s only nine years old and this was her second night class ever. She’s only done a handful of classes bigger than 1.45m, so she’s made incredible progress and to even be close to the win tonight is a sign of what a great horse she is going to be in the future.”
Maher was presented as winner by Laura Southard, Melissa Dombro and Aley Russell with NetJets. To close the night, winning groom and Dallas Vegas Batilly’s caretaker Derren Lake was honored with the $500 Grooms Award, presented by Double H Farm, by Quentin Judge, Cayce Harrison and Harrison Rhodes Judge.
Final Results – CHF $216,000 NetJets Grand Prix CSI 4*
1) Ben Maher (GBR) & Dallas Vegas Batilly – 0 / 0 – 38.35
2) Shane Sweetnam (IRL) & Namaste van het Eyckeveld – 0 / 0 – 38.46
3) Kent Farrington (USA) & Toulayna – 0 / 0 – 38.77
Source: Press Release (edited) from Equestrian Sports Productions
Photo: © Wellington International / Hannah Stephens & Ashley Neuhof
Categories: CSI 4*, Winter Equestrian Festival