LEXINGTON, Ky.--Beezie Madden on Jiva rode an incredible round to beat what appeared to be an unbeatable round by McLain Ward to win the opening jumper class, the Welcome Stake for the Cavcote Challenge Trophy, at the National Horse Show in Lexington on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
The following evening, Kent Farrington on Creedance won the $135,000 International Jumper Classic, the feature event, while Molly Ashe Cawley on Picobello Choppin PC won the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed class.
The Classic was the qualifier for Saturday’s $250,000 Jumping World Cup with only the top 40 going forward.
THIRTEEN made the jump-off, while four, including amazingly Ward and Laura Kraut, had a time fault.
Farrington finished in 37.49 seconds to win over Peter Lutz on Robin De Ponthual, clean in 39.34 seconds, and Conor Swail on GK Coco Chane, third in 39.65 seconds.
“You’re never really sure when you have a big group of competitive riders, so it never feels fast enough," said Farrigton of his jump-off round. "You just have to hope for the best, and today we were lucky enough to get out of there with the win. I have a very fast horse and that makes a big difference. You can make a plan for him that you stick with, and it doesn’t really matter if there’s going to be five or 25, you can have confidence to stick to his round and it’s normally going to be pretty close.”
“He’s special," said Farrington of Creedance. "Special everything, and he jumps special too, and that goes with the territory so I like him that way. In the warm-up, it’s almost easier if he is in a small space because there’s nowhere for him to go. He’s waiting for me to tell him what to do. That makes him very good inside because he’s naturally so fast. For me, he’s a modern show jumper. He’s fast and careful, and he can jump big. That’s everything I look for in a horse today.”
Farrington suffered a badly broken leg last winter.
“I train pretty hard when I’m not on the horse," said Farrington. "If I overdo it at the gym it will nag me a little bit the next day when I’m riding. I was really determined to come back in a hurry. I think it was 12 weeks from when I broke it to when I jumped the five star. For me it felt long, but they told me that’s pretty fast for that kind of injury. It was onto the next — got a little vacation and kept it moving. It’s part of the game. You do this or downhill skiing or anything else and you’re going to take some tumbles. If you ask any of these guys they can tell you a story where they’ve had a wreck here or there. You pick yourself back up and you keep going.”
SCOTT STEWART of River’s Edge Farm in Flemington, N.J., took the Leading Hunter Rider Award and the Leading Hunter Rider Challenge Trophy for the 12th time in his career.
In addition, his mount Lucador, owned by Dr. Betsee Parker, earned his fourth career and second consecutive Grand Champion Professional Hunter title after retiring the “Isgilde” Challenge Trophy in 2017.
Stewart’s other top mount Private Life, also owned by Dr. Parker, was the High Performance Conformation Hunter champion.
Stewart wrapped up the professional hunter championships with Catch Me, owned by Gochman Sport Horse LLC, claiming the High Performance Hunter championship.
Catch Me kept winning for owner Becky Gochman, earning thechampionship in the Amateur-Owner Over 35 Hunter division with Katie Robinson on Rocklyn the reserve champion.
Clementina Brown of Kennett Square, Pa., finished just out of the championship, but her thrid place finish qualified her for the Hunter Classic Friday evening.
"I'm thrilled," said Brown. "It's such an honor to make it into the Classic."