July 16, 2014–What a spectacular round: Kent Farrington won the Turkish Airlines-Prize of Europe. The 33-year-old literally flew to victory with his 12-year-old KWPN gelding Voyeur – very much in keeping with the new Top Level Sponsor. The scoreboard showed the unbelievable time of 47.82 seconds as the US-American crossed the finish line of the 410-metre long jump-off course with its eight obstacles. 17 horses and riders reached the jump-off after riding clear in the first round. The representative of the “Stars and Stripes” outstripped his fellow competitors. Because, even the Portuguese rider Luciana Diniz, who came second, took 3.24 seconds longer than Farrington to complete the course . With his victory in the main jumping competition of the first day of the show, which was also a qualifier for the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday, Farrington took over from the British team Olympic gold medallist Benjamin “Ben” Maher, who won the Prize of Europe last year with his mare Cella. This year the 31-year-old only managed to rank 34th after knocking a pole in the first round.
Things went more smoothly for Diniz, who jumped clear in the first round with Lady Lindenhof in the fastest time, but ultimately she wasn’t able to match the fantastic performance of Farrington – who rode after her in the jump-off on the Holy Grass in Aachen. Third place went to the Irish rider, Shane Breen, who had previously been in the lead with the Westphalian-bred horse Confident Of Victory – the same was true for Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, who was the Best German rider in the competition finishing fourth with the nine-year-old Fibonacci, followed by Frank Schuttert and Christian Ahlmann.
“My horse is quite naturally very fast and I have a lot of trust in him, so I just let him run,” was how Farrington commentated his ride. The American has succeeded in winning three international jumping competitions within just three weeks. He now plans to ride his gelding in the Rolex Grand Prix on Sunday too. “I hope that I qualify,” commented the ambitious rider, who is also on the US longlist as a potential participant for the World Equestrian Games in Normandy.