|WELLINGTON, (USEF) - The United States wrapped-up an impressive week at the 2013 CSIO Wellington, that included FEI Nations Cup victories for the Senior and Young Rider Teams, with the top two spots in the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty. Kent Farrington and Blue Angel just edged ahead of his teammate from the winning U.S. Team in Friday’s $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm, Beezie Madden who rode Cortes ‘C’ in a valiant second-place effort.
Of the 53 starters from the first round, Anthony D’Ambrosio’s scopey track whittled the field to 11, six of which were representing the United States, for the jump-off. With the top six placing of the finale Grand Prix of CSIO Wellington being separated by a mere half-second. Entering as the ninth combination, Madden (Cazenovia, NY) and Abigail Wexner’s large strided gelding grabbed a lead that looked to be unassailable as the two-team Olympic Gold medalist set an immediate fast pace, finishing a clear round in 38.25 seconds. Farrington (Wellington, FL) followed his teammate into the ring and used the quick foot speed of Robin Parsky’s agile mare to ride tight, efficient lines. The pair crossed the finish line in 38.24 seconds to win by the slimmest of margins.
Farrington has been riding the experienced mare for a little more than six weeks, but the pair has quickly hit their stride, as Blue Angel is a similar type of horse to those that launched the Pan American Team Gold medalist’s career.
“It’s a special horse; it’s the type of horse I grew-up riding. I’m used to riding hot, small horses, that’s right up my alley.”
Sunday afternoon’s win and fast jump-off time proved to be vindication for Farrington and Blue Angel who claimed second place in Thursday’s speed class; the $43,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round 8.
“It’s naturally a fast horse and today was our day,” said Farrington. “We got a little redemption for Thursday.”
Madden was also very pleased by the effort put in by Cortes ‘C”, the winner of the $125,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier Grand Prix presented by Spy Coast Farm two weeks ago. The U.S. team veteran set the tone early in the round and planned to use her horse’s massive step to save seconds over the jump-off course.
“I knew it was very fast and I was trying to use my horse’s big stride and I set off fast through the timers. I eased up maybe a little to the fifth,” said Madden. “But it’s hard to say where you lost 1/100th of a second.”
Placing third in the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty was Ireland’s Conor Swail and Landsowne.
Rounding out the U.S. contingent in the jump-off were McLain Ward and Antares F (fourth), Charlie Jayne and Chill RZ (sixth), Margie Engle and Royce (10th) and Laura Kraut with Cedric (11th).
For Video-on-Demand, news and photos from the $150,000 CSIO 4* Grand Prix presented by Wellington Equestrian Realty visit; http://www.usefnetwork.com/featured/FTIWEF2013/
For more information about CSIO Wellington visit; http://www.equestriansport.com/
Follow the 2013 U.S. Jumping Team here.