American Kent Farrington won the 2019 Rolex Grand Prix at CHIO Aachen, Germany, riding Gazelle, ahead of Germany’s Daniel Deusser riding Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z and Britain’s Ben Maher with Explosion W in third.
Over 40,000 spectators attended the second Major of 2019 in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping at Aachen, a show inaugurated in 1898 and steeped in equestrian history.
The opening round of the competition delivered only seven clears, which included Kent Farrington, Kevin Staut from France and Swiss rider Martin Fuchs. Fellow Swiss rider Steve Guerdat completed with an unlucky four faults but progressed through to round two with his super-fast time.
A revised and equally imposing course welcomed the 18 successful pairings to round two. Despite a precise clear from Guerdat, his earlier four faults ruled him out of the jump-off. Farrington and six others produced faultless rounds that took them to the final stage of one of show jumping’s most prestigious Majors.
Despite valiant efforts from the first four combinations, the arena was treated to its first triple clear by Farrington in a time of 43.98 seconds. With only two riders to go, Germans Daniel Deusser and Simone Blum, the home fans were hoping for a home victory. Farrington proved unbeatable, however, as Blum had one pole down and Deusser stopped the clock 0.37 seconds slower than the American’s time.
Farrington said of the win:
“This is the best win. You have the best riders on the best horses and this is one of the most prestigious events we have in our sport. The history of winners here is filled with the best riders in the world and I’m very proud to join them.”
Ireland’s Darragh Kenny, who has been in excellent form on the Global Champions Tour in recent weeks, finished in fifth place with Babalou 41.
The CSIO Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ in Canada in September is the next Major in the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping.
The 2019 Rolex Grand Prix Result
1. Kent Farrington (USA) riding Gazelle.
2. Daniel Deusser (GER) riding Scuderia 1918 Tobago Z.
3. Ben Maher (GBR) riding Explosion W.
4. Simone Blum (GER) riding DSP Alice.
5. Darragh Kenny (IRL) riding Babalou 41.