Far­ring­ton wins af­ter storm de­lays jump-off at ATB Fi­nan­cial Cup

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - KRIS­TEN ODLAND kod­[email protected]­media.com Twit­ter: @Kris­ten_Od­land

A storm de­layed the fi­nal jumpoff for Thurs­day’s ATB Fi­nan­cial Cup at Spruce Mead­ows’ Na­tional Tour­na­ment.

Just be­fore 8 p.m., se­vere winds knocked over jumps as dark clouds en­cir­cled the South Cal­gary fa­cil­ity.

Kent Far­ring­ton, the No. 1 FEI-ranked rider, even­tu­ally was dubbed the win­ner with his 38.40-sec­ond trip around the jump-off course with his horse Gazelle.

The el­e­ments, of course, can throw a wrench in a show jumper’s com­pe­ti­tion, but Far­ring­ton was able to bat­tle through.

“These are sen­si­tive an­i­mals, and that’s part of what makes them so great at their job. They’re very alert and that’s what makes them care­ful,” Far­ring­ton said. “When you add wind and things mov­ing that don’t nor­mally move, it’s very dif­fer­ent for the horse, and that can be very up­set­ting or dis­tract­ing to the horse. It makes it more dif­fi­cult, for sure.”

Three rid­ers of a seven-rider jump-off were able to com­plete their round suc­cess­fully be­fore the storm wors­ened and the winds picked up.

Eric La­maze, the third rider to at­tempt the course, bat­tled gale­force winds to record a slow time of 46.15-sec­onds aboard Chacco Kid.

Ash­lee Bond had be­gun her round, but Spruce Mead­ows sus­pended the com­pe­ti­tion in the mid­dle of her ride. She was given an­other chance af­ter the brief de­lay and wound up fin­ish­ing sec­ond aboard Chela LS with a time just be­hind Far­ring­ton’s.

Fol­low­ing a brief de­lay and re­build­ing of the jump-off course, the re­main­ing rid­ers com­pleted the jump-off be­fore the light­ning and rain be­gan.

“I kind of just tried to do what I felt was best for my horse,” Bond said. “With the weather, she’s sen­si­tive, but luck­ily, she’d very brave and it didn’t throw her too much.”

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