US showjumper Kent Farrington, currently ranked number two in the world, talks exclusively to Horse & Hound this week about life on the circuit, sport psychology — and his love of speed. The 36-year-old Olympic team silver medallist and Pan American gold medallist is one of the fastest riders on the international circuit and has won several of the world’s major grands prix. You can read the full interview in this week’s bumper showjumping special issue (out Thursday, 30 March), but as a taster, here are six things you may not know about the 36-year-old Olympic silver medallist…

1. He originally wanted to be a jockey. “Then I got hooked on showjumping,” says Kent.

2. He is currently taking helicopter flying lessons. He also loves his motorcycle. “I like speed in everything. I like to go fast on a skateboard, on a snowboard, on a motorcycle,” he says — and let’s not forget in a jump-off, too…

3. At one time he studied Mandarin but is also fluent in Spanish.

4. His mother traded in three used computers to buy his first horse.

5. Despite the offer of college scholarships, he decided to skip higher education in favour of working with horses after graduating from Latin School of Chicago, home schooling himself during his last semester so he could spend more time riding.

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6. He’s dating Canadian Olympian Tiffany Foster.

Don’t miss this week’s showjumping special issue of Horse & Hound (out Thursday, 30 March) featuring Scott Brash’s brilliant mare Ursula XII, a guide to jumping on foreign tours, some brilliant training tips from some of the country’s leading riders — plus a trip down memory lane and into the H&H archives starring a youthful John Whitaker, William Funnell and many others…