By Penny Richardson
For the second successive year, the Royal Windsor grand prix went Stateside with Kent Farrington. The world number one produced an incredible round in the 12-horse jump-off on the 11-year-old Sherkan D’Amaury, a horse who has been with him for a year, but was jumping in his first five-star grand prix after surviving serious colic surgery.
This show offered the highest prize-money total of any held in Britain to date and the world’s best flocked to The Queen’s private garden. Chief course-designer Bob Ellis provided the perfect track and all the riders rose to the occasion.
The first double clear came from Guy Williams, whose round on Rouge De Revel would have been good enough to win most classes. But this certainly wasn’t an ordinary class.
Four horses later, Jessica Springsteen, one of four American riders through, sneaked ahead of her lovely grey Cynar VA, but she then had to watch in amazement. The winning round came next.
Kent Farrington never took a pull and his son of the great stallion Kannan cut more than 3sec from the time. Kent then had a nervous wait.
Canadian star Eric Lamaze was way quicker on Fine Lady 5 at the expense of the penultimate oxer, then Scott Brash delighted the packed stands with a wonderfully smooth round to move into second place on Ursula XII.
There was one more strong challenge to come. Italy’s Lorenzo de Luca has been in tremendous form lately and he showed why with a brilliant round on Halifax Van Het Kluisebos that wasn’t enough to dislodge Kent’s hold on the €75,000 first prize, but did push Scott into third place.
Carl Hester dominates the Royal Windsor arena, piloting…
Kent was full of praise for the first five-star version of Royal Windsor.
“I know I’ve just won, but before that this was one of my favourite shows. And Bob Ellis is a course-designing superstar,” he said.
Read the full report from Royal Windsor in next week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 18 May