Kent Farrington and Orafina Are Two for Two with $25,000 Tryon Resort Sunday Classic Win

Kent Farrington and Orafina. Photo by Shannon Brinkman

By Sarah Madden for TIEC

Mill Spring, NC – June 6, 2021 – Kent Farrington (Wellington, FL) and Orafina dominated the $25,000 Tryon Resort Sunday Classic at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) to close out Tryon Spring 5 competition, stopping the jump-off timers in 34.862 for the win. In reserve, Aaron Vale (Williston, FL) and Major, the 2007 Danish Warmblood (Carmargue x Pinot) owned by Don Stewart, sped through the short course to claim second place after their 36.131-second jump-off performance. Conor Swail (Wellington, FL) and Koss Van Heiste earned third place after stopping the timers in 36.323 on behalf of Eadaoin Aine Ni Choileain PC with the 2010 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Breemeersen Adorado x Hadise Van Heiste).

The Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) track saw 27 entries take on the first round of competition, with nine pairs returning for the jump-off test. Kent Farrington and the 2012 Dutch Warmblood mare (For Fashion x Corofina) also topped the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* on Thursday, making them two-for-two on the week.

“The week went pretty well,” Farrington recapped after producing a comfortably fast round to take the win and shut out any subsequent challengers. “I brought a bunch of young horses here, and this is one that’s still developing, even though she’s won some international classes already.”

Aaron Vale and Major
©Shannon Brinkman

Farrington chose to travel from Europe to TIEC for one week of competition with his younger mounts, and will jet back to Europe and reunite with his top mounts next week. For horses like Oranfina, Farrington chose to compete at Tryon Spring 5 to continue her education at a lower level. “She’s only nine, and she wasn’t saddle broken until she was six. She’s unbelievably careful, and she just needs rounds and experiences to grow her confidence. I’m really happy with her for the week.”

Conor Swail and Koss Van Heiste
©Shannon Brinkman

Orafina is already learning some of the tools she will need at the higher level, Farrington explained, which contributed to her success throughout the week in addition to her natural quickness: “Most of the horses that I pick are naturally fast, so that’s a big advantage. Obviously, our sport has a lot to do with speed, so a naturally quick horse helps,” he acknowledged. “I work, even when the classes aren’t very big like today, to teach them to follow the lines so that as they grow in their career they have experience rolling back short to fences, angling jumps, and things like that, as part of the evolution of producing a top-level horse.”

Kent Farrington and Orafina in their presentation ceremony.
©Shannon Brinkman

Otherwise, Farrington concluded, today’s win was the result of everything falling into place throughout Oranfina’s learning experience. “I think I probably did fewer strides than a few of the other riders around the turns, because she has a big step and a big range. Like I said, I’m training her how to do that now, so that when the jumps get bigger, she knows the ropes.”

Lillie Keenan Wins Top Prize With Diadarco Van Evendael in $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3*

In the $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3*, Lillie Keenan secured the win aboard Diadarco Van Evendael Z, a 2009 Belgian Warmblood gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Darco) owned by Chansonette Farm LLC. Keenan (USA) collected podium placings throughout Tryon Spring 5 at TIEC, first claiming second place in the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* before securing the Friday win. Keenan and Diadarco Van Evendael Z topped the leaderboards with zero faults and a time of 56.66 seconds. Owner and rider Hilary McNerney (USA) piloted her horse Astilbe, a 2008 Swedish Warmblood mare (Empire x Stanford), to second place with no faults and a time of 59.9 seconds. Santa Rosa Yalta, a 2012 mare ridden and owned by Daniel Pedraza (MEX), claimed third place out of 16 riders with a clean round in 62.87 seconds.

Lillie Keenan and Diadarco Van Evendael Z
©Shannon Brinkman

To view full results from the $25,000 Tryon Resort Sunday Classic, click here.

To view full results from the $6,000 Speed Stake CSI 3*, click here.