Kent Farrington Conquers ‘Big Ben’ Challenge at 2016 Royal Horse Show

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair-Kent Farrington Conquers -Big Ben
Kent Farrington of the United States won the $75,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ Challenge riding Creedance to close out the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show on Saturday, November 12, in Toronto, ON. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography (CNW Group/Royal Agricultural Winter Fair)

TORONTO, Nov. 13, 2016 /CNW/ – U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farringtonwon the $75,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ Challenge on Friday, November 11, to conclude international show jumping at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto, ON.

Twenty-one horse and rider combinations challenged the final international show jumping event of the 2016 Royal Horse Show over courses designed by Bernardo Cabral of Portugal. Farrington and nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Creedance (Lord Z x Notaris) topped a seven-horse jump-off to claim the victory for co-owner RGC Farm.

“There were some really nice horses jumping here tonight,” said Farrington who returned to the Royal Horse Show this year after a five-year absence. “More than anything – more than winning – I’m thrilled with the progress of the horse. I feel like he’s on track to become a very good grand prix horse.”

Farrington and Creedance posted a blistering jump-off time of 31.86 seconds for the win, and they were in good company at the top of the podium. 2016 individual Olympic gold medalist Nick Skelton of Great Britain riding Big Star, owned by Oliver Robertsonand Gary and Beverley Widdowson, finished second in 33.55 seconds.

“There was no way I could beat Kent so I went for second,” said Skelton who has been attending The Royal since the late 1970s. “They have a great crowd here that really takes part in and enjoys the show. I like coming here; it’s one of my favorite indoor shows.”

Ten-time Canadian Olympian Ian Millar of Perth, ON, finished third riding Dixson in 33.79 seconds, and fellow Canadian Olympic medalist Mac Cone of King City, ON, was fourth riding Gasper van den Doorn, owned by Chadburn Holdings, Inc., in 36.26 seconds. Laura Kraut of the United States rounded out the top five with a time of 33.82 seconds and four faults riding Confu for St. Bride’s Farm.

When asked about Cabral’s course, Farrington responded, “I thought it was a creative course today using three doubles instead of a triple, which we see all the time in indoor jumping.

“This is a really classy horse, and he’s learning at each show,” continued Farrington who is gauging Creedance’s ability to carry him to the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final to be held from March 29 to April 2 in Omaha, Nebraska. “He’s a little bit special and very, very sensitive, so loud noises and things really set him off. I thought maybe these indoor shows would be a little bit of an adventure, but actually, he’s really settled down and now he’s handling it nicely.”

Following five days of top-caliber international competition, three-time U.S. Olympic medalist McLain Ward was presented as the Leading International Rider.  Ward’s trip to Toronto was highlighted by a commanding win in the $130,270 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Toronto on Wednesday night riding HH Azur.

Leading Canadian Rider honours were presented to 12-time Greenhawk Canadian Show Jumping Champion Ian Millar, of Perth, ON, who was presented with the Lt. Col. Stuart C. Bate Memorial Trophy in recognition of his consistent performances throughout the Royal Horse Show.

The All-Canadian Cup, generously sponsored by Susan Grange and Lothlorien Farm of Cheltenham, ON, was awarded to Millar’s mount Dixson as the Leading Canadian-owned horse. Grange both presented and accepted the award as owner of the 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding.

The Tiffany & Co. Leading Lady Rider Award, introduced at the 2016 Royal Horse Show, was presented to Leslie Howard of the United States after she accumulated the most points throughout international competition.  Howard was presented with a Tiffany horseshoe pendant of round brilliant diamonds in platinum on a 16-inch chain.

International competitors shared the spotlight with up and coming riders on Saturday afternoon as the future stars of show jumping were showcased in the final phase of the Alfred Rogers Under 25 National Championship.  Twenty-one-year-old Daniel Coylehailing from Ireland secured the win riding Fortis Fortuna for owners Susan and Ariel Grange of Lothlorien Farm based in Cheltenham, ON.  Coyle also clinched the overall Championship title, having also won phase one earlier in the week.  Quincy Hayes, 25, of Aurora, ON, was named reserve champion with Calgary 56, owned by Darcy Hayes, after placing second in phase one and fifth in phase two.

To the delight of horse and dog lovers alike, the $20,000 Canine-Equine Challenge, presented by the Toronto Star, also took center stage in Ricoh Coliseum on Saturday afternoon.  Riders were paired with a ‘Superdog’, navigating a show jumping track and crossing the timers before their canine partner took off around a dog agility course.  The crowd cheered for its favourites as dogs of all breeds, shapes and sizes raced up, over, and through the obstacles.  In the end, it was Dutch rider Harrie Smolders who stopped the clock with the fastest time riding Apollonia 23, a 12-year-old Danish Warmblood mare, for owner Copernicus Stables, LLC.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, visit  A complete horse show schedule can be accessed here.

Funding support for The Royal has been provided by the City of Toronto and the Government of Ontario.

$75,000 GroupBy ‘Big Ben’ Challenge – Saturday, November 12







Kent Farrington

United States





Nick Skelton

Great Britain

Big Star




Ian Millar

Perth, ON





Mac Cone

King City, ON

Gasper van den Doorn




Laura Kraut

United States





Shane Sweetnam


Chaqui Z




Sharn Wordley

New Zealand





Lauren Hough

United States




Tiffany Foster

North Vancouver, BC




David Will


Monodie H



Keean White

Rockwood, ON

For Freedom Z



Rodrigo Pessoa


Ferro Chin van het Lindenhof



About The Royal
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.  This year, the 94th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair runs from November 4-13, 2016, at Exhibition Place in downtown Toronto.