World number one Kent Farrington landed one of British showjumping’s richest prizes when he claimed a thrilling Rolex Grand Prix victory at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
The Amercian star showed his class on Sherkan d’Amaury to eclipse a world-class jump-off field.
His time of 39.97 seconds scooped the £63,000 top prize as he held off rivals that included Britain’s 2015 Rolex Grand Slam winner and London 2012 team gold medallist Scott Brash and former Olympic individual champion Eric Lamaze.
In-form Italian Lorenzo de Luca went closest to Farrington’s time, riding Halifax van het Kluizebos, but was still almost a second slower, while Brash was the leading British performer.
Former world number one Brash gave it his all aboard 16-year-old Ursula XII, but a time of 40.97 seconds meant he had to settle for third and a cheque for £38,000.
The United States’ strength in depth was highlighted by Laura Kraut finishing fourth and Jessica Springsteen, daughter of rock star Bruce Springsteen, taking fifth.
“My horse was unbelievable today – I couldn’t have asked for more,” Farrington said.
“I got him over a year ago, then he had a bad colic (stomach complaint) and was out of the sport for a year. I had short-listed him as Olympic potential – I had a feeling he could be really strong – but then we lost a whole year, and we started afresh this winter.
“When you ride against these guys, you never come out of the arena and think you’ve got it, because the time you think that is usually when you get beaten. This is one of my favourite shows – I am not just saying that because I won today.
“It is an amazing setting, an unbelievable crowd, top course designing and great footing, so to me that is the best of the best.”
Brash, meanwhile, reflected on another fine performance, adding: “I came here last year to watch on one day, and there is no doubt this show deserves its five-star status. Ursula is an amazing horse, and was fantastic today. She is an older horse, but she was out for two years with injury, so she hasn’t got the wear and tear a lot of horses would have at that age.”
Ireland’s Billy Twomey earlier won the Pam Speed Stakes after delivering a dominant display with Tin Tin. Twomey, one of the most consistent riders on showjumping’s world circuit, triumphed in a time of 60.82 seconds after he made the most of a late draw.