World No. 7 Kent Farrington (USA) used the $8,800 CSIO5* Happy Welcome 1.45m as a training opportunity for rising talent Chato Lou.
“He’s a younger horse I have coming up. He’s naturally very fast,” Farrington said. “I’m actually trying to train him a little bit to learn to keep his keep his mind under control and keep the ride-ability at speed. So that’s more or less what I was doing today. And he’s making good progress.”
The 9-year-old Chacco Blue gelding proved to be a quick study, running away with the first five-star class of the Odlum Brown BC Open. The pair crossed the timers of Peter Holmes’ speed track in 60.81 seconds—a nearly five-second winning margin. James Arkins (AUS) finished second (65.06 seconds), with Manuel Gonzales Dufrane (MEX) and Hortensia van de Leeuwerk third another three seconds back (68.94).
Thursday marked Chato Lou’s first international victory; Farrington has had the athletic bay since the gelding’s 7-year-old year and has slowly developed him through the grades—a skill the horseman has honed for years with success with a rather “simple” formula.
“I try to be very pragmatic and kind of have no ego in approaching the horses. I put them in the classes I think they’re ready for,” he said. “The horses tell me when they’re ready to move up, the horses also tell me if they need to take a step back. You know, I really just let the horses make all the decisions. I think if you can approach that without your own ego or your own agenda that’s going to override what the horse is telling you, it’s it’s easier to make the right call.”
$8,500 CSIO5* Happy Welcome 1.45m
Place / Horse / Rider / Nationality / Owner / Faults / Time
1. Chato Lou / Kent Farrington / USA / Amalaya Investments & Haity McNerney / 0 60.81
2. Joevaro N / James Arkins / AUS / James Arkins / 0 65.06
3. Hortensia van de Leeuwerk / Manuel Gonzales Dufrane / MEX / Manuel Gonzales Dufrane / 0 68.94
4. Ideal / Tanner Korotkin / USA / Castlewood Farm, Inc. & Sandalwood Farms / 0 68.96
5. Biloba des Chaines / Hunter Holloway / USA / Equivarandas Lda. / 0 69.74
6. Javas Miss Jordan / Nicky Galligan / IRL / Nicky Galligan / 0 70.10
7. Kalinka van’t Zorgvliet / Karl Cook / USA / Signe Ostby / 0 71.31
8. Armentos / Kaitlin Campbell / USA / SWS Training & Sales / 0 71.60
9. Dandy / Matt Williams / AUS / Hd Horses LLC / 0 71.64
10. Antidote de Mars / Bliss Heers / USA / Bridgeside Farms LLC / 0 72.91