Thursday: Kent Farrington and Toulayna Off and Running at MLSJ Toronto
Major League Show Jumping was back under the lights of Angelstone Events on August 17th in Toronto, ON, where 5* action opened with a hard-fought win for U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington. He and the 9-year-old Toulayna topped the $142,400 BFL Canada 5* Qualifier amidst a blitz of storms on Thursday evening.
Toulayna, a Zangersheide mare by Toulon x Parco owned by Farrington and Rabbit Root Stables, didn’t show her inexperience with the atmosphere that defines a nighttime competition and stole the show by nearly two seconds in a 10-horse jump-off. Farrington, who leads his own Team KPF this week, pipped top-position holder Ashlee Bond (ISR) with daring turns and calculated gallops. They crossed the final timers in 32.97 seconds over Bond’s 34.79.
Helios manager and team rider this week, Bond settled for second on Donatello 141. Fellow Helios rider and Canada’s own Erynn Ballard rounded out the podium in third aboard Gakhir in front of a home crowd.
Friday: Trailblazers Deliver One-Two Punch
The sun went down and Angelstone came alive Friday evening with a commanding victory from the Trelawny Trailblazers in the $485,500 Cabana Coast 5* Team competition. Daniel Bluman (ISR), Conor Swail (IRL) and Nayel Nassar (EGY)—all ranked within the top-50 in the world—stormed to a faultless night under the lights at the fourth leg of Major League Show Jumping’s third season.
Coming off a leg two win in Traverse City a week earlier, Swail led a team of fresh legs in Canada. Riding Casturano, Swail combined his mount’s speed with the experience of Bluman’s ride, Gemma W. The mare has a winning record at Angelstone that includes last year’s MLSJ Grand Prix. Swail and Bluman secured an appearance in the gold-medal match-up. They sent in Nassar riding El Conde in for the deciding round and delivered.
The head-to-head medal round featured reigning series champions Helios and the Trailblazers. Roberto Teran Tafur (COL) was clear, but not fast enough by less than a second margin. Nassar came through under pressure for team owner Cara Raether-Carey.
Erynn Ballard (CAN), Ashlee Bond (ISR) and Tafur claimed the silver medal for the second week in a row, and the Northern Lights stepped onto the podium on home soil for a repeat of the top three results from the previous week in Michigan. Canadian pride was strong with the bronze medal team led by Sean Jobin, Vanessa Mannix and Ali Ramsay.
Saturday: Kent Farrington Owns the Night
The third leg of Major League Show Jumping came to a close at Angelstone in Ontario, CAN, on Saturday night with a benchmark win for U.S. Olympic team silver medalist Kent Farrington in the $250,000 Kubota 5* Grand Prix. He piloted Toulayna, a 9-year-old Zangersheide mare (Toulon x Parco) that he owns together with Rabbit Root Stables, to her first 5* grand prix victory in front of an electric crowd.
After winning Thursday’s qualifier with Toulayna, Farrington acknowledged that the mare has proven herself as a contender at the top level.
From a field that included 16 of the top-100 riders in the world, Farrington (42)—currently world no. 8—topped an eight-horse jump-off with nearly two full seconds to spare. The turns were tight and the foot speed was unbeatable from Toulayna, a horse that’s had less than 10 five-star starts in her career.
Challenging Farrington was Brazil’s Santiago Lambre and Chacco Blue II, who finished second. They crossed the timers just off the pace as the last to return over fellow Brazilian Guilherme Jorge’s courses.
Nineteen-year-old Mimi Gochman scored her best 5* grand prix placing to date with a third-place podium appearance riding Cosmos BH.
MLSJ action heads east next week to Ottawa, Canada’s capital city and the fourth leg of The League.