October 20, 2008 — History repeated itself as Kent Farrington and Up Chiqui won the $75,000 Budweiser Prix de Penn National October 18 for the second time, on the closing night of the 2008 Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, Pa.
Farrington faced 28 very tough competitors to repeat the show jumping win. The seventh of 10 clean trips in the first round, Farrington knew speed would be a prime factor in the jump-off.
“Up Chiqui is an exceptionally fast horse,” said Farrington. “He’s a great horse. He covers the ground faster than most horses and is quick over the fences.”
The 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood needed to be quick. He was chasing a time of 39.99 seconds, set by Todd Minikus and Pavarotti, and would be followed by McLain Ward on Phillipa and Jill Henselwood on Black Ice.
Up Chiqui, jumping according to plan and form, galloped on toward the last fence–the highest jump at 5’1″ on the course. He stopped the clock at 37.94 seconds, chopping almost 2 seconds from Pavarotti’s round. Neither Ward nor Henselwood could catch them.
The top three were Up Chiqui, Pavarotti and Phillipa. Leading Open Jumper Rider honors went to McLain Ward, who also won the title in 2001 and 2003. Laura Chapot won this year’s Leading Lady Jumper Rider title.
Course designer Michel Vaillancourt was pleased with the number of clear first rounds.
“There were a couple of lucky rubs,” he said. “Fences that should or would have come down in other rounds didn’t. But it’s good to get a break once in awhile. These are world class horses and riders. They got better as the week went on.”