kent © CHIG / Bertilleprod

“One of the best crowds in the world!”

Victorious in Thursday evening’s Trophée de Genève and third in Friday’s Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final, Kent Farrington decided to sit Saturday out and rest up for this afternoon’s Rolex Grand Prix. It is an event he has won only once, back in 2017 on the formidable Gazelle, though he is hopeful of repeating the feat on the young but promising Greya.

kent Kent Farrington & Greya in the 22nd Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final. - ©CHIG / Photo Bujard

Reserved but always smiling, Kent Farrington likes to be in his bubble. “I’m trying not to do too much media while I’m in Geneva, but I’m more than happy to speak to the CHIG,” he tells us over the phone. 

After waiting calmly for us in the stand reserved for the riders, he poses willingly for photos before settling himself down at a high table and focusing all his attention on the moment at hand. “It’s a day off for my two mares and I,” he explains. “Toulayna was so good on Thursday and Greya near perfect on Friday. I’m keeping her back for the Rolex Grand Prix.”

A grey, as her name suggests, the nine-year-old is still an unknown quantity in Europe, having crossed the Atlantic for the first time since taking up residence at Farrington’s Florida stables two years ago, as did Toulayna, a bay and nine herself. When asked if he had expected the inexperienced duo to perform as well as they have this weekend, the American rider was unreserved in his praise for them: “They’ve both had excellent results all season long in the USA. They’re remarkable mares and I’m lucky to have them with me. They’ve made the trip across the Atlantic just for Geneva, and I never regret coming here. I’m not sure I was thinking about winning, but I knew we could be competitive. I wouldn’t have made the trip otherwise (smiles). I’m sure we can do something in the Rolex Grand Prix too.”

Farrington is here for more than just the chance to win the Geneva leg of the Rolex Grand Slam. The 43-year-old is a huge fan of the CHIG and the spectators it attracts. “It’s one of the best crowds in the world, as I often say. They’re passionate about jumping here, real connaisseurs, and you can really feel that. You can tell that they know their stuff, every rider and every horse that steps out into this legendary arena.” It is a feeling reciprocated by the Geneva public. Is that because of his charisma, perhaps? “Charisma, me? (laughs) They’re applauding my horses more than me.” Yet no matter who they are clapping and cheering for, the applause and support of the crowd have always warmed Farrington’s heart.

His career record speaks for itself and his popularity with the Palexpo crowd is beyond dispute after his six wins in the Trophée de Genève, two in the Rolex IJRC Top 10 Final and that solitary Rolex Grand Prix triumph. The American rider has also built up quite a following on social media thanks to his genuinely amazing fitness training videos. Farrington has always advocated a healthy lifestyle, one almost beyond reproach, believing that if he demands that his horses work hard to stay in perfect shape, then he as their rider has to do the same. “I’ve always loved working out and respecting my body,” explains Farrington, who does around an hour’s exercise every day to stay fit. “It maybe comes from the fact that I lost my father to cancer when I was very young or because I wanted to build myself up fast so I could defend myself against other kids at school. I’ve always been pretty small, so I needed to have other strings to my bow. I do a lot of martial arts, gymnastics and skateboarding, for example.” Kent Farrington, a winner and an inspiration.

Aurore Favre

kent © CHIG / Photo Bujard

Off Topic

Favourite superhero?


Your idol?

Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Bruce Lee…

Your favourite place?

Geneva (laughs)

Your idea of happiness?

Being paid for what I love doing and what I’d do for free, and enjoying the journey but not necessarily the destination (smiles).

Favourite smell?


Favourite sports team?

I grew up in Chicago when the great Michael Jordan was in his pomp. So it’s Chicago Bulls all the way.

Favourite film or series?

The Last Dance (a sports documentary series about the Chicago Bulls).

Which swearword do you use the most?

I don’t know if you can print this (laughs), but I do say “f**k” a lot. 

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