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Kevin Babington And Carling King Win $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI***

WELLINGTON, FL – February 29, 2004 – “Some of the horses that are competing here today will compete at the Olympics and they had as much of a test today as they’d get at the Olympics,” said Kevin Babington, winner of today’s $75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI*** at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. “The Olympics is four days of jumping and you definitely would not get four courses as difficult as we had to jump today.” Leopoldo Palacios of Venezuela designed the course.

Ireland’s Babington, 35, who now resides in Gwynedd Valley, Pennsylvania, topped a class of 50 entries aboard Carling King for owner Kindle Hill Farm. In a two-horse jump-off that pitted Babington and Carling King against Kim Frey, 38, of Virginia and Marlou owned by Windmill Ranch LLC, no one went clean, but Babington managed to log fewer faults in a faster time to take the win.

$75,000 PDP Capital Masters Cup, CSI*** Grand Prix Winner: Carling King, ridden by Kevin Babington, owned by Kindle Hill Farm

Photo Credit: Randi Muster

With 17 efforts to jump in a time allowed of 94 seconds in round one, Frey going 14th in the order posted the only clear trip until Babington’s clear as the 39th rider. Frey said she was not surprised that her new Grand Prix mount handled the round one course. “No, because she can jump anything,” said Frey. “I knew it was hard but I had the utmost confidence in my horse. There’s nothing she can’t jump.” Marlou is a 10-year-old Dutch mare by Jus de Pomme.

Even the more experienced duo found round one an exceptional challenge. “My horse has a lot of experience and it was a course that I thought might suit him because of his mileage, but it was very tough. I definitely felt like I had to ride every step of the way – there was no ‘gimme’ anywhere,” said Babington. Carling King is a 13-year-old, chestnut, Irish Sport Horse gelding by Clover Hill. “He’s been jumping five years in Grand Prix. I’ve had him all over Europe and he’s been to the World Championships and two European Championships, so he has quite a bit of mileage.”

Frey and Marlou led off the tiebreaker, which posed 9 efforts in 60 seconds. They incurred 8 jumping faults including a refusal and 8 time faults for a penalty of 16 in 67.45 seconds. “My horse is young. This actually is only her third big class,” said Frey. “I just didn’t get straight enough at the plank on the end, and then I made up the time obviously – I was fast there, but again, she’s a young horse and I perhaps should have fit the distance in a little bit better to the green (Fence 16), but she was by then a little bit dodgy by the gate. She was confused more than anything and I got a little rough, so that’s why she ran out.”

Babington watched Frey go before he tackled the jump-off. “I would much prefer to have Kim in front of me than behind me. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t have her best jump-off day. She’s very, very fast and I was afraid that she’d go in and put a blazing round down. My horse is not the fastest horse in the world,” said Babington. “So it suited me in the position that I was in to go in and try to go slow because when I get fast with him the ride-ability is not so good.” Even so, Babington had the first element of the double down and also incurred 3 time faults for a total of 7 faults in 62.09, which was good enough for the win.

Babington said he expected this type of challenge from Mr. Palacios. “He didn’t make the time such a factor today, but for $75,000 and Leopoldo, you expected to jump a very difficult course, and that’s one of the reasons I picked this week.” Carling King has been on the Irish team for the last four years and has been chosen to compete in the Olympics. “We don’t have a selection trial so he’s one of the top picks,” said Babington who has never ridden in the Olympics. ”So just, please God, he stays sound and we don’t do anything foolish between now and then.”

Frey said that she is unsure yet if Marlou will be going to California for the Selection Trials in May. “She’s a little shy on experience but she’s strong on ability,” Frey said. “She is an Olympic horse, she just doesn’t know it yet.”

$10,000 High Junior Jumper Classic Winner: Mon Gamin, ridden by Brianne Goutal, owned by Cloverleaf Farm
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

$10,000 Medium Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic Winner: Riane, ridden by Alexa Weeks, owned by Kristen Bates
Photo Credit: Randi Muster

Small Junior 16 – 17 Championship Winner: Remember Me, owned and ridden by Kendle Handtmann
Photo Credit: Randi Muster


Show days for the 2004 Winter Equestrian Festival are Wednesday through Sunday. Gates open at 8:00 am. Ticket Prices: Wednesdays are free to everyone; Children 12 and under are admitted free every day; Young Adults 13 to 18 and Seniors are $5 on Thursday through Sunday; Adults are $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15 on Sunday. The Palm Beach Polo Equestrian Club is located on Pierson Road off South Shore Boulevard. For additional information, visit or call 561-793-5867.


March 3 - 7 CN Wellington Open CSI-W

March 10 - 14 CSIO United States Cosequin Finale CSIO***

March 18 - 21 Zada Enterprises WEF Dressage Classic CDI***/Y

(Qualifier for Olympic Selection Trials)

March 24 - 28 Tampa Bay Classic CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

March 30 - April 3 Tournament of Champions CSI-W (Bob Thomas Equestrian Center)

April 3 Budweiser American Invitational (Raymond James Stadium)


March 7 $75,000 CN Wellington Open presented by Estates of Wellington Green, CDI-W

March 12 $50,000 Samsung Nations’ Cup, presented by CN, CSIO****

March 14 $100,000 Cosequin U.S. Open Jumper Championship, CSIO****

March 28 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, presented by Kilkenny/ICH, CSI-W

April 3 $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational,

Presented by Publix and The Tampa Tribune


Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

April 9 -11 Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****

April 11 $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcat Cup


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