By Catie Staszak for FEI
Heading into the opening leg of the 2022-2023 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League season in Sacramento (USA), the expectations of Conor Swail (IRL) were high. Swail not only won Sacramento’s World Cup leg a year ago, but he also led the NAL in points at season’s end.
He picked up right where he left off, defending his Sacramento title with Vital Chance de la Roque and jumping into a familiar place at the top of the NAL standings Saturday night before a sold-out crowd at the Murieta Equestrian Center.
“[Vital Chance] has had an incredible year. Every time I ride him, I know he’s going to give me a good shot [to win]. The two of us just seem to have a good partnership. Today, he jumped so well.”
-Conor Swail (IRL)
Olaf Petersen, Jr.’s (GER) course proved tough to navigate, and a clear round was not produced until Swail cracked the code 19 riders into the starting order. The jump-off field would ultimately consist of three, and Swail put his competitors away with a second clear effort in a sharp time of 38.19 seconds, impressing with two bold inside turns. No one could match him, but a duo of rising talent followed him on the podium, with 20-year-old Sophia Siegel and A-Girl second (4/50.02 seconds) and Natalie Dean (USA) third with Chance Ste Hermelle (8/43.65).
“When you go first [in a jump-off of this size], you’re either first, second or third. I’d prefer to be first, and I wanted to try to put it away early,” Swail said. “I was going to do what my strengths are. My plan was to be fast [and not] leave the door open.”
Swail accrued 20 points for his victory and has taken an early lead in the NAL standings. Siegel sits second with 17 points, and Dean is third with 15 points. Seven legs remain through March; the North American League continues at the Washington International Horse Show in Upper Marlboro (USA) on 29 October 2022.
This Post Brought to You by:
Taylor, Harris Insurance Services (THIS) was founded in 1987 to provide specialized insurance for all types of equine risk. We place our policies with the highest rated and most secure carriers, meticulously selected for reliability and prompt claims settlement. We are proud of our worldwide reputation for responsive and courteous service, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss your equine insurance needs and provide you with a quote.
- Access to multiple underwriters
- Leader in the U.S. and European markets
- Customized policies provide you with a choice
- Trusted advisors in the equestrian industry
- Direct access to insurance professionals
- Policies that cover every breed and discipline across all 50 United States