Edited Press Release
Only three one-hundredths of a second separated the two Irish riders in Thursday’s $25,000 CSI4*-W 1.35m Blenheim EquiSports “Royal Flush” Jump-Off Classic, presented by Markel Insurance, and it was Conor Swail aboard Errol who stopped the clock in 32.18 seconds for the win.
Finishing in second place with a time of 32.21 seconds was Daniel Coyle riding Jeffrey Jarden for owner Ariel Grange. Rounding out the top three with a time of 32.90 seconds was Australia’s James Arkins on Joevaro N, owned by Abigail Evans.
“I saw Daniel [Coyle] going in quite early, and he really smoked around,” said Swail of Coyle, who was the sixth to go in the 36-horse field. “I was wondering, ‘Can I catch him or not?’ Because my guy has got a smaller step. In the end, it kind of worked to my advantage. I had a few more steps [from jumps one, two and three], but it was still very efficient. Thankfully, I coasted home well.”
Swail has been riding Errol in FEI competition since February of this year, and in the 10 months since then, Swail and the 12-year-old gelding, owned by Sagamore Farms, have notched four FEI victories.
“Errol is very competitive, very careful,” said Swail. “He wins a lot for me. Any time I go in the ring, I have a good shot at competing with the best riders.”