Edited Press Release
A master of speed, Conor Swail (IRL) took the win aboard Theo 160 in Friday’s $38,700 Pomponio Ranch CSI3* 1.50m Speed at Desert International Horse Park (DIHP).
For much of the class, it appeared that Swail might win aboard his first mount, Vital Chance De La Roque. The duo took an early lead, going fourth in the order and capturing a time of 58.68 seconds. While pairs attempted to unseat him, rails came down and the leaderboard remained unchanged.
When Swail came in aboard Theo 160, the horse that took second in this very class during week two and first in the CSI3* Grand Prix, he knew his chances were good to finish one-two. He overtook his own lead, crossing the timers in 58.01 seconds and capturing the top two spots. Only Kyle King (USA) was there to switch things up, claiming second-place honors aboard Sig Chiari, owned by Sig International, Inc.
“I was super happy with Theo,” Swail remarked. “I’d had a good round already with [Vital Chance]. At that point, actually, I was still leading. So I thought, ‘How do I play it out with Theo?’ He’s quick enough that I decided just to have another go at it. It was a great round, and I was very pleased.”
Swail has put more and more trust in 11-year-old Theo 160 recently, letting him use his stride and scope to their advantage, omitting strides in risky places. “He is very brave,” Swail reflected. “Even if you’re running a little fast at the jump, he’s always going to try and be careful at it. I trust him. Thankfully he’s pulling out all the stops for me, so it’s great.”
Not to be forgotten, 14-year-old Vital Chance De La Roque put in his best effort as well, with hopes of a strong performance in Sunday’s CSI3* Gillibrand Sand Grand Prix. “I was super happy with ‘Vinny’ today,” Swail continued. “I thought he was so good. He hasn’t jumped there in about a month, so this is his first show back and he felt super good.” We’ll have a nice run on Sunday and see what happens.””
The luck of the Irish is quite strong this season in the desert, but it’s been a streak of luck for the past few years with Swail and his top mounts. “I’m lucky enough at the minute; I have a string of small, fast horses,” he said. “They’re so much fun. They run along very quickly, you can turn quickly, and they think quickly. But I’ve had a lot of bigger, slower ones as well. At the moment, I have a great group of very fast, competitive horses that are able to jump at the highest level, so I’m really reaping the benefits at the moment.”
Final Results: $38,700 CSI3* Pomponio Ranch 1.50m Speed
1. THEO 160: 2012 HOLST gelding by Christian 25 x Calando IV
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Team Philippaerts: 0/58.01
2. SIG CHIARI: 2012 OS gelding by Cristallo II x Landadel
KYLE KING (USA), SIG International: 0/58.64
3. VITAL CHANCE DE LA ROQUE: 2009 SF gelding by Diamant de Semilly x Rivage du Poncel
CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Conor Swail: 0/58.68
4. CLARITY: 2009 HOLST gelding by Clarimo x Ephebe For Ever
GREGORY WATHELET (BEL), An Breeding: 0/58.90
5. KARDENTA VAN’T MEERHOF: 2010 BWP mare by Cardento x Concorde
ELISA BROZ (USA), Hidalgo LLC: 0/59.11
6. NADALE VAN DORPERHEIDE: 2013 BWP gelding by Zilverstar T x Winningmood
CASSIO RIVETTI (BRA), Ilan Ferder: 0/61.99
7. CARISSIMO 25: 2013 HOLST gelding by Cascadello x Clinton
MAVIS SPENCER (USA), Georgy Maskrey-Segesman: 0/62.38
8. ALGORHYTHEM: 2005 KWPN gelding by Eurocommerce Tampa x Calvados
MARIE VALDAR LONGEM (NOR), Marie Valdar Longem: 0/66.69
9. MR. EUROPE: 2009 KWPN gelding by Mr. Blue x Cassini
KARRIE RUFER (USA), Morning Star Sporthorses, LLC: 0/72.00
10. BONITA VH KEIZERSHOF Z: 2011 ZANG mare by Bustique x For Pleasure
ALI RAMSAY (CAN), Ramsay Equestrian Inc.: 4/59.40
11. CACTUS DE COSNIERE: 2012 SF gelding by Padock Du Plessis x Flipper D’Elle
ERIC KRAWITT (CAN), Eric Krawitt: 4/60.55
12. COPYCAT: 2013 WESTF gelding by Comme Il Faut x Wogenbrecher
LORCAN GALLAGHER (IRL), Lost Lake Farm LLC: 4/61.72
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