Conor Swail picks up opening session win in New York

Partnered Simba de la Roque to victory in the $40,000 FEI speed class in Manhattan

 Conor Swail got off to a winning start at the three-star Rolex Central Park horse show in New York onboard Simba de La Roque. Photograph: Inpho

Conor Swail got off to a winning start at the three-star Rolex Central Park horse show in New York onboard Simba de La Roque. Photograph: Inpho

 

Ireland’s Conor Swail won the $40,000 FEI speed class at Thursday evening’s opening session of the three-star Rolex Central Park horse show which is staged in Manhattan’s Wollman Rink, against a backdrop of the New York skyline.

Starting 14th in the 29-runner class, Co Down-born Swail partnered Susan and Ariel Grange’s nine-year-old gelding Simba de la Roque to a clear in 57.56 over the 13-effort track designed by Brazil’s Guilherme Jorge. The USA’s Todd Minikus finished second on Quality Girl (58.10) ahead of Colombia’s Daniel Bluman riding Conconcreto Believe (59.33).

“The horse was great and the venue is just amazing,” said Swail. “The course builder wanted us to ride the track a certain way and I don’t think there was any other way to do it. We all did similar numbers all the way around.”

Swail gave credit to Simba de la Roque for being careful and accurate in striking surroundings, but acknowledged that his challengers were sitting on horses with similar talents. “The 1-2-3 horses are all very careful and very shifty with quickness off the ground,” he added. “You need to be on something that can be that way in this atmosphere.”

Swail and others and now focussing on Friday night’s $212,000 Rolex U.S. Open FEI Grand Prix won last year by New York’s Georgina Bloomberg with Juvina.

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