Conor Swail wins 1.45m speed class in Florida

County Down rider one of just 12 from 68 starters to complete tricky Wellington track

Conor Swail won comfortably in Florida. Photograph: Getty

Conor Swail won comfortably in Florida. Photograph: Getty

 

Ireland’s Conor Swail won Thursday’s 1.45m speed class in Wellington, Florida riding Ariel and Susan Grange’s 10-year-old Selle Francais stallion Grafton.

The USA’s Anthony d’Ambrosio is course builder for this 12th and final week of the Winter Equestrian Festival and just a dozen of the 68 starters managed to record clear rounds over a track which Co Down-born Swail said suited his horse. “There weren’t too many shorter distances, and I was able to just use his big gallop,” commented the rider. “He was good on the few inside turns we had as well. I was very happy with him there today.”

Swail stopped the clock on 67.28 to finish ahead of the US’s Victoria Colvin on Austria 2 (68.12) and Co Meath’s Cian O’Connor with Crespo PKZ (69.29). On a good day for the Irish contingent, Darragh Kenny slotted into fifth with Catuso (70.27).

On the Mediterranean tour in Valencia, Spain, Co Monaghan’s Clem Mahon posted good results on Thursday with three of his young Irish Sport Horses by Pacino. He won the six-year-old competition with the mare Hilton Alibi and finished first and third in the seven-year-old class on the geldings Pacato and Pacifico. Co Mayo native Jonathon Gordon split the McMahon pair when placing second with Jeckle.

International show jumping continues at home this weekend in Millstreet, Co Cork while the latest round of the Connolly’s Red Mills spring tour takes place at Barnadown Equestrian, Co Wexford on Sunday. Disappointingly, the weather has forced the cancellation of Sunday’s one-day event at Millstreet but event riders look set to battle the elements once more at the coastal venue of Tyrella, Co Down on Saturday.

A huge entry has been received for the Irish Pony Club/Mackey hunter trials which also take place on Saturday at Annaharvey, Co Offaly. Over 470 combinations, representing 36 Branches, are due to come before the starter.

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