Equestrian: Ireland’s Conor Swail lands $134,000 Grand Prix

Irish rider records only double clear on Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel

Conor Swail and GK Coco Chanel. Photograph: Sportfot

Conor Swail and GK Coco Chanel. Photograph: Sportfot

 

Ireland’s Conor Swail landed the $134,000 Grand Prix in Tryon, North Carolina on Saturday night when recording the only double clear on Vanessa Mannix’s GK Coco Chanel.

Concluding the three-star international action of week four of the Fall season at the venue, the 1.50m competition attracted a starting line-up of 50. Eight riders progressed to the jump-off with Mannix, representing Canada, narrowly failing to do so herself when picking up a single time fault in the first round.

Also taking on the shortened track for Ireland was Co Limerick’s Paul O’Shea who, the previous weekend, had helped Ireland secure a team place at next year’s Olympic Games when winning the Longines FEI Nations’ Cup final in Barcelona. Here, riding Skara Glen Stables’ Skara Glen’s Chancelloress, O’Shea had a fence down against the clock and, in 46.201, finished fourth behind Swail whose second-round clear had come in 40.172.

“I thought he did a very nice job,” commented Co Down native Swail of the course designer, Canada’s Michel Vaillancourt. “There were eight clean out of 50 so it was very well built. You needed a more experienced horse just to make sure and get the back rail. The beginning was tricky and then that double line caused enough trouble, and I suppose the combination was a little scopey since it was oxer to oxer.

“The jump-off also was very difficult with a lot of sharp angles and everything was coming up late. It was very difficult to keep that smooth and I think that was probably why there weren’t a lot of clear rounds.”

Commenting on GK Coco Chanel, an 11-year-old Holstein gelding by Clarimo, Swail added: “He has his own mind sometimes and can be a little difficult, but when he goes well, it normally ends up being a win. We have learned to work together very well now at this stage and we have a good relationship. The consistency is growing all the time; there’s a lot of good results.”

Competing at four-star level in Rabat, Morocco on Saturday, Cork native Billy Twomey partnered the Kim Barzilay-owned and bred Kimba Flamenco (55.57) into sixth place in the 1.40m speed class won by Abdullah Alsharbatly of Saudi Arabia riding Beau Limit (53.20). In the two-star 1.45m Grand Prix in Oliva, Spain, France’s Julien Epaillard recorded the fastest second-round clear on Jalanta P (37.63) with Co Wexford-born Harry Allen finishing fifth on Dancing Queen Z (40.07).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.