Ireland’s Conor Swail secures second straight World Cup win in Washington

  • 30 October 2022, 11:12

Three weeks after winning the opening round of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League at the start of October in Sacramento (USA) with Vital Chance de la Roque, Co Down’s Swail led the victory lap again last night, this time in Washington (USA) with his mount from the 2022 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final in Leipzig (GER), Count Me In.

Conor Swail (IRL) riding Count Me In – winners of the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ NAL 2022/2023 – Washington (USA) (FEI/Shawn McMillen Photography)

Nine combinations advanced to jump-off in Washington, including two for Ireland, with Swail joined in the second round by fellow Irishman Daniel Coyle and Legacy. Coyle would finish eighth at the finish with one fence down in 38.55 seconds. World No.5 Swail posted a brilliant clear in 35.76 which would see him finish just under three-tenths of a second ahead of Israel’s Daniel Bluman in second with Gemma W, while third place went to Brian Moggre (USA) and MTM Vivre le Reve.

Between Count Me In and Vital Chance de la Roque, Swail has recorded five World Cup victories in North America over the course of the last two seasons, and with Count Me In, Swail finished eighth in the 2022 Finals in Leipzig. He will continue to pursue points toward the 2023 Finals in Omaha (USA) at upcoming legs in Toronto (CAN) and Las Vegas (USA).

“Since I got those two horses, Count Me In and Vital Chance de la Roque, we really hit it off, and we’ve gone through the roof,” Swail said.

“[Count Me In] has really changed my career. He’s brought me to a lot of places I’d never been and has been very successful doing it. This year, I know he’s capable, and [returning to World Cup Finals] is something that I’m looking forward to doing with him. It is a plan at this point, which probably makes it better.”

Swail now boasts a commanding lead in the NAL standings with 40 points. Bluman and Sophia Siegel (USA) are tied for second with 17 points apiece. The North American World Cup League resumes in Lexington (USA) on 05 November 2022.

Swail’s win adds to an already successful weekend for the Irish on both sides of the Atlantic.

Derry’s Daniel Coyle made a winning start in Washington on Thursday when he guided the Ariel Grange-owned mare Legacy to victory in the $75,000 Welcome Stake. He was joined in the winners enclosure by his brother Jordan Coyle and USA’s McLain Ward when they finished in a three-way tie for victory in the Puissance in Washington as they all cleared the wall at 2m10 (6 ft 10 inches) in the final round.

Closer to home in Europe, at the five-star World Cup show in Lyon (FRA), Co Louth’s Mark McAuley and the Irish Sport Horse GRS Lady Amaro, bred by Denis Hickey, claimed victory in Saturday’s 1m50 speed class.

GRS Lady Amaro (ISH) – 2013 mare by Amaretto Darco (BWP) out of Legal Lady (TB) by Over The River (TB). Breeder: Denis Hickey, Co. Wexford. Owner: William Hickey. Rider: Mark McAuley (IRL).

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