Irish riders and Irish Sport Horses enjoy successful weekend in North America

  • 6 December 2021, 10:51

Co Down’s Conor Swail continued his superb run of form when taking runner-up spot in Sunday’s $230,000 Adequan Grand Prix at the five-star fixture in Thermal, California USA. Riding the Sandy Lupton-owed gelding Count Me In, Swail finished five hundredths of a second behind Brazilian winner Cassio Rivetti with Alanine De Vains. Galway’s Andrew Bourns and The Irish Sport Horse Sea Topblue were also among the nine combinations that made it into the jump-off and took fifth place at the finish.

Conor Swail and Count Me In (Photo: Ashley Neuhof & Lindsay Brock / MLSJ)

Speaking about the jump-off, Swail said:

“Cassio was first in and had a blazing round. His horse is very fast and I nearly didn’t watch anything else after that if I am being honest. I knew it was going to be hard to beat him. My horse was fantastic and we are in a newer relationship. We haven’t done a ton of classes yet together and this is only our fourth five-star. He has been clear in three out of the four classes we have done. He is a fantastic horse and I am really looking forward to what is coming next with him. I had a great round and he really jumped amazingly. I had a little stumble landing off of the last jump in the jump off which I think took away a little time. I am very happy with second and the horse was just fantastic. Cassio was a great winner today.”

Irish horses and riders were also in superb form over the weekend at the four-star show in Palm Beach, Florida. Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and Karlin Van’t Vennehof took runner-up spot in Saturday’s $214,000 four-star Grand Prix. Just three combinations jumped double clear with victory going to Catherine Tyree (USA) and The Irish Sport Horse BEC Lorenzo.

At the same venue on Sunday, Ireland’s Simon McCarthy and Rock Ridge Farms’ Gotcha claimed victory in the $37,000 Dover Saddlery 1m50.

“Since I won today, I have to say I thought the courses were great! The courses were fair without being overly big. The first course was long enough and the last line caught a few people, plus there were some careful spots with the skinny to the liverpool, and then a scopey oxer to finish. You needed some gas in the tank to finish up that last line without faults. The designer did a fantastic job,” McCarthy remarked.

Back in Europe, there were wins for Galway’s Michael Duffy with Jeff Ten Halven at Riesenbeck in Germany and for Sligo’s Richard Howley and Arlo De Blondel at Oliva in Spain.


Sea Topblue (ISH) – 2011 gelding by Chacco Blue (MECKL) out of Sea Top Lady (ISH) by Lux Z (HANN). Breeders: James & John Meade, Co. Clare. Owner: Deirdre Bourns. Rider: Andrew Bourns (IRL).
BEC Lorenzo (ISH) – 2010 gelding by SIEC Livello (HOLST) out of B (KWPN) by Guidam (SF). Breeder: Brian Duff, Co. Meath. Owner: Joseph Tyree. Rider: Catherine Tyree (USA).

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