Shane Sweetnam secures American double with victory in $130,000 Ariat Grand Prix

  • 5 June 2016, 09:44

Cork-born Shane Sweetnam has scored his second win of the weekend at Tryon in North Carolina, USA, winning the $130,000 Ariat Grand Prix in the early hours of this morning.

Shane Sweetnam Cobalt

Shane Sweetnam and Cobalt (Photo: Flying Horse Photography)

Sweetnam had already claimed a win in the opening Welcome class at Tryon with Cyklon 1083 and he added to his haul by guiding the 10-year-old gelding Cobalt to victory in the feature event under the lights in the George H. Morris Arena.

Cobalt, who is owned by The Buckle Up Group, is actually a son of Sweetnam’s earlier winning mount Cyklon 1083 and was one of five combinations to make it into the jump-off.

Sweetnam tryon pres

Shane Sweetnam and Cobolt with Casey Mowerey of Ariat® and Sweetnam’s groom Lilly Johnson, who was presented with the Groom’s Initiative Award  (Photo: Flying Horse Photography)

Sweetnam and Cobolt crossed the finish line fault free when last to go in 41.58 seconds to secure their top place finish, ahead of Daniel Bedoya (BOL) and Quattro in second, David Beisel (USA) and Call Me Hannes finished third.

“I definitely felt pressure. You have to understand the goal, but you can’t be silly about it either. He’s quite a quick horse and I knew that he was feeling good because he was bucking from fence one to two,” explained Sweetnam. “We were a little lucky at fence two because of it, but he responded great and jumped the rest very well.

“He’s a new enough ride for me. He’s 10 and his father is actually Cyklon who won the other day, so it’s a father and son kind of thing this week,” laughed Sweetnam. “We haven’t done so many big classes together yet, so for the jump-off I wasn’t sure how it would pan out but he handled it very well.”

Meanwhile at the four-star Canadian show in Langley, Conor Swail scored a runner-up finish in Saturday night’s jump-off class with the Susan and Ariel Grange-owned Cita. Derry-born Daniel Coyle also finished in the top 10, piloting Ridley to ninth place. Swail and Coyle played a starring role in Friday night’s Canadian Nations Cup, where Ireland secured a third place finish.

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