Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque. Conor(Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Service).
Earlier on Thursday, Conor Swail was the winner in the first competition of the day, the $50,000 Suncast Cup 1.50m riding Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque. In a nine-horse jump-off out of 30 starters, Swail and ‘Simba’ raced to the fastest time of 43.01 seconds out of five double clear rounds. Their time was over two seconds faster than second place finishers, Quentin Judge (USA) and Double H Farm’s HH Dark de la Hart, who stopped the clock in 45.05 seconds.
“It was great to finally get a win in the International Ring,” Swail remarked. “I have been knocking on the door for a few weeks now and finally I got the door opened. It is also nice to get a win with Simba. He is a new horse for us. We got him just before the winter in Florida and he has been really good. He went a bit green at the beginning of the summer, but he is coming up trumps this week!”
“He is much happier in this main International Ring. We can get a nice gallop, and get under the front foot and off he goes,” Swail noted. “In the jump-off, everything came up smoothly for me. He covers the ground well and he is always very careful. It was a good round. I have to say, I was delighted with it.”
Juan Manuel Luzardo (URY) placed third aboard Mauricio Guerra Colorado’s Stan in 45.17 seconds. Emanuel Andrade (VEN) finished fourth with his own Nokia de Brekka with a time of 47.20 seconds, and Jaime Azcarraga (MEX) guided his family’s Anton to fifth place in 53.81 seconds.
Swail is taking his time to develop a good partnership with Simba de la Roque and has learned a lot about the nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Allegreto) in the last several weeks.
“I think this is where we are getting to know each other as the weeks go by,” the rider detailed. “Sometimes he can be tricky enough to ride. He gets a little careful and nervous, so it is just about trying to hold his hand and make it as comfortable for him as possible. Equally, we still have to make progress moving forward, learning how to win and learning how to jump bigger jumps. It is just that fine line between over doing it and doing enough. You have to find out what is enough and maybe take a step back and then move forward again. He has been fabulous and I am looking forward to the months ahead with him.”
Swail originally purchased Simba de la Roque himself, and was thrilled when owner Susan Grange chose to add the horse to her string and secure the ride.
“I always have to thank the owners,” Swail acknowledged. “I bought the horse, and told Sue to watch him and see if he would fit into our team and she took a chance on him. He looks like he is going to be a fantastic horse, so onwards and upwards.”
Final Results: $50,000 Suncast Cup 1.50m
1. $16,500 SIMBA DE LA ROQUE Selle Francais / G / 9 Kannan x Allegreto
CONOR SWAIL (IRL) DARRAGH CROSS DOWN Susan Grange: 0/0/43.01
2. $10,000 HH DARK DE LA HART Belgian Sport Horse / S / 12 Kashmir van Schuttershof x Non Stop
QUENTIN JUDGE (USA) WELLINGTON, FL Double H Farm: 0/0/45.05
3. $7,500 STAN Hanoverian / G / 9 Stakkato x Sacramento Son
JUAN MANUEL LUZARDO (URU) LA MOJONERA, ZAPOPAN Mauricio Guerra Colorado: 0/0/45.17
4. $5,000 NOKIA DE BREKKA Selle Francais / G / 14 Quick Star x Apache D Adriers
EMANUEL ANDRADE (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Emanuel Andrade: 0/0/47.20
5. $3,000 ANTON Warmblood / G / 11 Marlone x Orville
JAIME AZCARRAGA (MEX) MEXICO CITY Jaime Azcarraga & Family: 0/0/53.81
6. $2,250 VASCO Dutch Warmblood / G / 13 Andiamo x Clinton
ADAM PRUDENT (FRA) WELLINGTON, FL Adam Prudent: 0/4/44.13
7. $1,500 BALBOA 6 Warmblood / G / 12 Baloubet D.Ro x Cascadeur
LESLIE HOWARD (USA) DARIEN, CT Moormann, Rolf u. Paul Schockemohle: 0/4/48.34
8. $1,250 LUMINOSO LS Warmblood / G / 14 Lux x Tlaloc M
GONZALO AZCARRAGA RIVERA TORRES (MEX) MEXICO CITY Jaime Azcarraga: 0/4/52.19
9. $1,000 SF ARIANTHA Dutch Warmblood / M / 10 Corland x Emillion
ANDRES RODRIGUEZ (VEN) WELLINGTON, FL Olivia Cox-Fill: 0/8/44.75
10. $1,000 DUTCH AMOURETTA Dutch Warmblood / M / 10 Dutch Capitol x Wellington
BRENDA RIDDELL (CAN) CALGARY, AB Silverstar Farms: 1/85.92
11. $500 WILSON Dutch Warmblood / G / 12 Onze Fons x Monaco
BRENDA RIDDELL (CAN) CALGARY, AB Silverstar Farms: 1/86.59
12. $500 UTAH Dutch Warmblood / G / 14 Andiamo x Jus de Pomme
LESLIE HOWARD (USA) DARIEN, CT Utah Group: 4/78.95
Source: Spruce Meadows Media Service