Conor Swail and Viva Colombia. (Photo © Spruce Meadows Media Service).
Ireland’s Conor Swail got a win in the first competition of the day riding Ilan Ferder’s Viva Colombia on Friday. The $40,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m saw 49 entries over Anthony D’Ambrosio’s first round course, with six clear to advance to the jump-off, and four double clear rounds.
Vanessa Mannix (CAN) set the challenge with the first clear over the short course in 40.78 seconds aboard Nirvana de Terlong, eventually settling in fourth place. Olivier Philippaerts (BEL) finished in 38.21 seconds riding Ludo Philippaerts’ Aragon van Schuttershof to take the second place prize. Leslie Howard was next to go with a clear round in 38.33 seconds to finish third aboard the Utah Group’s Utah. Swail and Viva Colombia completed the final clear jump-off round in the winning time of 37.52 seconds.
A ten-year-old Oldenburg mare (Couleur Rubin x Landor S), Viva Colombia is a horse that Swail began riding at the end of the winter this year. The pair won a FEI World Ranking competition in Palgrave, Ontario, this spring and also finished third in last week’s $35,000 Encana Cup 1.45m.
“I am just getting to get to know her and I think she is a very nice horse,” Swail described. “The plan is for her to be a grand prix horse. Kirsten Coe rode her in a few big classes in Florida, so the mare has had that experience, but it is a new relationship. For me, I like to teach them to be able to go fast and run and win also, so it is nice to do the 1.45m and 1.50m competitions as well just to get to know the horse. She really is learning fast with me. She does what she is asked every time she comes out, so I am very pleased.”
Detailing his winning jump-off, Swail explained, “There were only six of us, which was nice with the amount of numbers here. It was one of those jump-offs where you did not really have much to lose. I felt I was a little slow at the start to be honest. I could have had a better shot to jump one and I probably did too many steps to fence two. The six-stride was a bit too patient for her because she has such a big step, but I think after that it was very good. Coming home, I was extremely fast, so obviously that is just where I beat the other guys.”
The ‘Continental’ Tournament continues in the Meadows on the Green on Saturday featuring the $85,000 Repsol Cup 1.50m.
Final Results: $40,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m
1. $10,000 VIVA COLOMBIA Oldenburg / M / 10 Couleur Rubin x Landor S CONOR SWAIL (IRL) DARRAGH CROSS DOWN Ilan Ferder: 0/0/37.52
2. $8,000 ARAGON VAN SCHUTTERSHOF Warmblood / G / 9 Quintero x Cento OLIVIER PHILIPPAERTS (BEL) MEEUWEN-GRUITRODE Ludo Philippaerts: 0/0/38.21
3. $6,000 UTAH Dutch Warmblood / G / 14 Andiamo x Jus de Pomme LESLIE HOWARD (USA) DARIEN, CT Utah Group: 0/0/38.33
4. $4,000 NIRVANA DE TERLONG Selle Francais / G / 14 Rox de la Touche x Jalisco B VANESSA MANNIX (CAN) CALGARY, AB Vanessa Mannix: 0/0/40.78
5. $2,800 BABEL Warmblood / G / 8 Billy du Lys x High Flyer PATRICIO PASQUEL (MEX) MEXICO CITY Patricio Pasquel: 0/4/36.56
6. $2,200 CASSINJA S Zweibrucker / M / 9 Carinjo x Cassini I CHARLIE JACOBS (USA) BOSTON, MA CMJ Sporthorse LLC: 0/4/37.62
7. $1,600 GITANO Zangersheide / G / 14 Caretano Z x Concorde FEDERICO FERNANDEZ (MEX) MEXICO CITY Federico Fernandez: 1/75.23
8. $1,200 FALCO VAN DE CLEHOEVE Warmblood / G / 10 Quickfeuer Van Koekshof x Fellini FRANCOIS MATHY (BEL) BELGIUM Ingrid Normar: 4/70.81
9. $1,200 CON CAPILOT Westphalian / S / 12 Con Capitol x Pilot TODD MINIKUS (USA) LOXAHATCHEE, FL Nancy Gooding: 4/71.91
10. $1,000 NO LIMIT Holstein / G / 9 Nekton x Lavall II JOSE ALBERTO MARTINEZ (MEX) GUADALAJARA, JALISCO Jose Alberto Martinez: 4/72.02
11. $1,000 KS STAKKI Hanoverian / M / 10 Stakkato Gold x Silvio I REED KESSLER (USA) LEXINGTON, KY Kessler Show Stables: 4/72.22
12. $1,000 HOT TOPIC Belgian Warmblood / M / 8 Cicero Z x Hattrick NINA FAGERSTROM (FIN) CUMERLAND, ON Finca Horses Inc: 4/72.60