It was Conor Swail and Flower again!
The luck of the Irish definitely seems to be holding for the rider from Ireland and his new mare as the power duo pulled two clear runs to take the win at the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping at Thunderbird Show Park this afternoon.
This was the fourth win for the pair at Thunderbird, and the third this week.
Flower, a 12-year-old-mare – owned by Swail and his student Vanessa Mannix – is quick and careful, and as Swail has remarked before – she is very quick across the ground.
“The mare was absolutely outstanding for the whole 10-day period we were here, and it was really good to end it off with a win,” Swail told the Langley Advance.
He insisted he’d be back to Langley again.
“I definitely will be back because, as I say it continues to be a lucky show for me, and I hope that continues on my next visit,” he said, noting his second-place finish at the Grand Prix in May and now first in the World Cup today.
Second place went to Canadian Chris Surbey, who rode Daylight VDL.
This fairly new match for him didn’t seem to slow the pair down. They do celebrated two clears but finishing behind Swail with a time of 45.48.
In the press conference Surbey remarks on how even though his horse is bigger and takes bigger strides, it is slower off the ground than Flower.
Swail and Flower’s time in the jump off was 41.86, which is almost four seconds faster than Surbey’s.
Surbey was one of two Canadians who represented Canada in the Longines FEI World Cup Finals back in April and is looking to be heading back there again.
Another Irishman, Alan Wade was the course designer. He was lauded for doing “a fantastic job” on this year’s course, with seven riders out of 26 coming back in the jump off.
Wade utilized the big grass field and set some big verticals with room for options on the turns.
Flower’s agility and strength off the turns could be seen as she tore around the jump off, said Emily Penn, a tbird spokesperson.
“The course had the variety of both technical questions as well as demanded strength and skill from the horses. One common spot for issues was the big Longines oxer coming into the triple combination, a few horses dropped a leg to catch the rail. There were a lot of rounds with just those disappointing four faults, many being top riders in the sport who were top contenders for win.”
Of note, Langley’s own L.J. Tidball came ninth.
Swail and Flower now look ahead the next qualifier in the West Coast series for the North American League of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping, hoping to make it to the finals in Paris next spring.
1. Flower – Conor Swail (IRL)
2. Daylight VDL – Christopher Surbey (CAN)
3. Luebbo – Jamie Barge (USA)
4. Dolinn – Sayre Happy (USA)
5.Wicked – Jenn Serek (CAN)
6. Armani Sl Z – Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX)
7. Abunola – Leah de Martini (USA)
8. Pumped Up Kicks – Jennifer Gates (USA)
9. Concetto Son – Laura Jane Tidball (CAN)
10. Samson II – Zazou Hoffman (USA)
11. Zilversprings – Elizabeth Gingras (CAN)
12. Navalo de Poheton – Andrew Kocher (USA)
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