IRISH Show Jumping riders featured strongly in Longines FEI World Cup action this weekend on both sides of the Atlantic, with County Down’s Conor Swail claiming victory in the four-star FEI World Cup in Texas (USA), while Mayo’s Michael G Duffy finished sixth in the five-star London FEI World Cup in Britain with the Irish Sport Horse ‘Lapuccino’.
Conor Swail continued his Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League dominance in the early hours of Sunday morning at Fort Worth, Texas (USA), securing his third World Cup victory of the season after an eight-horse jump-off.
Swail took victories at the league’s opening two events at Vancouver (CAN) and Sacramento (USA) with ‘Vital Chance de la Roque’, but in Fort Worth, he brought forward a new winning partner in the 14-year-old gelding, ‘Count Me In’.
“I decided to bring him [‘Count Me In’] here for a few reasons. He was up in Thermal (California, USA) for a few weeks, and this was a stop on our way back to Wellington (Florida, USA),” Swail explained. “The other reason is that it gives me another option if I decide to go to World Cup Finals. The horse that you use [at the Finals] has to have competed [in at least one qualifier].
“[‘Vital Chance de la Roque’] is small and fiery, while [‘Count Me In’] has more range. The one thing they have in common is that they’re both extremely good athletes and want to leave the jumps up for me, and that’s the reason why I’ve had such a good year.”
Tiffany Foster (CAN) and ‘Figor’ finished second, with 24-year-old Ailish Cunniffe (USA) and ‘Vivaldi du Theil’ third. Swail maintains a comfortable lead in the NAL World Cup with 63 points and has earned points in every World Cup event he has jumped this season.
Michael G Duffy sixth in London
Back in Europe, Mayo’s Michael G Duffy and the Irish Sport Horse ‘Lapuccino’ finished best of the Irish in the five-star FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the London Horse Show. Duffy and the 13-year-old gelding were among 11 combinations who made it into the jump-off and they went clear again in the second round to take sixth place at the finish. Waterford’s Anthony Condon also made it into the jump-off and went on to finish 10th with ‘SFS Vincomte’. The winner’s prize went to Britain’s Harry Charles with ‘Stardust’.
Tipperary’s Denis Lynch retains his position at the top of the Western European World Cup league table with six of the 10 league rounds now completed.
Lapuccino 2 (ISH) – 2008 gelding by SIEC Livelllo (HOLST), out of Cabaret III (BHD). Breeder: Sven Kapp, Co. Galway. Owner: Carl Hanley Sporthorses GmbH. Rider: Michael G Duffy (IRL).
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