They don’t call Conor Swail the winningest rider at Thunderbird Show Park for nothing. Swail lived up to his reputation this week by dominating the big jumper classes with some blazing fast — and clear — rounds. He started off with a win on Vital Chance de la Roque in the CSI4*-W $75,000 Welcome 1.50m. The gelding, known for his exuberance did not disappoint and added a few bucks to the round, which Swail says helped him make the nine strides to give him a fast round.
On Friday, Swail captured the top two places in the $75,000 CS14*-W Tbird cup, finishing first on Theo and second on Vital Chance de la Roque.
Then on Sunday, he and Vital Chance de la Roque won the $150,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Vancouver, the opening leg of the 2021–2022 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League. The 12-year old bay gelding, known as “Vinny” in the barn, doesn’t look like much until he’s in the competition ring. Interestingly, like several of Sweden’s Olympic showjumpers, Vital Chance de la Roque is also barefoot.
Here’s a nice interview with Conor Swail about Vital Chance de La Roque.
At the start of the week, one of the announcers said that if Conor Swail won the first class, the other riders needed to watch out, as once he gets on a roll, he’s hot. Looks like that was an accurate prediction.