Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque – Al Cook – www.alcookphoto.com
Conor Swail of Wellington, FL dashed to victory on Simba de la Roque, owned by Susan Grange, in the $10,000 Dash for Cash Open Jumper class at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. The pair stopped the timers in 57.028 seconds going clear in the speed class on Wednesday. Laura Chapot of Neshanic Station, NJ and Quointreau Un Prince finished a fraction slower, going clear in 57.405. Swail credits Simba’s ability to cut corners as the key to success.
“The course was nicely built and there were a couple of places where you could just nip inside fences to take a shorter route,” said Swail of the Michel Vaillancourt designed course. “Simba is very good at doing that so I just used his good quality to make a few nice tight turns that was able to get me the win today.”
Less than three seconds separated the top six in the field of 15 competitors with eight in all going clear. Callan Solem of Chester Springs, PA was the third fastest finishing in 58.456 seconds on VDL Torlando, owned by the Torlando Group; Michael Hughes of Goshen, NY and Christina Fried’s Luxina, were fourth in 59.225; Kama Godek of Fairfax Station, VA rode Air Force One to fifth in 59.280 seconds and Sydney Shulman Greenwich, CT riding Toscane de L’Isle, owned by Jill Shulman, were sixth going in 59.795 seconds.
Many of the competitors in the opening jumper class plan on participating in the marquee event, the $85,000 Prix de Penn National on Saturday, including Swail.
“I think today was a nice starting class for the horses to get a look around in the ring,” said Swail. “The horse that won today is going to do the big classes and this was his sort of runaround, so it was nice to win. I am hoping to have a good week. I have three very nice horses here and they have been on great form so I hope the form continues.”