In tonight’s opening class for the Summer Fort Festival at Thunderbird Show Park Conor Swail and Flower take the win with a speedy time of 64.48. The twelve-year-old, bay mare is a spitfire and as Swail commented after his class, that although he had the same strides in the lines, “she is quick off the ground” which gives her those speedy times.
Taking second was one of the rare occurrences in show jumping, a tie! Eric Navet and Eugenio Garza Perez both tied for second with a time of 65.63. American Mandy Porter held the lead for the majority of the class with third into the ring getting a time of 65.69. But it was first Eugenio and then Eric to come edge her out for a fourth-place finish.
Being a speed class the riders had to navigate that forever tricky question of how fast to go, while still being careful enough to keep the rails up. But with thirteen clear it was a fantastic show of these talented horses and riders.
The course was perfect for a speed round, with lots of angles and places for riders to challenge the turns and then reach for the gallop. Those angles got a lot of riders with cutting it just too close and there were many four fault rounds. Swail was also able to use Flower’s impressive agility and power to save time on the corners as she turned on a dime and sprung from those turns with power.
It was a beautiful start to the week of jumping leading up to Sunday’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping. Swail confirmed in his interview after the class that he will be taking Flower in the qualifier, so we look forward to seeing them both again on Sunday.
1. Flower – Conor Swail
2. Victer Finn DH Z – Eugenio Garza Perez
3. Basimodo – Eric Navet
4. Milano – Mandy Porter
5. Samson II – Zazou Hoffman
6. Wahrhaftige CR – Ben Asselin
7. Camerone – Lindsay Archer
8. Ninou – Jeff Campf
9. Clockwise of Greenhill Z – Uma O’Neill
10. Cair Paravel – Bryna Closson
11. Calypso van de Zuuthoeve – Laura Hite
12. Mai Tai – Karrie Rufer