Ireland’s Conor Swail and Flower Race to the Win in the $35,000 Friends of Royal West Challenge Cup, Presented by Truman Homes

Ireland’s Conor Swail and Flower winners of the $35,000 Friends of Royal West Cup presented by Truman Homes, phase 2 of the Royal West International Championship on the second day of Royal West, Calgary, AB. Photo Credit Amanda Ubell Photography

For Immediate Release
October 20, 2017

In an exciting jump-off with 15 horses, Ireland’s Conor Swail and the 12-year-old mare Flower blazed to the win double clear in 37.05 seconds. Swail dared the other riders going first in the jump off with inside turns and fast gallops on CK Coco Chanel. His clear round jump-off and fast time kept others chasing the clock and incurring rails in the process.

“I have more experience with Flower going fast in jump-offs – I’m still getting to know Coco Chanel in the jump-off. It was tight and fast on [Coco Chanel] and I honestly wasn’t sure I could beat it, but Flower and I have been in that situation before and I knew I could trust our partnership,” said Swail.

It looked like the time would hold until Calgarian Jim Ifko entered the ring on his 9-year-old stallion Un Diamant des Forets (Diamant de Semilly x Papillion Rouge). With only Swail and Daniel Coyle coming behind him, he showed an opening in the course, stopping the clocks at 37.35 seconds.

“It is so great having this level of indoor competition right here in Calgary,” said Ifko. “My horse jumped so well and it is great to be up on the podium in this company,” he continued.

Coming right after Ifko, Swail guided Flower, who was also 2nd in the $35,000 Speed class last night, to masterful turns, including a crowd-whistling gallop to the final fence. Last night’s winner, fellow Irishman Daniel Coyle caught rails chasing the clock after clear first rounds with both his mounts Cita and Fortis Fortuna.

Conner Swail winner of the $35,000 Friends of Royal West Cup presented by Truman Homes, Sponsor George Trutina President of Truman Homes and second place rider Jim Ifko.

The course, designed by Werner Deeg (GER), Peter Holmes (CAN), Chris Jones (CAN), and Eric Hasbrouck (USA), was off to a slightly auspicious start when the first four riders – Swail, Jeff Campf, Kyle King, and Laura Jane Tidball all jumped clear rounds. However, a dearth of clear rides followed and spectators had to wait until the 20th in the order – Lauren Crooks and Valentino d’Elte to produce the fifth clear round.

The 36 starters attempted the course, which consisted of 12 fences and 15 jumping efforts tested scope and adjustability throughout. Early in the course, an imposing liverpool oxer-to-oxer line of three long strides from fences 4 to 5 away from the in-gate elicited much strong riding. The most rails, however, were caught in the one-stride to two-stride triple combination 6ABC. The vertical-oxer-vertical saw all three fences fall roughly equivalently, with several horses bringing down two and a couple bringing all three rails down with them.

As a new sponsor to the world of show jumping, Truman Homes President George Trutina was “completely hooked” by his first international competition sponsorship. As a good friend of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping’s John Anderson, Trutina has been introduced to the horse show world and is excited to be a longtime supporter. His first ribbon presentation ceremony was an exciting one, as Swail’s Flower stepped on his foot during the trophy presentation, a story that will likely be told throughout Truman Homes’ continued support of the sport.

Royal West Day 2 Competition

In the second day of competition, the morning saw more junior, amateur, and professional hunter divisions. Danika & Jenna Oxland were crowned Champions in the Modified Hunter 3’3”, with Letter Perfect & Bill Ulmer taking Reserve Championship Honors. Round 2 of Royal West Jumper Championships crowned winners on the second day Eric Krawitt & Wellingon (1.10m – for the second day in a row), Anya Bereznicki & Diazella and Karin Johnson & Go Blue (1.20m) and Mitchell Endicott & Wang Chung M2S (1.30m).

Early evening brought the $10,000 Greenhawk Calgary Hunter Derby with Brent Balisky taking the win with Class Act. He was followed by Tracey Epp & Solo Dinero and Rodney Tulloch and Google in 3rd – watch his interview here.

$35,000 Friends of Royal West Cup presented by Truman Homes 1.45m CSI2*
Rider / Horse / Country / Faults Round 1 / Faults Round 2 / Time Round 2
Conor Swail / Flower / IRE / 0 / 0 / 37.05
Jim Ifko / Un Diamant des Forets / CAN / 0 / 0 / 37.35
Conor Swail / GK Coco Chanel / IRE / 0 / 0 / 38.92
Kyle King / Escudo’s Triumph / USA / 0 / 0 39.68
Lauren Crooks / Valentino d’Elte / USA / 0 / 40.32
Rachel Cornacchia / Valkyrie de Talma / CAN / 0 / 40.34
Jeff Campf / Wordworth II / USA / 0 / 0 / 41.00
Beth Underhill / Count Me In / CAN / 0 / 0 / 42.03
Laura Jane Tidball / Concetto Son / CAN / 0 / 42.83
Vanessa Mannix / Cantika / CAN / 0 / 0 / 43.67
Lauren Crooks / Columbcille de Reve / USA / 0 / 4 / 40.84
Claire Doty / Bremeersen Imoretto / USA / 0 / 4 / 42.38
Daniel Coyle / Cita / IRE / 0 / 4 / 49.83
Daniel Coyle / Fortis Fortuna / IRE / 0 / 8 / 35.67
Kyle King / Andiamo vh Kapelhof Z / USA / 0 / 9 / 50.08