Ireland's Conor Swail rode Fortis Fortuna to a blazing time of 33.669 seconds in the Ridge at Wellington's 1.40m Grand Prix at Tonkawa Farms to snatch up the win today. Not only did Swail secure the first place, but he also guided his other mount, Tahiti Island to the third place finish, proving that his winning streak is more than just the luck of the Irish. It was Olympian Laura Kraut and Zeremonie that followed close behind, breaking the beam in 33.819 seconds to take the second place finish, just narrowly missing Swail's time.
Swail set an early lead this morning at Tonkawa Farms, riding to the top finishes with his two mounts. He left nothing to chance as he guided Fortis Fortuna, owned by Susan Grange, to the jump off time of 33.669 seconds. He followed only three trips later with Tahiti Island, owned by Blue Hill Farm, to rank second with an equally impressive, but more conservative round in 36.720 seconds.
"It is another different venue, and the footing is fantastic. It is a beautiful, beautiful setting. It is the same each week at the shows; it is nice to have a place like The Ridge," Swail said. "At The Ridge, your horses can get a great education, enjoy beautiful courses and compete at a different venue every week. Each venue has its own unique style, so it is really beneficial to bring your horses here and compete for some nice prize money, too."
Swail continued, "Fortis Fortuna is a very nice horse who has done a few of these classes now, and today she had a very fast round. I think it would be hard to beat our time. We got a little lucky today, which is never bad. Hopefully I posted a score that will stand. It's there to beat, but she jumped great and did everything I asked her to do. Wherever that gets me, I'm happy with that."
Their time held strong as consecutive competitors attempted to catch it without avail. Only eight horse and rider combinations were able to jump double clear, but Olympian Laura Kraut was prepared to add some heat to the competition, showing Zeremonie to the last clear jump-off round of the day. For the first time since Swail posted the path finding time, it seemed as though defeat was a possibility.
Kraut took all the inside turns, keeping a tight track as she navigated Nick Granat's course. She even left out strides; however, the clock would stop .15 seconds off Swail's pace.
"This is the second time that I have jumped Zeremonie at The Ridge," Kraut said of the grey mare. "She did really well the first time we jumped on the turf at the Wanderer's Club, and she seems to really love the grass. She jumped great out there today-she was super. I am so happy that we came here. We heard rumors that the footing was amazing, and they were right, it is. It is so nice for the horses, it feels like they are jumping on a trampoline."
Darrin Dilin and Carlotta Singular would capture the fourth place just behind Swail and Tahiti Island. They rode to the time of 37.671 seconds without fault. Sarah Wayda and Faroukh finished fifth, while the first rider of the day, Sayre Happy, rounded out the top six with Big Star.
Week 10 of the Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour is taking place at The International Polo Club, located at 3667 120th Avenue South in Wellington, FL, 33414. The show entrance will be off 120th Street between Lake Worth Road and Pierson Road.
The Ridge would like to thank Dover Saddlery for their support of the 12-week series as the cooler and banner sponsor, and they would also like to announce their most recent jump sponsor, Panthera, the leaders in wild cat conservation. Panthera joins Hollow Brook Wealth Management and PJ Saddles as the series' jump sponsors.
Show Net will be onsite for both Wednesday and Friday events posting live results, as well as videoing rounds in both rings. For results and videos please visit www.shownet.biz.
Ridge at Wellington Turf Tour 1.40m Grand Prix
Place Entry Horse Rider Owners
1 1570 Fortis Fortuna Connor Swail Susan Grange
2 1270 Zeremonie Laura Kraut Old Willow Farms LLC
3 1575 Tahiti Island Connor Swail Blue Hill Farm, LLC
4 1572 Carlotta Singular Darrin Dliin Susan Grange
5 1266 Faroukh Sarah E. Wayda Sarah E. Wayda
6 1588 Big Star Sayre Happy Hc Sport Horses
7 1557 Way Of Life Ansgar Holtgers Ansgar Holtgers
8 1589 Cyranelky Sayre Happy Jennifer Gates
Source: Press release from Phelps Media Group, Inc.
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