It was an exciting evening as some of the world's top riders competed in the $40,000 Pennsylvania 'Big Jump' competition. Ireland's Conor Swail and Game Ready, owned by Sue Grange, were last to go in the jump-off, and pulled out all the stops to clinch the win in 34.54 seconds at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. "It feels great to win", said Swail. "The horse is a very good horse, he's a fast horse and very careful. He has his own quirky ways - he can throw some funny jumps, but the great thing about him is he's a real winner and he gives you great confidence when you are riding a horse like that".
Out of twenty eight starters, only seven made it to the jump-off over the Alan Wade designed course. Second placed Kent Farrington and Willow, owned by Amalaya Investments, crossed the timers in 36.80 seconds, edging out Brianne Goutal and Nice de Prissey, owned by Remarkable Farms LP, who finished in 38.01 seconds and third place.
"I think the reason I probably won by such a distance is because on the landing side he is so quick to turn. I think that's where he makes so much time. You can see the tracks of the riders that have gone in front of you and everywhere I just stayed inside their tracks".
"Alan [Wade] is an Irish course designer and he's world renowned. He always builds good courses that are difficult to jump even if they don't look it - there's difficulties in them. I thought he did a good job with 7 clears out of 28 [starters] in the first round, and three clears in the jump-off is a good ratio".
Swail plans on competing Game Ready on Saturday night in the Grand Prix de Penn National. "This is my first trip to Harrisburg so it's a good start for me", said Swail. "It's a beautiful place - it's a great arena, and the warm-up is fantastic".
Irish rider Darragh Kenny and Top Gun IV, owned by Oakland Ventures LLC, picked up another win this afternoon in the $5,000 Open Jumper II class. The pair topped the field of 34 starters, jumping clear and in the fastest time of 63.926 seconds. Laura Chapot and Zealouz, owned by Mary Chapot, finished second in 64.154 seconds.
Source: Press release from Panational.org
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