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Swail and Fellers top Friday's CSI5* classes at Spruce Meadows

Saturday, 07 July 2018
CSI5* Spruce Meadows 'North American' 2018

Photo (c) Spruce Meadows Media. Conor Swail and GK Coco Chanel. Photo (c) Spruce Meadows Media.

Friday marked the start of the final weekend of the 2018 Spruce Meadows Summer Series. Great sport, entertainment and family fun were underway on the grounds for all to enjoy.

The International Ring began with the 1.45m ATCO Connect Cup and 67 horse-and-rider combinations started the competition with the hopes of jumping into the winners circle. Only three combinations jumped clear in round one to advance into the jump-off. Rich Fellers (USA), Luis Alejandro Plascencia (MEX) and Eric Lamaze (CAN) each were ready to take on the jump-off track designed by FEI course designer Santiago Varela (ESP).

Fellers was first into the ring for the jump-off and had a rail to leave the door open for the remaining two riders. Plascencia decided to take it steady and would end his jump-off round with 5 time faults leaving a door and window open for Lamaze to take the win. A couple of unlucky rails for Lamaze would leave Fellers with the unlikely win with a rail in the jump-off together with Lux Lady (Lux Z x Master Imp).

"I started coming here (Spruce Meadows) in 1977 and I don't recall ever winning in the jump off with a rail," Rich Fellers commented. 

The 1.50m Pepsi Challenge was the final competition Friday of the Spruce Meadows 'North American' CSI5*, presented by Rolex. Twenty-five horse-and-rider combinations stepped through the clock tower to take on the evening competition. Only six of riders, representing five different nations, would make it through round one with no faults.

Eduardo Menezes (BRA) was the first rider back through the clock tower for the jump-off round and posted a clear jump off round and a quick time of 45.42s. The remaining riders had to speed up and take some risks in order to beat him. Both John Perez (COL) and Patricio Pasquel (MEX) had a similar jump-off plan with each posting a clear round and times of 44.91s to tie for second place. Conor Swail (IRL) and his horse GK Coco Chanel (Clarimo x Lerano) have been knocking at the door all summer for a trip to the winners circle, and tonight was his night. Leaving the competition in the dust, he stopped the clock at 43.61s to take the win.

"He (GK Coco Chanel) likes coming here (Spruce Meadows) and every time he comes he grows up a little bit. I just had to be patient and the win would come," Conor Swail said about his horse's consistent results throughout the 2018 Spruce Meadows Summer Series.

Source: Press release and photo © Spruce Meadows

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