Mill Spring, North Carolina, USA – October 12, 2019 – Conor Swail (IRL) and GK Coco Chanel nailed their jump-off to a win in the $134,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Jump for our Heroes Grand Prix CSI 3* presented by Lowe’s at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) at Tryon Resort, stopping the jump-off timers in 40.172 seconds.
Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) & Collin
Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA) and Collin, a 2007 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Colandro x Amethist) owned by Santa Cecilia Stables LLC, claimed reserve on a jump-off performance of 39.116 seconds with four faults.
Rowan Willis (AUS) & Diablo VII
Third-place honors was claimed by Rowan Willis (AUS) and Lucinda Huddy and Rowan Willis’ Diablo VII, a 2008 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Douglas x Cavalier), who put in a 40.452-second jump-off ride with four faults to secure the podium finish.
“I thought he did a very nice job; there were eight clean out of 50 so it was very well built,” Swail shared of the course designed by Michel Vaillancourt (CAN). “You needed a more experienced horse just to make sure and get the back rail. The beginning was tricky and then that double line caused enough trouble, and I suppose the combination was a little scopey since it was oxer to oxer.”
Swail continued, “The jump-off also was very difficult with a lot of sharp angles and everything was coming up late. It was very difficult to keep that smooth and I think that was probably why there weren’t a lot of clear rounds.”
Podium: Conor Swail (IRL), Luiz Francisco de Azevedo (BRA), and Rowan Willis (AUS) in their presentation ceremony alongside Gary Sinise Foundation representatives Ginger Ravella and Linda Bammann, TIEC Chief Operating Officer Sharon Decker, Lisa Lourie of Tryon Equestrian Partners, and David Nelson, Eli Edelkind and Wayne White of Lowe’s.
Swail confessed that the 2008 Holsteiner gelding (Clarimo x Lerano 2) owned by Vanessa Mannix, who he has been working with for a couple years, is not the easiest horse to ride: “He has his own mind sometimes and can be a little difficult, but when he goes well it normally ends up being a win.” Swail elaborated, “We have learned to work together very well now at this stage and we have a good relationship. The consistency is growing all the time; there’s a lot of good results.”
“This is maybe a week early, but to win this is fabulous,” admitted Swail, who hopes to continue his winning streak for next week’s $384,000 Gary Sinise Foundation Grand Prix CSI 5*. “I won the [Rolex Grand Prix CSI] 5* last year on Rubens LS [La Silla Triumph]. This horse [GK Coco Chanel] is very capable of winning again next week and it would be great to get the double win. I’m looking forward to it.
Niamj King was awarded the Absorbine® Groom’s Award for her care and devotion to GK Coco Chanel.
“This is my third or fourth time here [at TIEC] so you kind of get in a routine that fits your schedule. The way this falls, it’s a nice break after Spruce Meadows since the horses get a nice rest, then this is the start of our fall/winter season. Swail concluded, “It’s fantastic here. Everything is so handy; there are bars and restaurants, so there’s plenty of entertainment and it’s a great facility for the horses as well.”
Rachel Cornacchia (CAN) receiving the Leading Lady Rider Award presented by Adi Kissilevich
Rachel Cornacchia (CAN) received the Leading Lady Rider Award presented by Adi Kissilevich for her top performances throughout the week. The Leading Lady Rider Award consists of a handmade handbag from Kissilevich’s signature collection, and is calculated among FEI competitors across Welcome Stake and Grand Prix competition each week.
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Source: Press release from TIEC – Tryon International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot