Fort Worth, Texas – December 18, 2021 – Saturday night highlighted the most anticipated event of the Fort Worth International CSI 4*-W at the Will Rogers Coliseum, the $215,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Fort Worth CSI4*-W, presented by Lugano Diamonds.
In the end, it was Ireland’s Conor Swail, the current leader of the Longines FEI World Cup™ North American League (NAL) standings, who took home the victory as he and Sandy Lupton’s Count Me In (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes) outpaced the field and added 20 points to his lead. Swail increased his edge over Tiffany Foster (CAN), who remains second in the standings after taking home the night’s reserve honors aboard Artisan Farms LLC’s Figor, followed by Ailish Cunniffe (USA) aboard Graylish LLC’s Vivaldi du Theil.
The sixth leg of eight on the Longines FEI World Cup™ NAL schedule, Saturday evening’s class offered prized ranking points towards the 2022 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Leipzig, Germany. Course designer Anderson Lima (BRA) created an expert course to test competitors from nine nations with a 16-effort track set up to 1.60m in height.
As the first pair on the start list, Kristen Vanderveen (USA) and Bull Run’s Risen showed the rest of the riders how to clear the track fault-free. They were quickly joined by Alessandra Volpi (USA) aboard Berlinda and by Ailish Cunniffe (USA) on Vivaldi du Theil. Continuing through the order of go, Conor Swail (IRL), Katie Laurie (AUS), Nicolas Pizarro (MEX), Margie Engle (USA), and Tiffany Foster (CAN) also added their names to the jump-off line-up.
Vanderveen and Volpi were the first riders back in the ring for the shortened pattern of seven obstacles and each had an unlucky four fault score. Cunniffe was the first to have a fault-free jump-off ride, setting the pace in 35.57 seconds, but she was quickly bested by Swail, who stopped the clock in a blazing 33.18 seconds.
Tiffany Foster (CAN) and Figor rounded out the jump-off with a clear round in just 33.27 seconds, less than one tenth of a second behind Swail, landing the pair in second place. Swail’s win adds to a long list of recent victories at the 4 and 5* levels, including two Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ wins in Vancouver, BC and Sacramento, CA.
“Tiffany was very close, only a couple hundredths of a second behind me. Thankfully it was my turn this week to stay on top of the podium,” commented Swail. “[Count Me In] is such a wonderful horse and tonight was his night. The horse jumped incredibly, did everything that I asked of him, and I’m glad to be on the winner’s podium tonight.”
“I think this was the absolute perfect venue for our first 4* event,” said the show’s organizer, Split Rock Jumping Tour (SRJT) president and founder, Derek Braun. “I am so thankful to Erin [Davis-Heineking], Christian [Heineking] and their team for bringing us here to Fort Worth. I have been in show jumping my entire life and have competed all across America and I really think the atmosphere in this stadium tonight was unlike anything I have ever experienced in the United States indoors. I offer a big thank you to the city of Fort Worth for supporting us.”
Competition at the Fort Worth International CSI4*-W concludes on Sunday, December 19, featuring the $40,000 Lugano Diamonds 1.45m Speed CSI4* and the $20,000 Restylane 1.35m National Prix.
Final Results – $215,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Fort Worth CSI 5*-W, presented by Lugano Diamonds
1) Conor Swail (IRL) & Count Me In – 0 / 0 – 33.18
2) Tiffany Foster (CAN) & Figor – 0 / 0 – 33. 27
3) Ailish Cunniffe (USA) & Vivaldi du Theil – 0 / 0 – 35.57
Source: Press Release from Split Rock Jumping Tour
Photos: © Winslow Photography