Gambling on Conor Swail would have been the winning bet in Wednesday’s $15,000 CSI2* Welcome at the San Juan Capistrano International CSIO5* in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Swail and Gamble, owned by Asta Torokvei, topped a field of 46 entries to kick off the week with a victory for the Irish rider.
As the second entry to go on the Oaks International Grand Prix Field, Swail and Gamble led the class nearly beginning to end. They crossed the finish timers of the two-phase course, designed by Venezuela’s Leopoldo Palacios, in what would prove to be a winning time of 27.24 seconds. Coming quite close to catching Swail was the USA’s Kyle King who rode Cerolino, owned by Ilan Ferder, to a time of 27.34 seconds. Rounding out the top three with a time of 27.82 seconds was the USA’s Alexis Sokolov aboard Fasole du Seigneur, owned by Hot Horses LLC.
“We had a good round today; I was very pleased with Gamble,” said Swail of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding. “Gamble and I have been together now for three or four years. He’s a very good, competitive 1.50m horse and higher. He’s just come back from three months off. He didn’t jump all winter, so it’s actually really nice now. I’m very happy with how he feels. He’s competitive, and he always gives his all, so as you can see today, it worked out great for me.”
“I have Nadal Hero here; he’s one of my younger top horses that’s just done a few 5* last year and finished up very well toward the end of the year,” said Swail of his mount for Sunday’s team event. “Then I have Count Me In that I’m planning to do in the grand prix on Friday. I have some good horses here, and I’m really hoping to have a good week. So far, it’s been lovely. This grass arena jumped lovely there today. The footing seems good. There’s a good cover of grass on it; I think it’ll stop it from getting too hard. There’s plenty of space. I must say, it’s a very nice facility.”