Conor Swail Recounts his Wins with Count Me In

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Conor Swail (IRL) and Count Me In

Conor Swail (IRL) always has a winning season in the desert, and Desert Circuit 2024 has been no exception. The Irishman came in strong once again on Thursday of Desert Circuit 9, presented by Kubota, and took first and third places in the $32,000 Sandhaven Farm CSI3* 1.50m Speed aboard Count Me In and Theo 160, respectively, giving him high hopes for a strong finish as the circuit winds down.“Honestly all the horses have been great,” he reflected on his season in Thermal. “[Crosby] has had a great circuit. He hasn’t knocked so many jumps down and he’s consistently fast and clear. That does win you a few prizes.” Swail now has quite a few Yeti coolers in his possession after taking FEI victories.

Swail went early on with Theo 160, another top-performing horse, and it seemed that his time of 68.10 seconds would be hard to catch, until he went in on his second mount, Count Me In, owned by Mannon Farms. Their new time of 67.33 seconds took over the lead, and only Mathijs Van Asten (NED) came close with Hotspot, taking over second and pushing Theo 160 to third.For Swail’s winning formula, it’s been important to give the horses proper rest and to mix up their competition schedule just enough to keep them fresh and on their toes.“It is nice that we do a little on the sand, a little on the grass, and under the lights,” Swail said of the various atmospheres for upper-level jumping at DIHP. “It does mix it up a little bit so each time you come out the horses are freshened up. You have to make sure to not overuse them, which I think I’ve done well. My guys have only jumped two or three weeks in total.”

Conor Swail Takes a Chance with Vital Chance de la Roque

Conor Swail ran from the grass field back to the Grand Prix Arena and won again, this time in the $25,000 FarmVet 1.45m Open Classic aboard Vital Chance de la Roque. The horse has been a solid partner of his for years, but Swail admits he is starting to feel like himself again after a brief lapse in confidence.“I’m super happy for Vinny because I’ve been quite careful with him through this circuit,” Swail explained of having Vital Chance de la Roque back as a steady contender. “It’s been a while since he’s been in good form. He’s been quite consistent here and seems to be getting back to his old self. It’s another story of being at this place with such a good facility. It’s giving the horses every opportunity to be as good as they can be.”Swail raced around the track later in the order, and at the time Jill Humprey led with Chromatic BF, owned by Branscomb Farms LLC. Swail just barely squeezed ahead of her time, putting Humphrey in second, while Savannah Jenkins took third aboard Vancouver SE, owned by Proper 12, LLC.

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Conor Swail and Vital Chance de la Roque. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

Press release Desert Circuit | Photos: 1. Conor Swail (IRL) and Count Me In. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

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