Conor Swail and Count Me In continue California winning streak with $182,000 Grand Prix victory

Co Down’s Conor Swail and the 17-year-old gelding Count Me In (Count Grannus x Sherlock Holmes) added another victory to their recent run of impressive results, when they came out on top in Saturday’s four-star Grand Prix on week four of the Desert Circuit in Thermal, California in the USA.

Conor Swail (IRL) and Count Me In. Photo by High Desert Sport Photo

“Obviously I’m quite confident going in with him; he’s back in very good form,” Swail said of stepping onto the grass field with “Crosby” as last to go, despite only one clear round recorded at that point. “He had a nice win Thursday so we were quite confident going in, but I spoke to [course builder] Alan Wade before the start of the course and asked him how he felt. He said it was full height and full spec, so I think that showed a little.”

Wade (IRL) is famous for his worldwide courses and is known to be one of the best course designers, and apart from Swail, only one pair, Kaitlin Campbell (USA) and Castlefield Cornelius, had navigated his first-round track penalty free. Despite jumping clear again in the jump-off, Campbell would finish as runner-up with Swail and Count Me In taking the win by almost two seconds.

“It was tough enough to jump,” Swail continued. “The course I thought was very getable if you rode it well, and thankfully I have a lot of quality underneath me with Crosby. I was quite nervous going in actually because there was one clear; nobody had really mastered the course that well. I’m expected to go clear with Crosby so there was enough pressure on me to do well. The horse felt super good.”