Massive win for Ireland’s Conor Swail as he claims ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows

Thank Heavens: An emotional Conor Swail, of Ireland, celebrates his Grand Prix win on the back of his beloved horse Count Me In.

Ireland’s Conor Swail last night (Saturday) finally claimed one of the major trophies that had eluded the Co Down native, when he lifted the five-star ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows in Canada.

Riding the 17-year-old gelding Count Me In, Swail saw off 40 of the world’s best riders to take the coveted top prize of over €225,000. Two tough rounds of jumping saw just four combinations make it through fault free to the third round jump-off where Swail produced the winning clear in 39.29 seconds. The only other triple clear came from Canada’s Amy Millar who finished as runner-up with Truman in 40.85. American Nicholas Dello Joio and Cornet’s Cambridge finished third with one fence down against the clock, while Co Cavan’s Neal Fearon had an excellent result when taking fourth spot with Cocktail De Talma.

An elated Swail, declared afterwards: “It feels amazing. The Queen Elizabeth II Cup is one of the most prestigious Grand Prix in the world. I hit the post one year with a great horse I had, Lansdowne, but its fitting that Count Me In was able to get me the win because he has the been a horse of a lifetime and i’m just so happy for him.

“Honestly, what that horse has done for me is just incredible. The highlight reel for me is basically him in my career. He went through a little bad patch last year where we weren’t that comfortable jumping bigger. And then, we’ve just built him back up nicely. And honestly, he feels as good as ever.”