Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque Win Opening Speed Class

Thursday, October 22, 2015
Posted by Lauren Fisher and Lindsay Brock for Jump Media LLC


Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque

Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque (Photo: © Shawn McMillen Photography)

Washington, D.C. – The 2015 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) hosted its first day of jumper competition at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday with a win for Ireland’s Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque in the feature $10,000 International Jumper speed class, sponsored by Amalaya Investments. WIHS continues through Sunday, October 25, featuring hunter, jumper, and equitation highlights.

Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) is the course designer for the jumper competition at WIHS this week. D’Ambrosio opened the international competition with 38 entries in the $10,000 speed class, sponsored by Amalaya Investments, and ten clear rounds. Belgium’s Jos Verlooy set early speed aboard Axel Verlooy and Euro Horse Bvba’s Farfelu de la Pomme to eventually finish fourth in 54.75 seconds. Francois Mathy (BEL) quickly took the lead with a time of 53.97 seconds riding Team Harmony and Francois Mathy’s Polinska des Isles, eventually settling for second place. Margie Engle (USA) completed a fast round in 54.60 seconds riding Abunola for Elm Rock Partners LLC to secure third place honors. Second to last in the order, Ireland’s Conor Swail stole the show with a time of 49.05 seconds riding Susan Grange’s Simba de la Roque.

Swail and Simba, a nine-year-old Selle Francais gelding (Kannan x Allegreto), have been on quite a roll recently. “It has been since I got him really,” Swail noted. “He has won a class at every single show he has jumped at. It is phenomenal what he is doing and what he continues to do. I have been using him sparingly, but every time he goes, he wins. It seems like he has been around a lot, but he has had good breaks as well. I do not know what to say about him anymore, he is just such a good horse.”

Francois Mathy and Polinksa des Isles

Francois Mathy and Polinksa des Isles (Photo: © Shawn McMillen Photography)

Latest wins include last week’s Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, and a victory at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in New York City just before that. For Wednesday’s win, the pair had the luck of the draw on their side at the end of the class.

“I had already been in with one horse and she jumped a great round. It gave me an idea about the winning time and what it took to win,” Swail detailed. “It was not my intention to go particularly fast on him, but I thought if I did the numbers and a few tight turns, there was a class there for the taking and as usual he did not let me down. He was phenomenal. It felt very comfortable for him.”

This is Swail’s second time competing at WIHS and a great start to the week for Simba de la Roque as he contests some bigger classes in the coming days.

Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque enjoy their winning presentation with ringmaster John Franzreb and WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan

Conor Swail and Simba de la Roque enjoy their winning presentation with ringmaster John Franzreb and WIHS Executive Director Bridget Love Meehan (Photo: © Shawn McMillen Photography)

“This is a beautiful setting in the middle of the city and a great stadium with good footing,” Swail stated. “It is great to come here and compete against the best riders. Simba has a big step, but at the same time he is quick on his feet and quick in his mind, so it seems that he is taking to the indoor circuit well. He is fast across the ground, so he works well on both a big surface and a small surface, which is great. It makes him adaptable and durable for where you want to go and what you want to do.”

For full results and more information please visit

Final Results: $10,000 International Jumper Time First Round, sponsored by Amalaya Investments
1. 33 Conor Swail (IRL) Simba de la Roque 0.00 49.05 chest / 9y / G / Kannan / Allegreto / SF / Susan Grange
2. 73 Francois Jr Mathy (BEL) Polinska des Isles 0.00 53.97 bay / 12y / M / Diamant de Semilly / Valespoir Malabry / SF / Team Harmony & Francois Mathy
3. 93 Margie Goldstein-Engle (USA) Abunola 0.00 54.60 bay / 10y / M / Numero Uno / Voltaire / KWPN / Elm Rock Partners, LLC
4. 59 Jos Verlooy (BEL) Caddie R 0.00 54.75 bay / 11y / S / Come Back II / Lucky Light / DWB / Eurohorse Bvba
5. 47 Conor O’Regan (IRL) Mcb Maya 0.00 55.90 bay / 13y / M / Cordento 933 / Turban Rose 834 / SWB / Robert Jornayvaz IV
6. 83 Audrey Coulter (USA) Domino 0.00 57.53 bay / 12y / G / Elena Merivirta
7. 98 Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) H&M Forever D Arco ter Linden 0.00 59.36 bay / 10y / S / Darco / Tenor Manciais / BWP / Ludo Philippaerts & Frans Lens
8. 26 Kimberly Prince (USA) Rmf Bella Baloubet 0.00 59.53 grey / 14y / S / Baloubet D.Ro / Landadel / HOLST / Rushy Marsh Farm Llc
9. 58 Harrie Smolders (NED) Emerald 0.00 62.11 chest / 11y / S / Diamant de Semilly / Carthago / BWP / Euro Horse Bvba Axel Verlooy
10. 6 Georgina Bloomberg (USA) Caleno 0.00 62.63 bay / 11y / G / Calido / Lancer II / HESS / Gotham Enterprizes, LLC
11. 79 Aaron Vale (USA) Quidams Good Luck 4.00 49.71 bay / 9y / G / Quidam’s Rubin / Grannus / HANN / Troy Glaus
12. 67 Victoria Colvin (USA) Lumiere 4.00 50.89 chest / 11y / G / Clay / For Pleasure / OLDBG / Peacock Ridge LLC