World top 10 showjumper Conor Swail debuts new horse at Winter Equestrian Festival

  • Conor Swail debuted his new horse, nine-year-old stallion Nadal Hero & DB, at the Winter Equestrian Festival at the International Equestrian Centre Palm Beach, USA yesterday in a 1m 40 class.

    “I started him last week in a couple of high schooling classes 1.25m and 1.30,” Conor said. “I just gave him a jump round last week to make sure he was comfortable.”

    The striking stallion had impressive scope and went clear in the first round before having a rail down in the jump off. His time was competitive and Swail looked as though he was having fun. “He jumped round very easily today, I thought,” said Conor. “I was very happy with how he jumped. He is very straightforward and easy, like. He’s very nice to ride.”

    Swail found the chestnut stallion in Belgium and it prompted memories of his previous star stallions Lansdowne and Grafton. “He reminded me of them in looks and temperament,” Conor said.

    He owns the horse jointly with Conall Murray, an old friend from County Down. Prior to purchase, last year Nadal Hero & DB competed in a few two stars as an eight-year-old and Swail is hoping for a bright future. “I hope he’s going to be a very competitive three-star or four-star horse and if he does more than that, that’s great and if he doesn’t, that’s also okay.”

    So far the signs have been promising and after yesterday’s round at the Winter Equestrian Festival Conor said: “I think he’s kind of ready now to start getting into the 1m45 ranking classes. Let’s try to figure each other out and go from there.”

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