Cork’s Shane Sweetnam placed third in Saturday’s World Cup Grand Prix in Wellington, Florida, with fellow Irish rider Conor Swail taking eighth.

With $125,000 in prize money at stake, competition was understandably intense, and at the finish only four combinations achieved double clear rounds, with the USA's Beezie Madden and Cortes C claiming first place honours.

Sweetnam, who was also riding a Darco offspring, the stallion Amaretto Darco, was one of those to finish on a zero score, but was just over a second off the pace of winner Madden.

"I was very happy with my horse tonight," Sweetnam said afterwards.

“It is his first grand prix of the year and I'm just happy to be here."

Down's Conor Swail, a regular top ten finisher in recent US competitions, had two fences down in the Grand Prix jump-off to claim eighth position on the Guidam stallion Lansdowne.