Irish riders dominated the three big FEI classes at Harrisburg in Pennsylvania, USA over the weekend, with Co. Down's Conor Swail accounting for victories in two of the classes at his first appearance at the two-star show.
In Thursday's 1m50 Pennysylvania Big Jump competition, Swail and Sue Grange's Game Ready had a definitive win, romping home with over two seconds in hand over American challenger Kent Farrington and Willow on a course designed by Ireland's Alan Wade.
Afterwards Swail said of his horse: "He gave me a good feeling and I was very impressed with him. He really stepped up to the plate whenever I needed him. I’m delighted.”
In Friday night's Keystone Classic speed class, Swail and Ariana had to yield victory to fellow-Irishman Darragh Kenny and Prof de la Rogue, and the Irish one-two was complemented by a fifth place from Kilkenny's Richie Moloney aboard Carrabis Z. Kenny also picked up the show's Speed Champion award.
Saturday's highlight of the Pennsylvania show, the FEI World Cup Grand Prix, saw Swail again line out with Game Ready, and this time he was under pressure from American Olympian McLain Ward, who had failed to win the Grand Prix on four previous occasions.
However, Swail, one of just three through to the jump-off, scorched home fractions of a second ahead of the American to take his second trophy of the week and clinch the Leading Rider award into the bargain.
Swail said: "I had a wonderful show. To top it off, winning tonight is great."
Richie Moloney again featured, taking a Grand Prix fifth place on the Irish Sport Horse Slieveanorra.
Elsewhere, Ireland's Alex Duffy won Saturday's Big Tour class at the two-star show in Odense, Denmark riding Grand Balou 4, and followed this on Sunday with a fifth place in the Grand Prix aboard the Irish Sport Horse WCE Cruco. The Grand Prix was won by Sweden's Nicole Persson and the grey mare Quante.