Conor Swail and Vital Chance de la Roque Claim $139,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 3*

Jun 11, 2022 - 11:06 PM

For Immediate Release

Sarah Madden for TIEC

Mill Spring, NC – June 11, 2022 – World #5 Conor Swail (IRL) and Vital Chance de la Roque cleared the jump-off course in 34.05 seconds to take the win in the $139,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 3* at Tryon International Equestrian Center & Resort (TIEC) in the highlight Jumper class of the 94th Tryon Spring 6/Tryon Riding & Hunt Club Charity 1 Horse Show. Reserve honors were captured by Lauren Balcomb (AUS) and Verdini D’Houtveld Z, her own 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Verdi Tn x Caretino 2), for their 34.44-second performance. Jacqueline Ruyle (USA) and San Chano, her own 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Boy x Chacco-Blue), earned the remaining podium spot on a time of 34.46.

The Bernardo Costa Cabral (POR) course tested 25 entries over the first round of competition, with 9 pairs representing eight countries returning for the jump-off course. Swail and the 2009 Selle Français gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Rivage Du Poncel) owned by Mannon Farm, ranked internationally as the #4 Jumping combination, collected their second consecutive FEI win this week after also dominating the $37,000 Horseware Ireland Welcome Stake CSI 3* on Thursday.

NSP_6224Conor Swail and Vital Chance de la Roque
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

This duo have had many wins at TIEC, including Swail’s Tryon Summer Series sweep that made him one of the winningest riders to compete at the venue in 2021. In tonight’s jump off, the duo followed a blazing fast performance from Balcomb, and knew he had to pull out all the stops with his reliable partner to take the win.

“That went very well. I mean, I’m so lucky to have this horse,” Swail said of “Vinny,” who he said “comes out every week like that. Today, he came out and he jumped so well. I got a little bit of luck at the plank, but you know, you need a bit of luck sometimes! In the jump off, Lauren was so fast, and I was able to see that I had to leave nothing out there, and everything came up very well.”

NSP_6260Lauren Balcomb and Verdini D’Houtveld Z
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

For Swail, the biggest difference from last summer to his wins this week is that he and Vinny know each other much better now, and his mount is truly finding his stride at the international levels. “He answers all the questions I ask him every time, so I’m so thrilled with him. He’s just amazing. I must say, last year here, we were just finding our feet a little bit, and just getting to know each other,” he detailed.

NSP_6376Jacqueline Ruyle and San Chano
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

“He was still getting a lot of good results last year, but this year it’s very different. It’s much more consistent, and we know each other very well. Tonight I thought he was very comfortable and he jumped very within himself,” Swail reported. “He’s getting more relaxed, which is so good. I’m just thrilled for him and for the rest of the year.”

NSP_6491Lauren Balcomb, Conor Swail, and Jacqueline Ruyle in their presentation ceremony alongside (L-R): Ringmaster Steve Rector, Tryon Riding & Hunt Club President Angie Millon, TIEC Director of Equestrian Operations Molly Oakman, and Tryon Equestrian Partners President Sharon Decker. Swail was presented the Roger & Jennifer Smith Green River Farm Perpetual Trophy.
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

The winning strategy that has propelled Swail to the top ends of the FEI ranking list is a bit unusual: he keeps horses in multiple locations and travels between them to compete at the venues best suited to his rides. For Vinny, it’s the East Coast, and Tryon Stadium has been a hot spot in particular:

NSP_6448Jess Stanek was awarded the Tryon International Equestrian Center Groom’s Award for her care and dedication to Vital Chance de la Roque, alongside Drew Page, Paddock Master.
©Natalie Suto for TIEC

“I keep a few East, and I have some horses West that jump in Thunderbird and Calgary, but Vinny doesn’t have any shoes, and those venues are all grass. I keep him over here. We’ve done two [shows at] Kentucky and Tryon, and now he’s getting a break and he’s going to Ocala, then he’ll have a few weeks off and will maybe come back here for a couple of weeks. It’s great that we came here and he delivered.”

RESULTS: $139,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 3*
Horse Name, Year Breed gender (Sire x Dam Sire)
Rider (COUNTRY), Owner: Faults/Faults/Time

1. Vital Chance de la Roque, 2009 Selle Français gelding (Diamant De Semilly x Rivage Du Poncel)
Conor Swail (IRL), Mannon Farm: 0/0/34.05

2. Verdini D’Houtveld Z, 2011 Dutch Warmblood gelding (Verdi Tn x Caretino 2)
Lauren Balcomb (AUS), Lauren Balcomb: 0/0/34.44

3. San Chano, 2009 Oldenburg gelding (Sandro Boy x Chacco-Blue)
Jacqueline Ruyle (USA), Jacqueline Ruyle: 0/0/34.46

4. Valentine Car, 2009 gelding (Son of Juan Car x Galiani CH)
Sharn Wordley (NZL), Fernando Cardenas Jr.: 0/0/34.55

5. Cetano Van Aspergem Z, 2009 Zangersheide gelding (Clinton x Ahorn Z)
Santiago Lambre (BRA), Santiago Lambre: 0/0/34.76

6. Ennebel Van Het Posthuijs, 2009 Dutch Warmblood mare (Numero Uno x Argentinus)
Peter Petschenig (AUT), Brooke Peterson: 0/0/36.35

7. Captain Z, 2012 Zangersheide gelding (Calvino Z x Voltaire)
Samuel Parot (CHI), Samuel Parot: 0/0/ 36.55

8. Meadowvale Cruise, 2011 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Creevagh Ferro x Cruising)
Hector Florentino Roca (DOM) Wyndmont: 0/0/38.05

9. Yoghi FLP, 2010 Hanoverian gelding (FRH Quaid x Stakkato)
Grant Seger (USA), Fox Lair Performance, LLC: 0/8/39.19

10. Fiper, 2011 Belgian Sport Horse male (Viper van Huiz Ruisdael x Concorde)
Colin Syquia (PHI), Eurasia Inc. and Sandra O’Donnell: 1/78.21

11. Amex Z, 2009 Zangersheide mare (Andiamo Z x Landaris)
Todd Minikus (USA), Bit By Bit Group: 4/70.28

12. ABC Quantum Cruise, 2009 Irish Sport Horse gelding (Obos Quality x Cruising)
Hector Florentino (DOM), Ronnie Beard and Wyndmont: 4/73.28

For full results from the $139,000 Cleghorn Golf & Sports Club Grand Prix CSI 3*, click here.

On-demand replay of the live stream can be found at 

Tryon Spring 6 competition continues through Sunday, June 12, including the $25,000 Tryon Resort Sunday Classic at 1pm in Tryon Stadium. Competition is free and open to the public and more information can be found at

Photos ©Natalie Suto Photography for TIEC. These photos may only be used once, in relation to this press release. Competitors may purchase official show photos at All photographers distributing or selling photos at TIEC must be credentialed. For questions, contact



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