Laura Jane Tidball from Langley riding Concetto Son competes in Sunday’s international jumping event at Thunderbird show park. They finished ninth. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: World class show jumping at Thunderbird in Langley

Ireland’s Conor Swail wins FEI World Cup qualifier

Thunderbird Show Park in Langley welcomed some of the world’s top riders Sunday, hosting the $135,000 Longines FEI World Cup Qualifier.

A crowd of thousands packed the stands to watch what was billed as the biggest competition of the year at the show park.

There are only four World Cup qualifiers in Canada.

Ireland’s Conor Swail and Flower were the winners.

They pulled two clears to take the victory with a time of 41.86 on a challenging course.

It was the fourth win for the pair at Thunderbird, the third in a week.

Flower, a 12-year-old-mare, owned by Swail and his student Vanessa Mannix ,was described as quick and careful.

Second place was taken by Canadian Chris Surbey of Calgary and Daylight VDL, who posted two clears, but finished about four seconds behind Swail with a time of 45.48.

Surbey said even though his horse is bigger and takes bigger strides, it is slower off the ground than Flower.

Jamie Barge came in third at 46.44.

Alan Wade of Ireland was the course designer, allowing competitors no more than 84 seconds to complete their circuits.

The Langley event was the first leg of seven qualifying events for the North American League of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping.

Next for Swail and Flower will be the second leg in Sacramento, California on October 7.

Top 12 finishers:1. Conor Swail (IRL) on Flower

2. Christopher Surbey (CAN) on Daylight VDL

3. Jamie Barge (USA) on Luebbo 4. Sayre Happy (USA) Dolinn

5. Jenn Serek (CAN) Wicked

6. Eugenio Garza Perez (MEX) Armani Sl Z

7. Leah de Martini (USA) Abunola

8. Jennifer Gates (USA) Pumped Up Kicks

9. Laura Jane Tidball (CAN) (Langley) Concetto Son

10. Zazou Hoffman (USA) Samson II

11. Elizabeth Gingras (CAN) Zilversprings

12. Andrew Kocher (USA) Navalo de Poheton

Located at the corner of 248 Street and 72 Avenue, Thunderbird Show Park is currently ranked No. 2 in all of North America as a premier show jumping competition facility by top North American riders.

The equestrian centre host six major events through the year.

RELATED: Cook takes top spot at World Cup qualifier

RELATED: Top spot for Fellers, Flexible at Thunderbird

dan.ferguson@ langleytimes.com

 

Taylor Seibel from California and Fellini clear a hurdle at the World Cup jumping qualifier at Thunderbird show park in Langley. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Members of the West Coast Thunder drill team performed at the opening of the World Cup jumping qualifier at Thunderbird show park in Langley on Sunday. Dan Ferguson Langley Times