Consistency Paves the Way for Conor Swail in $10,000 Welcome Speed
Kicking off St. Patrick’s Day week in a very Irish fashion, Conor Swail claimed the top two spots in Wednesday’s $10,000 Whittier Trust 1.35m Welcome Speed during Desert Circuit IX, the final week of a thrilling 2023 Desert Circuit.
Aboard Ikonic PB, owned by Vanessa Mannix, Swail took yet another victory in the competitive Wednesday class to open National show jumping action, claiming second-place honors as well aboard Casturano.
“Ikonic has done quite well in these [Welcome Speeds] between myself and James [Chawke],” Swail remarked on the 10-year-old mare’s success. “She’s won quite a few of them with both of us riding her. She’s gained a lot of experience throughout the circuit. As you can see, her consistency is showing. Each round is getting relatively more similar. Consistency is the key, really, to success.”
Swail, even at number six in the world rankings, is still learning something with every round he jumps. “You’re always working on something new and you always get feedback from every round, whether you’re winning or losing. It’s all about working with that [feedback] and trying to make improvements.”
A win is a win to most, but Swail is more focused on the next win, thinking about the changes that he will make from the way the round goes. “She was a little mouthy today actually, so that’s something I can be smoother with,” he detailed. “She was flipping her head a bit and I prefer that to be a little better. As much as winning is great, I still would like it to be better, which is an important message to learn.”
The famous hackamore might make a return, according to Swail. “We’re going to try to change a few things, put her in something else. I might even go to my favorite hackamore. I might try her in that to see how she likes that.”
Swail’s second-place mount, Casturano, is filled with promise but still working on experience.
“I’ve never jumped him on grass actually,” Swail remarked of Casturano, a 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding. “This was his first round back since the [three-star Grand Prix]. I was really happy with him; I thought it was a really nice round where you could gallop along, and the jumps were relatively small compared to what he did last. That round I was really pleased with. He jumped super on the grass.”
Consistency Paves the Way for Conor Swail in $10,000 Welcome Speed – Desert International Horse Park (deserthorsepark.com)