ph. Spruce Meadows Media
The $33,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m was the first competition of the day in the International Ring. There were 47 combinations in the speed format, and it was Conor Swail of Ireland who was fastest with Martha Louise, a 9-year-old Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang owned by Susan and Ariel Grange. They sped around the course in 63.50 seconds.
Second place went to John Perez (COL) on Utopia in 64.72 seconds, while Eric Lamaze (CAN) and Wang Chung M2S were third in 65.44 seconds.
This was Martha Louise’s first win, although she has placed in eight out of nine competitions at the Spruce Meadows Summer Tournaments. Swail was happy to be back in the International Ring and noted, “She felt very good today. She was in here week one and then she has been a few weeks away (in other rings). When she went back in, I thought she felt more comfortable. She handled it very well. She jumped lovely.”
Despite losing his stirrup going into the double combination, Swail was able to ride through it and regain his stirrup before the next oxer. “It affected me. I think it’s nearly worse losing one because you have no balance. She didn’t jump the in and out particularly well I think because of me, where I was (with) my balance, but she was good to leave that double up,” Swail pointed out. “I was probably lucky that I have nice quality because she tries to do her best.”
While Swail got the win, he did not have to go all out today for victory. “Honestly, I think there was a bit left there today. It certainly wasn’t the fastest round that I’ve ever had with her. In that respect, it is nice to come out on top and not have them going crazy,” he said.
Swail originally purchased Martha Louise two years ago and she has been a consistent winner for him. She moved up to the higher levels this winter in Florida. “Since Sue (Grange) bought her, she has been absolutely amazing,” he commented. “She is just such a consistent horse. She is a really versatile mare; she can do many jobs. She did the grand prix last week, which was very big for her, but she handled it very well.”
Martha Louise is leading the Horse Health Care Championship presented by Pfizer Equine Division and Moore Equine Veterinary Clinic, which is awarded on Friday, July 5, to the horse/rider combination who accumulates the most points throughout the 1.45m Derby Series. Swail hopes that she will able to take that top prize.
Swail said that Martha Louise is not your typical chestnut mare. “She’s not like a mare at all, she is just so nice. She is so laid back. I think her temperament is the best part of her because she is very willing to do anything and try anything. When she goes in, she is laid back, but at the same time very careful and I think that is a great quality,” he said.
Source: Spruce Meadows Media
Final Results: $33,000 Friends of the Meadows Cup 1.45m
1. MARTHA LOUISE: 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare by Maloubet de Pleville 1039 x Wolfgang CONOR SWAIL (IRL), Susan & Ariel Grange: 0/63.50
2. UTOPIA: 2001 Dutch Warmblood mare by Ircolando x Notaris JOHN PEREZ (COL), John Perez: 0/64.72
3. WANG CHUNG M2S: 2003 KWPN stallion by Royal Bravour x Ahorn ERIC LAMAZE (CAN), Morningside Stud & Torrey Pines Stable: 0/65.44
4. FRIEDA: 2001 Warmblood mare by For Future x Graf Anhalt AINSLEY VINCE (CAN), KMA Group: 0/66.16
5. VIEANNE: 2002 Dutch Warmblood mare by Andiamo x Voltaire FRANCES LAND (USA), Frances Land: 0/66.53
6. RONALDO DE LA POMME: 2005 Selle Francais stallion by Stakkato x Darco CHRISTINE MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/67.85
7. TWISTHER: 2000 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Farmer JONATHAN MCCREA (USA), Candy Tribble: 0/67.92
8. APARDI: 2005 Dutch Warmblood stallion by Corland x Kannan DANIEL BLUMAN (COL), Ricardo & Alberto Simhon: 0/70.42
9. AMBOSELLI: 2005 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Silverstone x Lancelot PABLO BARRIOS (VEN), Pablo Barrios: 0/71.76
10. VODKA: 2002 Dutch Warmblood gelding by Zortin x Lancelot SUSAN HORN (CAN), Kingsfield Farm: 0/73.96