Conor Swail took third in Saturday’s speed class at the Longines Global Champions Tour meeting in Valkenswaard, in an event which saw the early pace prove too hot to handle for the remainder of the field writes Mike Dunne.

One of the first to go, Swail led briefly with Cita in 64.25, but was overhauled by Britain’s Laura Renwick on Heliodor Hybris who followed up with a sharper pace of 63.61. Soon afterwards, Belgian Nicola Philippaerts split the leading two with a time of 63.98 on H&M Quenzo de la Rogue.

Although more than two-thirds of the field still had to jump, nobody got within two seconds of Swail’s time so the top three places held firm.

“I’m very happy with how my horse went,” said Renwick. “I knew it was going to be a fast class and I was early to go. I saw what Conor Swail did. I just tried to do what he did, and I was just a bit quicker.”

Later, in the Grand Prix, Swail was out of luck with Martha Louise incurring 16 faults in the opening round. Bertram Allen (Molly Malone) and Denis Lynch (All Star) both made the cut for round two but carried four faults with them. Allen added four more, but Lynch managed to go clear this time and placed 8th overall.

Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson took the event with Casall ASK after a six-way jump-off which featured three American riders. Lauren Hough finished second on Cavalla, with Italy’s Alberto Zorzi taking third with Fair Light van’t Heike.

1m50/1m55 against the clock
1. Heliodor Hybris/Laura Renwick (GBR) 0 63.61
2. H&M Quenzo de la Roque/Nicola Philippaerts (BEL) 0 63.98
3. Cita/Conor Swail (IRL) 0 64.25
4. Happiness van T Paradjis/Daniel Deusser (GER) 0 66.26
5. Kentucky v. Neerhof Z/Emanuele Gaudiano (ITA) 0 66.50

Grand Prix
1. Casall ASK/Rolf-Goran Bengtsson (SWE) 0/0/0 41.36
2. Cavalla/Laura Kraut (USA) 0/0/0 41.53
3. Fair Light van’t Heike/Alberto Zorzi (ITA) 0/0/0 42.53
4. Cynar V./Jessica Springsteen (USA) 0/0/0 43.79
5. Ohlala/Lauren Haugh (USA) 0/0/4 41.86