Ireland’s successful start to the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping season continues, with Shane Sweetnam coming second in Toronto, Canada in the North American League.
It was a thrilling jump-off, which came down to the final fence. World number one Kent Farrington set the standard with a flawless round in a fast time of 35.51sec.
Shane came agonisingly close to taking the $150,000 prize money, but was just off the pace with the nine-year-old gelding Main Road. He crossed the finish line in 36.84sec riding to take the runner-up spot.
Shane won team gold at this year’s European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. He is from Country Cork in Ireland, but moved to Florida in 2006, where he set up Sweet Oak Farm with his wife, Ali.
Kent was riding his 2016 Olympic partner Voyeur, who is now 15, and their years together clearly gave them the edge.
“I think what you’re seeing is a horse that I know really well,” Kent said. “I know his weak points, and I know his strengths. I’m very confident in him to do what he can do.
“My strategy was to put pressure on the last two, so that they were really going to have to try. It’s a great partnership, and I hope he still has some more wins down the road.”
New Zealand’s Sharn Wordley produced the only other double clear with Barnetta to finish third (43.48sec).
Viva Las Vegas
Ireland’s Conor Swail also made it into the jump-off and finished sixth with the nine-year-old gelding GK Coco Chanel.
Conor has moved up to fourth place on the North American World Cup table, while Shane lies in ninth place.
The next leg of the North American League takes place in Las Vegas on Saturday, 18 November 2017.
Don’t miss FEI World Cup Jumping: 2017/2018 Toronto when it premieres on 19 November at 8.30pm on Sky 253 and online via H&C Play or Amazon Video. The show will then be available to watch on Catch Up.