San Juan Capistrano, CA –The USA’s Lillie Keenan kicked off CSIO5* competition at the San Juan Capistrano International with victory in the CHF68,000 Welcome Speed, presented by South Coast Plaza, on Thursday, May 11, in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
Keenan and her longtime partner, Agana van het Gerendal Z, were one of 27 entries in Thursday afternoon’s featured event at the Rancho Mission Viejo Riding Park. When the 26-year-old entered the ring, the time to beat had been set at 62.75 seconds by fellow U.S. teammate Laura Kraut aboard Calgary Tame.
Brian Chuan (pictured third from left), Senior Director of Tourism for South Coast Plaza, presented Lillie Keenan as the winner of the CHF68,000 Welcome Speed, presented by South Coast Plaza. Photo by McCool Photography
As the third to last to contest the track set by renowned Olympic course designer Leopoldo Palacios, Keenan and Agana van het Gerendal Z blazed through the finish in a winning 58.96 seconds. Kraut and Calgary Tame, owned by Eugenie Angot and Stars and Stripes, finished in second, and Matt Archer and Luigi vd Bisschop took third to sweep the podium positions for the U.S. team.
“There were a few places that I felt like I should have done one less stride, but it worked out!” said Keenan of her round. “I had an advantage because I went later in the class. I took every shot I could. I got to watch Laura [Kraut], and I thought she was really quick. She’s always super competitive. It’s hard to beat Laura when she’s at the top of the leaderboard.”
Conor Swail Sweeps the $20,000 CSI2* Speed Stake, Presented by Walter Oil & Gas Corporation
For the second day in a row, Conor Swail and Gamble led the CSI2* victory gallop at the San Juan Capistrano International CSIO5*, this time after topping the $20,000 CSI2* Speed Stake, presented by Walter Oil & Gas. Swail also finished second in the class aboard Vital Chance de la Roque.
“I was very happy with my two horses,” said Swail, who is currently ranked eighth in the world on the Longines Rankings. “Vital Chance had a wee break there, and I’m just trying to rebuild him a little bit, so I’m doing a few smaller classes, so I was very pleased with how he went.”
Conor Swail and Gamble. Photo by McCool Photography
Swail and Vital Chance de la Roque, owned by Mannon Farm, were the 12th of 45 total entries to take on the track set by Leopoldo Palacios, and they laid down a time to beat of 64.91 seconds. Eighteen rounds later, Swail produced a nearly identical time to his first ride, shaving off just three one-hundredths of a second to cross the finish in a winning 64.88 seconds.
Snapshots From the Show
All photos by Alden Corrigan Media
Cover photo: Lillie Keenan and Agana van het Gerendal Z. Photo by McCool Photography