July 5th marked the start of the final week of the summer tournaments at Spruce Meadows. The feature competition of the day was The Entourage 1.50m, the first of two qualifiers this week for the $1,000,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup on Saturday.

Over 30 horse/rider combinations stepped through the iconic clock tower to tackle the track laid out by FEI course designer Santiago Varela (ESP). Just five riders were able to make the tight time allowed and post clear rides, and Conor Swail (IRL) riding Theo 160 was the fastest of them all, crossing the finish line clear in a time of 78.45 seconds to edge fellow Irishman Daniel Coyle with Quintin and secure his victory. Canada’s Tiffany Foster rode Artisan Farm’s Battlecry to third place.


Conor Swail and Theo jumping a fence at Spruce Meadows.

Conor Swail (IRL) riding Theo 160. (Spruce Meadows Media/Mike Sturk)


Swail is currently ranked 10th in the FEI World Rankings. “Every time we go down in through that clock tower, you get pumped up off of that. So it’s great to have a good start to the week. All the qualfications were today, now we’ve ticked all the boxes early,” remarked Swail about his great start to the week, as he’s now qualified for the big weekend competitions.

Swail had also won The Stud Farm 1.45m earlier in the day aboard Count Me In, soaring through the finish line clear in a time of 67.89 seconds to claim the victory. Swail also picked up third place on his other mount Nadel Hero & DB; fellow Irishman Darragh Kenny split those placings to finish second. This competition was the first of two this week where competitors could earn their ticket into Saturday’s $80,000 AKITA Drilling Winning Round.


The Jayman BUILT Cup 1.55m was the final qualifier for Saturday’s $1,000,000 ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup, and the demanding track designed by Varela saw just 11 combinations from the 41 starters qualify for the jump-off. Both Daniel Coyle (IRL) and Nayel Nassar (EGY) qualified two mounts, but Nassar elected to only jump off with one.

Coyle was first into the jump-off, and aboard his first mount posted a remarkably fast, clear round in a time of 41.23 seconds. However, Tiffany Foster (CAN) riding the nine-year old Battlecry spoiled his plans and soared over the final fence with a time of 40.67 seconds.

“I brought him [Battlecry] here as an eight-year-old last year, and it was so lovely. In the summer series we were allowed to get up into this main [International] ring and I could feel that he liked it then. He just loves this International ring at Spruce Meadows ‒ and it’s a good ring to like!” said Foster after the win.

Earlier in the day over on the North American Ring, the Horseware Ireland Cup was the feature competition over a track designed by Joey Rycroft (CAN). Once again Foster rode to victory, this time aboard Jetouelle-S, a nine-year-old KWPN mare owned by 5 Roosters, LLC, crossing the finish line clear in a time of 34.53 seconds. They were followed closely by fellow Canadians Dylan Munro and Gryffindor de Hay in second spot and Beda Wachter riding Golden Cassino into third place. It was a good class for the home team overall, with seven Canadian riders in the top 10.

~ with files from Spruce Meadows Media

Full results here.