Thirty-one-year-old Co. Laois-born rider James Chawke claimed victory and a third place finish in the $100,000 Grand Prix at the three-star Canadian show at Caledon Equestrian Park in Ontario at the weekend.
Thirteen combinations went through to the jump-off with Chawke and the 8-year-old gelding Grasshopper jumping clear in 48.94 seconds to take third spot, before the Irish rider and Skara Glen’s Presence produced an unbeatable clear round in 43.04 to win the class.
Chawke, who works alongside Co. Down rider Conor Swail, has only been paired with the former Paul O’Shea mount, Skara Glen’s Presence, for two weeks, making their weekend feat all the more impressive.
“This is only my fifth class with him, and my third FEI class,” said Chawke of the 11-year-old Canadian-bred Holsteiner gelding. “He’s a very friendly and cheeky fellow in the stable. When it comes time to go in the ring, he knows his job and wants to do it. He’s careful and quick, and I just have to stay out of his way.”
Conor Swail also tasted success at the Canadian show, winning the $36,500 Open Welcome with Koss van Heiste, a nine-year-old gelding. He later won the $40,000 Speed Class when incredibly tying himself for victory with an identical time of 65.54 seconds riding both Koss van Heiste and Pin Up de Hus Z.