Thermal, Calif. – Nov. 6, 2021 – Show jumping action at the Desert International Horse Park continued on Saturday during the National Sunshine Series. In the Grand Prix Ring, the highlight event of day was the $36,600 Talus 1.45m CSI3*, part of the international events presented by Marshall & Sterling. With quick and clear effort, it was once again Ireland’s Conor Swail and Theo 160 who topped a three-horse jump-off to lead the lap of honor. 

Conor Swail (IRL) and Theo 160 sped to a win in the $36,600 FEI 1.45m, sponsored by Talus, on Saturday afternoon.

Alan Wade (IRL) set a careful first round track for the $36,600 Talus 1.45m CSI3*, which featured a vertical-oxer double combination and an oxer-vertical-vertical triple combination before finishing over a bending line away from the gate. Only three athletes were able to complete the opening round without error and advance to the tiebreaker.

Canada’s Lisa Carlsen was the first to return, putting on the pressure when she cleared the jump-off in 38.38 seconds aboard Susan Stevens’ Atena De L’Ermitage. Swail was not deterred though, still flying high from his victory on Friday in the $36,600 Sun Air Jets 1.50m CSI3* with Vital Chance De La Roque. This time the speedy Irishman was aboard the Team Philippaerts-owned Theo 160. With a quick rollback after the first line the pair eventually edged out Carlsen, clocking in at 37.77 seconds with all the rails intact. Sweden’s Mattias Ekeroth was the last to go with his own Hayee M. With the pressure on to go fast for the win, the duo was unable to maintain a clear performance, lowering the height of two fences for 8 faults and the third place award. Swail would claim his second winning title of the week, while Carlsen took home the second place prize. 

Conor Swail (IRL) led the lap of honor for the $36,600 FEI 1.45m, sponsored by Talus.

Theo 160, a 9-year-old Holsteiner gelding, is a relatively new mount for Swail, who just began riding him in February of 2021. After seeing him compete in Europe, Swail knew they would be a good match and approached the Philippaerts about a partnership. Theo 160 quickly showcased his talents, moving up from the 1.30m to the 1.45m with wins throughout the summer and fall in Tryon, North Carolina, and Langley, British Columbia. Swail now plans to compete with him during Sunday’s $101,000 Marshall & Sterling 1.55m CSI3*.

Following the conclusion of the  $36,600 Talus 1.45m CSI3* was the $25,000 FarmVet Grand Prix where just two horses advanced to the jump-off out of 33 entries. Ireland’s Lorcan Gallagher was the pathfinder aboard Lynn Parker’s Ivaludine S. He lowered the height of a single oxer during the tiebreaker, clocking in at 38.436 second with 4 faults. 

Shawn Casady was next with Tiffany Sullivan’s Cortechico. Trying to do the same number of strides as Gallagher in the first line resulted in a rail at the second vertical, but it gave Casady the extra motivation to put on the gas. Galloping quickly and carefully over the remaining fences, the duo broke the beam in 37.656 seconds to capture the winning honors ahead of Gallagher. Third place went to Cassio Rivetti and Edesa’s Captain-Fly for the Edesa Horse Promotion Inc as the fastest combination with a single time fault. 

Shawn Casady and Cortechico topped the $25,000 FarmVet Grand Prix.

Earlier in the day, the athletes focused on supporting Kevin Babington during the Silver Oak Jumping Tour’s 1.20m Jump for Kevin. DIHP is proud to join with other national show facilities around the country to support the Kevin Babington Foundation, which provides funds for the on-going care and rehabilitation efforts of Babington and his family. The class was held in the Grand Prix Arena on Saturday and all proceeds from the class went to the Kevin Babington Foundation.

Mark Kinsella (IRL) took top honors in the Silver Oak Jumping Tour Jump For Kevin 1.20m Speed.

The winner of the event was Babington’s fellow countryman Mark Kinsella of Ireland. He laid down a blazing speed round with Olivia Combs’ Elytis Du Manoir in a clear 52.007 seconds. The second place finishers, Alexis Sokolov and Hot Horses LLC’s Scarface were almost three seconds slower with a time of 55.246. Tina Yates and HKC Collection LLC’s Archimedes HS set the early pace to beat with a clear round in 57.646 seconds, which held up for the third place honors. 

The first week of the National Sunshine Series at the Desert Horse Park will conclude on Sunday with the $101,000 Marshall & Sterling 1.55m CSI3*.


Conor Swail –  $36,600 Talus 1.45m CSI3* Winner

On Theo 160:
“I got him in February and I own half with Nicola Philippaerts. He’s very inexperienced at this level. He started out doing a couple of 1.30m/1.35m classes with me. By the time he got to Tryon in June we started to do the 1.40m/1.45m. Everything I ask him to do he gives it a go and he tries. He’s brave and careful. He’s still a bit green; the rideability probably needs to improve a little bit, but in the meantime we’re able to jump around well. He’s won quite a few ranking classes over the last few months, so he’s a great addition for me.”

On his partnership with Theo 160:
“The Philippaerts owned him and I saw him in Europe. We talked a little bit about doing something together and I ended up buying half from them. He’s very catty and good blood – nice and light off of the ground, good technique. He’s everything you want in a good show jumper, so that’s what attracted me to him.”

On the jump-off:
“I thought he jumped very well. I got a nice rollback after two and really nice to the double of verticals. Maybe I could have done one less to the last oxer, but I just stayed on the eight strides to the second to last and stayed on the seven strides to the last. Thankfully I was just ahead, but I thought he jumped great.”

On his plans:
“He’s going to do the grand prix tomorrow. It’s a little big for him, but we’re here and it’s good education for him. He has next week off, so I think we’ll give it a go.”

Shawn Casady – $25,000 FarmVet Grand Prix

On Cortechico:
“I rode him at a couple shows this spring and then I started riding him again this fall for Tiffany Sullivan. He’s a cool horse. He has that little bit of extra personality, a little bit of attitude in a good way. I think he’s a really special horse. He’s showing tons of potential at the grand prix level. This is his third grand prix win – he’s a winner, he wants to do well.”


$36,600 Talus 1.45m CSI3*
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time 

  1. Theo 160 / Conor Swail / IRL / Team Philippaerts / 0 | 0 | 37.77
  2. Atena de L’Ermitage / Lisa Carlsen / CAN / Susan Stevens / 0 | 0 | 38.38
  3. Haydee M / Mattias Ekeroth / SWE / Mattias Ekeroth LLC / 0 | 8 | 43.53
  4. BP Wakita / Klee Hellerman / USA / Trefoil Farm LLC / 4 | 73.33
  5. Quintago VA / Uma O’Neill / AUS / O’Neill Show Jumping LLC / 4 | 74.29
  6. Chattanooga / Laura Hite / USA / HF Farms LLC / 4 | 75.97
  7. Charismo Z / Charlie Jones / GBR / Lindsay Maxwell / 8 | 71.21
  8. Kactus / Johanna Siefert / USA / Jill Davidson-Rupp / 8 | 775.57
  9. Aviator Z / Laura Hite / USA / HF Farms LLC / 7 | 77.57
  10. Amerigo / Vani Khosla / USA / Vani Khosla / 12 | 72.56

$25,000 FarmVet Grand Prix
Place / Horse / Rider / Country / Owner / R1 Faults | R1 Time / R2 Faults | R2 Time 

  1. Cortechico / Shawn Casady / USA / Tiffany Sullivan / 0 | 68.989 / 4 | 37.656
  2. Ivaludine S / Lorcan Gallagher / IRL / Lynn Parker / 0 | 69.700 / 4 | 38.436
  3. Edesa’s Captain-Fly / Cassio Rivetti / BRA / Edesa Horse Promotion Inc / 1   |  74.13     –
  4. Icebreaker / Dakoda Mower / USA / Rogue 3 / 1 | 74.24  
  5. Lux Lady / Christopher Fellers / USA / Christopher Fellers / 1 | 74.454     –
  6. Ariana / Lorcan Gallagher / IRL / HKC Collection LLC 4 | 67.278 
  7. Koss Van Heiste / Conor Swail / IRL / Dalco LTD / 4 | 71.176 
  8. Adele Xiii / Bruno Diniz Das Neves / POR / BDN Horse Investments / 4 | 71.465
  9. KBS Kiwi / Mark Kinsella / IRL / Valhalla Equestrian / 4 | 72.343 
  10. Fire Flash Toltien / Jamie Sailor / USA / Carolyn Mittler / 4 | 72.44