Some wear saddles, like nine-year-old stallion Nadal Hero & DB.

With Eye Candy’s Conor Swail (IRL) in the tack, Nadal Hero is two for two on 5* wins this week at Major League Show Jumping (MLSJ) Vancouver. It’s all the more impressive when considered he jumped into tbird with rookie status. Yesterday marked the young stallion’s first 5* win in the $8,800 CSI5* Maui Jim Speed 1.45m. Today, he came out on top again in the Winning Round CSI5* 1.50m against a 41-combination stacked field.

As new to his string as he is the top level, Swail dubbed him “New Guy Ned,” but it looks like he already has to retire the nickname as we’ve quickly become acquainted with the charming chestnut.

Photocredit: MLSJ // Atalya Boytner Photography

“We’ve had a good week. He’s jumped in two classes and he’s won both. He’s very fast and nearly when you go faster he goes higher. I get a great feeling, I must say. I’m very excited about him,” said Swail.

In the second round, the Peter Grant (CAN) designed course presented tight turns and a galloping line to the last Major League vertical. It was a classic trap, incentivizing the riders to open the horses stride and ultimately jump the unsuspecting vertical too flat.

For many it proved too tempting to resist, and they collected the rail on their way across the timers. Ned’s natural instincts to jump higher while at a bigger clip proved handy here.

“I was fortunate enough to see a few horses going before me. I thought Daniel [Coyle]’s (IRL) round was very, very neat, but I felt that my horse could do a little better,” said Swail.

Photocredit: MLSJ / Atalya Boytner Photography

“A little Better” was over three seconds faster.

Swail clocked in at 45.85, and Coyle, who has dominated the 2* division this week, would have to settle for a second place tie with Brian Morton (CAN) at 49.2 seconds.

The confidence in Ned’s ability came quickly. Swail noted yesterday’s 5* Speed was the first time he tried really opening up the stallion’s stride. Two successes in a row makes a pattern, eliminating the possibility it was just a lucky experiment.

To New Guy Ned we say welcome to the Major Leagues.

Feature Image: MLSJ // Atalya Boytner Photography