Cork’s Shane Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm’s stallion Cyklon opened the 11th week of the Florida Winter Equestrian Festival with victory in the $34,000 1m45 speed class, marking the Irish rider’s fifth world ranking competition win of the circuit at the Palm Beach venue.
Thirty-three year-old US-based Sweetnam also took fifth place in the speed class on the Irish Sport Horse Solerina, with whom he won the same competition last Wednesday.
Sweetnam has been on a roll in this year’s ranking classes and noted that his horses have stepped it up a notch in 2014.
“I have never won that many, but last year I think I was in the hunt a lot,” Sweetnam stated after the competition. “I had a lot of seconds last year in those ranking classes and I won one Grand Prix and was second and third in other Grand Prix classes. I was close to having that many wins, but I just didn’t get them, and this year those two horses (Cyklon and Solerina) have been great. They have been really up there in nearly every speed class, so it has been really nice.”
“Cyklon does cover the ground,” Sweetnam added. “He is always galloping, so he is always quick. The course was delicate, but he is really careful and he is always trying to leave the jumps up. I think we were a little lucky to the water today. He helped me out a little bit, and other than that, he was very good.”