DERRY’s Daniel Coyle made it three Irish wins from four legs in the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup North American League when winning the fourth round at the Toronto Royal Agricultural Winter Fair last weekend, a special win for the Irishman who rides for Canadian outfit Lothlorien Farm.
Coyle rode the Ariel Grange-owned Legacy to victory at the 100th anniversary of the prestigious show. just 21 combinations lined out, but it was a top ranked start list which included Ireland’s world number five Conor Swail, Olympic Champion Ben Mayer, USA’s McLain Ward, Laura Kraut and Kent Farrington, as well as European-based Jos Verlooy and Switzerland’s Beat Mandli.
At the end of the first round of the Michel Vaillancourt-designed 1.60m track, only three managed to be clear and progress to the jump-off, including the winner of the third round, Israel’s Daniel Bluman, as well as the home hero Tiffany Foster.
Second to go of the three, Coyle for advice from his former Lothlorien colleague Conor Swail and produced a fast round in 37.02 seconds to take the lead. In the end, a clear would have been enough as Bluman picked up four faults with Gemma W to finish second. Foster was third aboard Northern Light with nine faults against the clock. Coyle earned $82,500 for the win.
Coyle was delighted with the result after a mixed week at the venue, where he really longed for the success. “That’s maybe why I was trying so hard to get something to happen, and nothing was,” he said. “I couldn’t jump clear in any class, on every different horse.”
Speaking about the 12-year-old Chippendale Z mare who he rode at this summer’s FEI World Championships in Herning, Coyle said: “Any time I’ve went in the jump-off, Legacy can be very fast, but I haven’t done that many where I’ve been really fast and go as fast as possible. I thought, ‘I’ll try to leave it a little harder for [Bluman] tonight,’ and thankfully [we] had it.”
Swail, who was the previous head rider at the Grange’s farm, was on hand for advice. “We were just talking, and the last thing I said was, ‘Is the main thing [to go] clear, or do I need to be quick as well?’ And he said, ‘No, you need to be fast.’ If it’s not me winning, I like to think I want him to win and visa versa.”
Swail, who won the opening two legs of the league and is well on his way to the World Cup finals in Omaha, finished seventh in Toronto when picking up four faults in the first round with his top horse, Count Me In.
Swail is now second in the overall standing on 50 points, behind Bluman on 54, while Coyle has moved into third place with 32 points.
Swail finished runner-up on three occasions at the venue. He guided Mannon Farm’s horse to second place in Wednesday’s 1.45m Table A when clear in 49.35 seconds, just slower than American winner McLain Ward with Catoki (0/ 46.21). Daniel Coyle finished fourth with Quintin (0/ 50.89).
Swail was then second twice with Theo 160, first in Wednesday’s 1.45m two-phase, won by Kent Farrington, and the following day’s 1.50m where Laura Kraut landed victory with Calgary Time.