JORDAN Coyle from Co Derry had a great weekend when he took victory in last Thursday’s five-star $116,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at Wellington International in Florida, riding For Gold, owned by Falkirk Farm.

The pair had secured a place on the podium in the five-star competition during week five at the venue, but this time, Coyle claimed the top spot in the Grand Prix qualifier with the 13-year-old Holsteiner gelding (For Fashion x Heraldik).

There were 33 starters over tracks built by Ireland’s Alan Wade, with nine clear first rounds, eight of whom jumped again. Of those, four were clear in the jump-off.

31-year-old Coyle rode a very speedy jump-off round, finishing in 36.29 seconds, more than two seconds ahead of runner-up, Belgium’s Kendra Claricia Brinkop on Stephex Stables’ In Time (38.34), while Meath’s Cian O’Connor on Fancy de Kergane, owned by Coolmore Showjumping, completed the podium in third in a time of 39.32. Two more Irishmen featured in the top 10, with Shane Sweetnam on James Kann Cruz in sixth and Darragh Kenny on Eddy Blue in 10th.

Dream horse

Coyle has had great success with For Gold recently and said of his horse: “It was always a dream to have a horse like this, and literally it was only a dream until my wife [Kim] bought him, so I have to thank her for that.”

Coyle’s jump-off round was fast, but he admits For Gold, whom he has had for a year now, hasn’t always been speedy: “It doesn’t feel that fast, but he’s so naturally quick now. He started off quite a slow horse, but not any more.

“I have to thank [For Gold’s] home rider, Dermott Lennon for that,” continued Coyle. “Since he started with the horse, he has turned inside out; he’s just a completely different horse in four or five months. Without Dermott Lennon, I would never have got the horse to this stage.”

Wade’s jump-off course, with its sweeping turns and long gallops, suited Coyle well: “I won my first five-star Grand Prix when Alan was building, and I think he’s one of the only course builders that, if you look down the score card, there’s 90% four-faulters. Alan’s the best in my opinion.”

Jordan Coyle and For Gold receiving their prize after winning the five-star $116,000 Adequan WEF Challenge Cup Round 9 at Wellington International in Florida \ Sportfot

In the ribbons

Week nine of competition at Wellington International began last Wednesday, March 6th, with Ireland’s Jenny Rankin on Chacothago placing sixth in the $6,000 FEI two-star 1.40m class, followed by Kevin Gallagher on I’m Here in 10th, meanwhile Darragh Kenny on Amsterdam 27 placed joint ninth in the $1,000 FEI 5* 1.40m class.

The day’s Five-year-old Young Jumper class saw Daniel Kerins on Lisonas Gold and Senan Hayes on Rocket NA among the joint-winners. Cormac Hanley on Santiago VH Netehof won the day’s Six-year-old class, with Gallagher on Ninja BF in third. In the Seven-year-old class, Jonathan Corrigan on Rembrandt were fourth, while Senan Hayes on Rubens were eighth.

Thursday saw Stephen Moore on Colibelle Hero Z place ninth and Nicky Galligan on VDL Nikita Van De Leeuwerk place 10th in the $32,000 FEI 2* 1.45m class, while in the $32,000 FEI 5* 1.45m class, Jordan Coyle on Ariso were fourth and Shane Sweetnam on Ceres Van Het Moeshof were 10th.

The day’s Six-year-old class saw Rankin on Ziggy’s Starburst place fifth, followed by Hayes on Spiderman in sixth and Segovia Orange in eighth, while Corrigan on Rembrandt won the Seven-year-old class.

In Friday’s $10,000 FEI 2* 1.45m class, Moore rode Eleanor into third place, while Gallagher on Innisfree were eighth.

Michael Duffy on RMF Cinnamo placed third in the $62,500 FEI 5* 1.50m class, while in the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumper class, Robert Blanchette on Carnlea Premier Balou placed sixth.

The day’s Five-year-old class saw joint firsts for Daniel Kerins on Tic-Tac and Senan Hayes with both Tito and Truly. Hayes followed this with a third place in the Six-year-old class on Spiderman.

The $62,500 FEI 2* Grand Prix on Saturday saw Philip McGuane on Linguini de le Pomme take second place, followed by Rankin on Chacothago in fifth. Meanwhile, in the big class of the day, the $385,000 FEI 5* Grand Prix, Sweetnam rode Otis Blue into fourth place.