DERRY’S Jordan Coyle and For Gold won the $32,000 Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival at Wellington in Florida on Saturday, where competition had shifted to the grass derby field.

Out of 43 starters, nine combinations jumped clear over Olaf Petersen Jr’s course to make it through to the jump-off. Of those nine, an amazing four were Irishmen!

Coyle and For Gold (For Fashion x Heraldik) were the fastest to keep all the fences standing, finishing in a time of 41.97 seconds, just 0.19 seconds ahead of second placed Alison Robitaille (USA) on Ester de Maugre, who stopped the clock in 42.16 seconds.


Although Coyle hadn’t intended to, he managed to knock nearly a second off fellow Irishman Cian O’Connor’s time, with his blazing 41.97 seconds. “This was his [For Gold’s] first show since November,” mentioned Coyle of the 13-year-old gelding. “My plan wasn’t to go crazy fast, as this is his first show back, but we did end up picking up a pretty quick pace. Each jump came up with that rhythm; he’s so talented, it all came together.”

O’Connor and the Irish Sport Horse Kilkenny, finished third in a time of 42.75 seconds. This 12-year-old gelding by Cardento (HOLST) out of MHS Pembrook Lady (ISH) by Guidam (SF) was bred by Sinead Brennan in Co Kilkenny and is owned by Susan Magnier.

Another Irishman, Paul O’Shea and Hellcat rode a very fast round in 41.12 seconds, but an unfortunate pole on the ground put them in fifth place, while Andrew Bourns on Menko VD Wellington finished in ninth place.

Jordan Coyle and For Gold, winners of the $32,000 Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida \ Sportfot

The $50,000 Palm Beach Equine Clinic Grand Prix, which followed, again saw four Irishmen in the top 10, with Darragh Kenny on Eddy Blue in second; just missing out to winner Rodrigo Pessoa on Gonzalo by 0.15 seconds. Cian O’Connor placed fourth on Fermoy; Christian Coyle came seventh with Extravaganza Semilly; and Co Sligo’s Kevin Gallagher took ninth with Blackshaw.

On form

The Irish were on form since competition commenced last Wednesday, when Shane Sweetnam and Unique MB were runners- up in the $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Jumper class, while Co Donegal’s Gavin Harley rode Lightning into seventh place in the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumper class. In the Five-year-old Young Jumper class, Co Clare’s Senan Hayes had two joint-winners in Rocket NA and Truly.

The Six-year-old Young Jumper class was dominated by the Irish, with Cormac Hanley winning the class on Santiago VH Netehof; Lorcan Gallagher in third on Diablo Rouge Z and Jenny Rankin fourth on Ziggy’s Starburst.

Thursday’s $6,000 FEI 3* Bainbridge 1.40m class saw Paul O’Shea place fifth riding Oilily Van ‘T, followed by Dermott Lennon in ninth on Millview Cicero. The $10,000 Dodd Technologies 1.45m Open Jumper class saw Kevin Gallagher on Blackshaw in fourth; Darragh Kenny on Eddy Blue in seventh and Darragh Kerins on Ingmar in ninth.

Cameron Hanley on Kariludine S placed third in the $2,500 1.35m Open Jumper class, while Daniel Geaney rode Sade De Rialfo Z into fifth place in the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumper class. Shane Sweetnam and Unique MB won the day’s $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Jumper class.

Cormac Hanley and Santiago VH Netehof came third in the Six-year-old Young Jumper class, with Jenny Rankin and Ziggy’s Starburst in seventh.

Cian O'Connor and Kilkenny were third in the $32,000 Hermès CSI3* 1.50m Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida \ Sportfot

Cian O’Connor and Maurice were third in Friday’s $32,000 FEI 3* Adequan WEF Challenge Round class. The 12-year-old gelding (Thunder VD Zuuthoeve x Eros Platiere) is owned by Pat Crean; Paul O’Shea on Oilily Van ‘T came seventh. The class was jointly won by Abigail McArdle (USA) with Olympia Van Het Eikenhof and Great Britain’s Amanda Derbyshire with Otto BH who finished in exactly the same time.

Conor O’Regan and Carmen De Bonnieres placed seventh in the day’s $6,000 Bainbridge Companies 1.40m Open Jumper class, while Philip McGuane on Linguini De La Pomme were second in the $2,000 1.30m Open Jumper class, followed by Daniel Geaney on Sade De Rialfo Z in eighth.

On Saturday, Francis Derwin on Elien was runner-up in the $1,000 BrainJuice 1.40m U25 class, while Tom Wachman rode Cathalina S into second place in the $5,000 BrainJuice U25 Welcome class.

Sunday’s $31,020 BrainJuice U25 Grand Prix saw Francis Derwin second on Elien behind American winner Natalie Dean on Dotcom D’Authuit.